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Waiting for Godalming [Hardcover]

Robert Rankin
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Oct 2000
"Dallas" meets "Deuteronomy" in a Divine Comedy to out-Apocalypse them all.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (5 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385600577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385600576
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,884,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Rankin describes himself as a teller of tall tales. The Morning Star describes him as 'The Master of Silliness', and his publisher describes him as The Master of Far Fetched Fiction. He is the author of more than thirty novels, of which he has sold millions of copies, and he is published - and making people laugh - around the world.

Despite his remarkable publishing success, Robert has never taken himself too seriously. He loves going on tour, signing books for readers, and his appearances at signings and conventions are legendary, often including a stand-up routine, a song (accompanied by his 'air-ukulele'), and an always-entertaining question-and-answer session. Robert Rankin is a great entertainer, whether in person or through his novels, with wit, humour and an incredible personal warmth.

But that's not all! In addition to being a talented writer, comedian and musician, he's also an incredible artist . . . so incredible, that he creates his own stunning book covers.

Reading his books can and will inspire you, scare you, thrill you and, above all, entertain you. His novels are an outlet for the soul, and food for the imagination.

The Brentford Trilogy:

The Antipope
The Brentford Triangle
East of Ealing
The Sprouts of Wrath
The Brentford Chainstore Massacre
Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls
Knees Up Mother Earth
The Brightonomicon

The Armageddon Trilogy:

Armageddon: The Musical
They Came and Ate Us
The Suburban Book of the Dead

Cornelius Murphy Novels:

The Book of Ultimate Truths
Raiders of the Lost Car Park
The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived

The Trilogy That Dare Not Speak Its Name:

Sprout Mask Replica
The Dance of the Voodoo Handbag
Waiting for Godalming

The Witches Trilogy:

The Witches of Chiswick
Knees Up Mother Earth
The Brightonomicon

Eddie Bear Novels:

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
The Toyminator

Standalone Novels:

The Greatest Show Off Earth
The Garden of Unearthly Delights
A Dog Called Demolition
Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
Snuff Fiction
Web Site Story
The Fandom of the Operator
The Da-da-de-da-da Code

Product Description

Amazon Review

Robert Rankin's wondrously oddball fantasies have caused addicted readers' heads to spontaneously explode on five separate continents, most of them in Brentford. Some call him the Terry Pratchett of seedy suburbia, but only if they want a punch in the chops...

Waiting for Godalming reports the greatest case of private eye Lazlo Woodbine, hired to investigate God's murder and the suspicious fact that Earth was inherited not by the meek but by God's other son Colin--edited out of the Bible when Jesus got full artistic control. Woodbine is strong on gunplay, dark alleys, rooftop confrontations and talking bizarre drivel in bars, but one worries about the Holy Guardian Sprout called Barry living inside his head.

Meanwhile, light-fingered Icarus Smith discovers the "Red Head" reality pills that reveal the disguised demons among us for the awful, scaly, insect-mouthed horrors that they are. Meanwhile, Prof. Bruce Partington's "spectremeter" device raises ghosts but can't make them go away again. Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists will shiver to the dread Ministry of Serendipity hidden under Mornington Crescent station, and its awful uses for barbers' chairs.

As Rankin's anarchic storylines go, this is unusually sober and logical. There's a flood of running gags, self-referential japes, author interjections, allusions to a million Sherlock Holmes titles, and deranged one-liners like this architectural description of Wisteria Lodge:

To the original Georgian pile had been added a Victorian bubo, an Edwardian boil and a nineteen-thirties cyst.

