Of all the illustrious Rankin's works, none has jostled its way into my heart more than the brentford trillogy. Sprouts of Wrath was the first one I read (the fourth in the trillogy!) and from meeting Poole and O'Mally therein, I was hooked, had to go back to the first and follow the likely lads through all their adventures. Unlike his contemporaries, Rankin doesn't fall back onto tired characters to move the plot from a difficult situation with no likely escape (ie: having CMOT Dibbler turn up with a set of keys to open the cell), but uses a genius which lies in his nth dimensional mind to twist plots and reader through 720 degrees of inspired and incredible routes. Nothing is ever what it seems, and as is well known by those who know it well, because it is a tradition old charter or somesuch, what things seem is open to interpretation: and Rankin's interpretations of this world we live/ have lived / will live in are a merry-go-round of fun.