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Armageddon: The Musical
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Armageddon: The Musical (Armageddon #1)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  2,095 ratings  ·  39 reviews
It is the year 2050 and the soap opera "The Earthers" is making big video bucks in the intergalactic ratings race. Alien TV executives know exactly what the old earth drama needs to make the off-world audience sit up and stare—a spectacular Armageddon-type finale.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 1st 1991 by Transworld Publishers (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Si Jones
This is the first Rankin book I read, back in the early 90's, and I've lost count of how many times I've re-read it since.
This is the first novel in the Armageddon Series by “far-fetched fiction” writer Robert Rankin.

Rankin is the author of one of my favorite books, The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. I find his writing style to be similar to Terry Pratchett, another author I really enjoy. I thought I’d have a good chance of enjoying this novel when I chose it at random but it didn’t live up to my expectations.

The overall plot seemed to ramble. Having several worlds, dimensions and time-planes involved
There are people who would love Rankin's zany take on the apocalypse. For me it's way too freewheeling and manic for me to enjoy it. It's as if The Hitchhiker's Guide was rewritten by someone on speed, smooshing all sorts of ideas in an almost incomprehensible mish-mosh. We've got Elvis, we've got a talking sprout, a future incarnation of the Dalai Lama, Jesus and his twin sister Christine, television, and post nuclear mad max shenanigans. I can't say that this book has no redeeming features, no ...more
As always Robert Rankins alternate universe is one full of surprises. I am a fan of time sprouts and enjoyed the time travel in this story. I particularly enjoyed Rankins comic take on a post apocolyptic Earth and his views on realty TV and the ideas of a master plan I found to be as agreeable as they were hilarious. The unwitting hero Rex is a well written if put upon character and who doesnt love a bit of Elvis. My favourite parts of the story did focus around some of the "supporting cast" of ...more
This is a strange mix of Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, The Truman Show and Redshirts. And when I say strange I mean strange, but in a really good and fun way.
People who can't laugh at Christianity or L. Ron Hubbard should probably steer clear though.
Nen Simmons
Earth is being manipulated by aliens who are using it as a reality TV show. Trouble is, ratings have now slumped for the post-apocalyptic world were everything is controlled by 3 main religions, so they decide to send a time-travelling sprout back to 1958 to contact Elvis Presley and alter the course of history. The fact that this plot seems perfectly plausible is testament to Robert Rankin's excellent rating and alarming imagination. Also has the usual running gags ( Ian Paisley etc) and the cu ...more
Scott Nieradka
Yuk. Sigh. Look, this book should have been funny, or at least enjoyable, on paper. An absurd post apocalyptic story involving a time traveling elvis presley with a sprout in his head, a standard I’m just a normal person, why is this happening to me type hero, etc, etc, you can read the plot above or elsewhere below. There are a few problems, A) Its a comedy, B) Its not funny, C) Its a not funny comedy about religion and tv, and most importantly D) the author breaks the fourth wall every three p ...more
Sep 16, 2014 David marked it as to-read

Robert Rankin shamelessly lampshades this in one of his stories (Armageddon, the Musical) where it is advanced as proof that there is a God who designs dominant species in his own image. "As any Science Fiction fan knows, the basic human shape, Head at the top, two feet at the bottom, wedding tackle about halfway down, is the standard for intelligent life the universe over. They often speak good English with a noticeable American accent, too. Facts that should serve up friend Atheist with a work
P. Elliot
My slightly biased comments: Robert Rankin is an acquired taste; one that I succumbed to many moons ago (we once swapped autographed copies of our books) thanks to his Brentford Trilogy.

This did not reach the heights of those titles but was worthy of his far-fetchedness. Where else would you find a post-nuclear Earth ruled by three religious factions: the latest in a long line of reincarnations of the Dali Lama, Pope Joan and the last descendant of L. Ron Hubbard. Throw in an Alien race watching
Joakim Bairamoglou
sorry...can't write...still laughing...omg what a guy!!!p.s. if you re not British and you read it in english have a dictionary Near by!!!
'And what about me?' Gloria asked.
'Buggered if I know dear.' Ms Vrillium admired herself in the mirror. 'I expect we'll find out in the sequel. All this is really far too good to be true.'
And it was.

I think I read one of the sequels a long time ago, as Rex Mundi, his sister Gloria and the Time Sprout seemed familiar but the plot line didn't.

Earth's history has been moulded by a television company on another planet at the behest of a mystery backer. But now ratings for 'The Earthers' are falling,
Aletha Tavares
its the future 2050- the characters of dalai lama, elvis priestly who the former thinks will kill him, is being brought back to earth to up the ratings of the soap opera the Earthers by the planet phnaargos, who feel that all that has been happening on earth is war , killings, blood violence & sex and need to inject the viewing with something different- but this goes awry thanks to the GOD wo is also side stepped by his sister.
this si cosmic fun in all its galaxious humour
Rankin's biography states that he wants to create a new genre of 'far-out fiction'.

