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RathDarkblade

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I finished reading "Magna Carta" a few days ago, and have nearly finished reading "The Toyminator" by Robert Rankin. It's the first book of Rankin's that I've read, and so far I have ... mixed feelings. *shrug*

For a start, the book is billed as "sci-fi" ... but I'm not sure that it is. It feels more like a sci-fi/fantasy mix, with loads of digs at action-movie cliches and loads of digs at film noir cliches. ;) This is a Good Thing(TM).

On the other hand, the dialogue (at least at the start) is quite repetitive. There are almost no descriptions of the setting - or, for that matter, of characters. There is also no attempt to establish a point-of-view character for me to get close to and try to get inside his/her head, so I never feel or think anything the characters feel or think. (Bad.)

Finally, I never feel like the characters are in danger - because they are always rescued by something else, each more implausible than the last. So they never learn or grow. (Bad). But on the other hand, I understand this is supposed to be a parody (Good!), so I'm prepared to cut it some slack. :)

On the plus side, the book rolls along very nicely. It occasionally gets stuck in repetitions and arguments like "Shall!"/"Shan't!" which are irritating, but these are rare.

What do you think? Er, also - one final thing: I haven't yet finished the book (but I'm nearly done), so please no spoilers. :)
 
Jul 27, 2008
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Rath maybe you should have started with the earlier ones.The Antipope was the first one might give you an idea of how it worked. book cover of the omnibus edition of the first three.
You may recognise the artist's artwork on the cover. Terry did say once about Robert's books that he makes him laugh don't know how far he got in the different series but there were eight in the Trilogy;)
You are reading the sequel first(Toyminator)The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse is the 1st one with Eddie Bear in it. Also one of the early trilogies Armageddon: The Musical: Armageddon Trilogy, Book 1
has Elvis in it. Check them out on Amazon but they will be the ones he did the artwork himself he attended the Ealing collage of Art and Freddie Mercury was in the same class. A lot of the places mention in the book are actual places in London. Hope this helps.
P1020628.JPG
 

RathDarkblade

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Thanks. :) All right, I never got into Robert Rankin in earlier life. I think I still prefer Terry's books - I think they are funnier, and the characters learn something and develop as they go along. (All right, maybe not the UU Faculty. But you know what I mean). ;)

Maybe I'm giving Rankin short shrift because, so far, I'd only read "The Toyminator". I did feel that Eddie Bear and Jack Spratt were in danger (but just once). Then again, this book is clearly a parody of all those Hollywood action films where the hero is never in danger. At all. Ever. :p So I get it. I just don't like that genre of films, that's all, which is why "The Toyminator" wasn't an instant favourite.

So ... Rankin's other books. Are they all parodies of something (in broad terms)?

I also presume that Rankin's earlier books are now hard to obtain, yes? ;) That's usually the case with fantasy authors. Try and find any Discworld diaries (before they were re-issued, 'course). ;)
 

Ghost

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I prefer Pratchett over Rankin but having met them both I can say for a fact that Rankin is the nutty of the two
 
Jul 27, 2008
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Thanks. :) All right, I never got into Robert Rankin in earlier life. I think I still prefer Terry's books - I think they are funnier, and the characters learn something and develop as they go along. (All right, maybe not the UU Faculty. But you know what I mean). ;)

Maybe I'm giving Rankin short shrift because, so far, I'd only read "The Toyminator". I did feel that Eddie Bear and Jack Spratt were in danger (but just once). Then again, this book is clearly a parody of all those Hollywood action films where the hero is never in danger. At all. Ever. :p So I get it. I just don't like that genre of films, that's all, which is why "The Toyminator" wasn't an instant favourite.

So ... Rankin's other books. Are they all parodies of something (in broad terms)?

