This is a splendid audio dramatisation, rather reminiscent in style to the Hitchhikers' guide to the Galaxy. Adapted by Elliot Stein and Neil Gardner, Robert Rankin's 'The Brightonomicon' story lends itself very well to a play of thirteen episodes. The first episode acts as an introduction, then the following consist of twelve bizarre mysteries each of which take up one entire episode, giving each a satisfying beginning, middle and end. The mysteries must be solved by the great Hugo Rune and his amnesiac amanuensis, Rizla, in order to save the world from the evil Count Otto Black.
Don Winslow is a very angry, and very clever man, and everything in this book is based on stone fact. From the Black Irish button man with a heart of glass, to the Arch Bishop with a fondness for cigarettes, high class whores and Liberation Theology, to the CIA Colonel who is also a made man, all these people have lived and are still living in the foetid hell that we know as the Americas.
A novel of History, Dark Intrigue and Cheese. Edward Trencom, owner of a spectacular nose and England's finest cheese shop tries to unravel the mysterious past of his family. Throughout history, males of the Trencom family have abandoned their cheese shop and met with various unfortunate and untimely and Byzantine ends. And now Edward believes he is being watched.
It's an interesting book and though the story itself doesn't hold too many surprises, the descriptions of rare and exotic cheeses are mouthwatering and sumptuous. Don't read this book if you're trying to diet!
This is Toby Frost's best yet. Isambard Smith and his crew take on the Lemming men who are sworn to destroy him when not being distracted by great heights from which they can't help but throw themselves. This story has more sub plots and it is told from more points of view. The characters have filled out and true friendships are growing. The constant nods to other sci-fi stories are now joined by references to Thomas the Tank Engine, The Chipmunks and Watership Down.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – 3 out of 5.
The edition I read starts after a rather bleak self assessment intro from Huxley himself, suggesting the events described in the book could well happen far sooner than he initially postulated. The basic premise is that in the future the “Human Product” has become standardised through an extensive eugenics programme. People are churned out in massive groups of identical siblings with there futures planned out for them, through pre & post birth conditioning. I wonder if this was the first instance of the test-tube baby idea.
The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett - 2.5 out of 5
Well I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to write about this one. When I'm reading through a novel (or listen in the car as an Audio book) I make some notes about what I though, so I have something to write up at the end. The trouble is, despite trying to think of things to note down, I only have two notes for this one.
1) Sam Vimes is in it
2) The word “sighed” is used to much.
Other than that I'm left with a quick plot summery.
High Society by Ben Elton – 3 out of 5.
Again this was an audio book for listening to in the car. This one was read by Greg Wagland, who does a sterling job of covering all the characters. The story is very character driven here with each chapter being about the events surrounding an individual person.
Blind Faith by Ben Elton - 4 out of 5
This was my second Ben Elton audio book. This one was read by Michael Maloney, who was ok, but some of his voices were irritating. The premise is near-ish future, post massive flood. The initial set up is pretty crazy and unbelievable, with an insane Church running the show (well maybe not all that unbelievable).
Robert will be at Forbidden Planet, London, on the 12th December from 1300Hrs (that's 1pm) signing his new book.
We will be heading to a local hostelry for a few pints after, so the more the merrier
Triplanetary by E.E. “Doc” Smith - 3 out of 5.
This is the first book in the Lensman series. (Though I believe it was actually brought out after the original series as a prequel, but based on short stories written before those original books. Confused yet? Well there are also at least two versions of this book knocking about with various additions & subtractions. I have (what I think) is the longer version).
To be honest the first 6 chapters (& nearly 100 pages) are pretty superfluous to the rest of the plot.