That is clearly accomplished in Armageddon the musical.

I'm a music student, and while I get the irony of calling this book a musical, I still didn't find it humourous. (Which I believe was the intent?)

It is certainly absurdest, and while I can appreciate that, the jokes go on and on and are over done. I finished it, but with some difficulty, and had to re-start reading it a number of times.
fun when you're fourteen but dumber than a bag of hammers
I'm usually very easy on books, but I found this to be a particularly unenjoyable read. I may try one more of Rankin's books to see if this was just a single, specific book that caused my issues.
Read one book by this author already and enjoyed it so much I wanted to read another. My sister bought it for me for Christmas 2009. While I finished it, I didn't find it the "rip-roaring comedy" hailed by the critics on the cover. It was confusing at times but interesting enough to keep me reading. However, it's part of a trilogy, and I don't see myself rushing out to pick up the next volume any time soon.
Gillian Taylor
Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt my favourite trilogy of all time.
Rankin has been often compared to Pratchet, but in my opinion he outshines him by far.
This book has elements from reality and a vast imagination inside of Rankin's mind that will make you take a look into your very soul and examine it.
Barry the sprout is an inspiration to us all.
The zany, hilarious ideas are there, as is the social commentary, and the writing is snappy . . . at points. I love self aware narration, too, and yet there was something about the way Rankin continually pointed out plot holes that got on my nerves after a while. Still, I laughed pretty hard a some bits and it was worth reading for the cheeky time sprout alone.
Keith Davis
Armageddon the Musical never seems to be quite as funny as it is trying to be. You get the impression that the author is trying very hard to be Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett but not quite getting there. All the ingredients are there, but it is like a cake that fails to rise and you are left wondering if a step got missed somewhere in the recipe.
I read this book almost twenty years ago, when I was in high school, and though I only remember bits and pieces of it, I recall:

1) enjoying it;
2) several passages almost verbatim; the images stayed with me.

I'm not sure I'd be able to enjoy it nearly as much these days, but it was fun when I was fifteen.
Give it a chance... It starts off ok but can be difficult to read with all the new technology and different plots running at the same time… but it's worth not giving up when it comes together in about the middle of the story. A bit crazy but good enough.
Inventive ideas, biting satire, earthy British humour - all very good things - but I still found it no more than mildly funny. Too much "nudge nudge wink wink" and not enough real humanity to tickle my funnybone, I think.
Leah Wener-Fligner
It was so zany and so madcap and sooo proud of its HIlarity that it forgot to have content, and anyway it isn't as clever as it thinks it is and is littered with comma splices.

An excellent title gone to waste.
Zachary Jernigan
OBJECTIVE RATING (my best stab at looking at the book's merits, regardless of whether or not I enjoyed it all that much): 3

PERSONAL RATING (how much the book "worked" for me personally): 3
Brilliant. Insane. There are no other words to describe a story about time-travelling gun-toting Elvis Presley, Jesus' twin sister Christeen and hard-drinking Dalai Lama.
Doreen Dalesandro
Genre: sci-fi humor
Rating: 3.75
I listened to this book.

One word describes this book: whacky! It is lots of fun!

Robert Rankin does a great job narrating his book!
Mar 11, 2012 Rachel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rachel by: Mum
Started off very promising and based around an interesting concept but in the end it became confusing, and generally like a less funny version of Pratchett
Adam Sprague
Complete madness. I got confused in a few spots, but then again, I'm not sure if that was intended or not. Another great book from Mr. Rankin.
Jane Caruana
A time travelling Elvis and a sprout named barry - throw in science fiction and reality TV, what's not to love?
What a strange book. An odd mix of super witty musings and bizzare concepts. Mr Rankin was definitely on something.
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"When Robert Rankin embarked upon his writing career in the late 1970s, his ambition was to create an entirely new literary genre, which he named Far-Fetched Fiction. He reasoned that by doing this he could avoid competing with any other living author in any known genre and would be given his own special section in WH Smith."
(from Web Site Story)

Robert Rankin describes himself as a teller of tall
More about Robert Rankin...

Other Books in the Series

Armageddon (3 books)
  • They Came and Ate Us: Armageddon II: The B-Movie
  • The Suburban Book of the Dead: Armageddon III: The Remake
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse The Antipope The Brentford Triangle East of Ealing The Sprouts of Wrath

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“- It's a small matter, but one which I think shouldn't be overlooked.
- Oh Yes? And that is?
- That is the simple matter that time travel is an impossibility, you craven buffoon!
- Not with the latest miracle of modern horticulture...Gentlemen, please allow me to introduce you to THE TIME SPROUT !
'Pleased to be here' said the vegetable in question.”
“H. G. Wells once said that every word of which a man is ignorant represents an idea of which he is ignorant.” 1 likes
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