I also presume that Rankin's earlier books are now hard to obtain, yes? ;) That's usually the case with fantasy authors. Try and find any Discworld diaries (before they were re-issued, 'course). ;)
Rath the info in this link below may prove helpful, covers and brief intro about books, it's from the old Sproutlore fan club. A fair assumption would Discworld's Ankh-Morpork to Rankin's Brentford but Brentford actually exists I know because that was where AGFA, the company I used to work for had their UK headquarters there one of the best jobs I ever had:love: happy days indeed. And where himself used to live for a few years.
http://www.sproutlore.com/books/rankinbooks.php
From the front piece page, indexed list but does not include the later ones if you need any other info just ask.:geek:
 

Penfold

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Normally, I enjoy Tom Sharp's books but I am really struggling with 'Grandchester Grind', the sequel to 'Porterhouse Blue'. (I also found the follow-ups to the 'Wilt' books quite hard going after the first sequel.)
 

Ghost

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yeah I had trouble with that one as well I however quite like the Wilt books
they read a lot like the Geoff Tristram books I like
 

Quatermass

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While I post in my own review thread, I'd just like to point out that I've finished reading The Complete Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, and it's well-deserving of its Eisner Award. And I generally don't go for more kiddy comic books these days, so to find something that managed to be mature, and yet still suitable for kids, was actually refreshing. Plus, it got my nostalgia thing going after years of watching Ducktales when I was a kid...the original version...
 

RathDarkblade

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Mar 24, 2015
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I'm currently reading "Highfire" by Eoin Colfer. Nearly done reading. Very enjoyable. A tiny bit cliche (bayou life and so on), but very enjoyable in spite of that. ;)

Never read Colfer before (was never interested in Artemis Fowl). But then, I was spoiled by Sir T's Discworld. Any fantasy after that felt like a letdown. :)
 

=Tamar

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Because of the dialect discussion elsewhere, I have now reread Clarence Mulford's The Bar-20 Rides Again (1929).
 

Catch-up

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While I post in my own review thread, I'd just like to point out that I've finished reading The Complete Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, and it's well-deserving of its Eisner Award. And I generally don't go for more kiddy comic books these days, so to find something that managed to be mature, and yet still suitable for kids, was actually refreshing. Plus, it got my nostalgia thing going after years of watching Ducktales when I was a kid...the original version...
Oh! Thank you for this! I didn't know it existed and Thing 2 is a huge Donald Duck/Ducktales fan - and her birthday is coming up!
 

Tonyblack

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I'm reading a murder/mystery by Francis Pryor, who people may recognise as a regular on Channel 4's Time Team. In the book, his protagonist is a similar person to him, in that he was a major part of a fictional TV series called "History Hunters". It's not a badly written book, by any means, but it is very, very slow. The book is called "The Lifers Club". Charlene was more the murder/mystery fan than me - I tend to find the mystery to be fairly simple, if you follow the logic of writing, rather than the laws of logic. Anyhow - I suspect people who enjoy the genre more than I do, would enjoy the book.
 

=Tamar

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May 20, 2012
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I'm once again rereading Sorcery and Cecelia by Wrede and Stevermer, but not just as a familiar and fun book. I finally noticed that the copyright page mentions that it was originally published in "a slightly different form", so I dug out my Paperback Original from 1988. (Remember those? They greatly annoyed collectors.) I am now going through the two books (paperback original and Book Club edition), noting where changes were made. Nothing deeply significant so far, but a parenthetical comment about cricket was removed. Cricket was the British national sport in the 18th century and hence is correct for the era, so I suppose somebody thought it wasn't sufficiently relevant to the main story.
 

Quatermass

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Oh! Thank you for this! I didn't know it existed and Thing 2 is a huge Donald Duck/Ducktales fan - and her birthday is coming up!
Glad to be of service. It was a brilliant book, though it's also...well, it was derived from comics that were of their time, so parental guidance is recommended when it comes to how certain ethnicities are treated. Overall, though, it's a great book for adults, and I'm sure kids would like it too.
 

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