Full of inspired silliness throughout, this is Rankin in good form. --David Langford


"'His impressively individual style means that he becomes funnier the more you read him'" (Independent)

"'Rankin does for England what Spike Milligan does for Ireland. There can be no higher praise'" (Mail on Sunday) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interestingly odd 8 May 2004
My first Robert Rankin, and i have bought more. Can there be a better review than that?
Delciously twisted. Following multiple characters, each from multiple perspectives seems to be a lot to keep track of, but its only when you finish the book that you realise its what you have done.
Its a kind of bizzare whodunnit, but not one where you spend the whole book trying to guess who it was yourself. Amazingly you didnt even know the truth till the end!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woodbine's last case? 4 Jan 2006
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
`Waiting For Godalming' is Robert Rankin's 21st novel, and also one of his best. The story stars self-styled last of the hardboiled gumshoe detectives Lazlo Woodbine (some call him Laz), a character first introduced in `Armageddon 3: The Suburban Book of the Dead', and who also took the lead role in `The Dance of the Voodoo Handbag'. If you're not already familiar with the character suffice to say that for reasons too obscure to go into (but possibly tied into the fact that he is utterly insane) Lazlo only works in first person detective genre cliché, only ever uses 4 sets (his office, a bar, an alleyway, and a rooftop for the climax) and comes complete with trench-coat, fedora, a beautiful dame who always knocks him out, and a talking sprout called Barry who lives in his head (I told you he was mad). `Waiting For Godalming' sees Lazlo take on his greatest case as, following up some of the blasphemous backstory of the Armageddon books, he is hired by God's wife to find out who murdered her husband. Due to his limit of four sets building an entire novel around Lazlo can be tricky, so Rankin sensibly gives half the narrative to his thieving brother Icarus, who ends up embroiled in a mad scheme to liberate a drug that can allow humans to see the angels and demons that walk amongst them.

`Waiting For Godalming' has all the insane ideas one would expect from Rankin, and is also stuffed with great comedy scenes, loads of quality old toot and running gags (some of which, like the cab drivers Knowlegde, is even new!).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Silent nite *was* cleverer 5 Dec 2001
By A Customer
If one pardons the obvious blasphemies, than Robert Rankin's "Waiting for Godalming" is, fundamentally, a good novel. It contains all the hallmarks of a classic Rankin thriller; it has the well-drawn characters, the blindingly fast plot situations, the groan-worthy running gags, and the complex switch-backs and double-crosses. No-one has equaled Rankin's use of surrealism, creativity, occult, SF, fantasy and the right jigger of humour to produce a decidedly fun novel. Rankin *is* the Father of Far-Fetched Fiction; comic fantasy seems to be too much of a restraining description of the Rankinist genre.
"Waiting for Godalming" is possibly the most logical Rankin novel produced. It is a Lazlo Woodbine novel so one can expect the talking of toot, the gratuitous violence, the drugs & the sex, the Phillip Marlowe double-speak, and the persistent interruptions made by the Time-Sprout Barry, a cabbage which appears to be taking residence inside of Lazlo's skull.
"Waiting For Godalming" is quite clearly a parody; of all the pulp noir that has ever been produced in the name of crime fiction. But it also features the 'death' of God (not ot give anything away), which might make even the most stalwart religious rebel slightly anxious.
"Waiting for Godalming" seems to owe as much to "The Matrix" as it does to Irvine Welsh's "Trainspotting."
This is Rankin, remember. As quick and inventive as the novel it is, you have been forewarned.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious as ever 9 Mar 2001
By A Customer
At last, what the world of science fiction humour has been waiting for, A Lazlo Woodbine novel. Waiting for Godalming, chronicles the greatest case for private eye Woodbine, who is called upon to solve the crime of all time, the murder of God. Also the slightly suspicious fact that the Earth was not so much inherited by the meek, than by Colin, God's other son, who was edited out of the bible when Jesus got artistic control. Lazlo's main strengths are gunplay, dark alleys, talking toot in bars and a big rooftop finale. His main weakness seems to be a Guardian angel sprout living inside his head. On the other side of town, thief Icarus Smith has discovered the 'Red Head' reality pill that reveal the hidden demons among us. Prof. Bruce Partington has invented a 'spectremeter' which raises the ghosts but can't make them go away again and just what is the mysterious Ministry of Serendipity up to with barbers' chairs? As the normal anarchic Rankin plots go, Waiting for Godalming has an unusually sober and straightforward plot. Albeit under a flood of running gags, self referential japes, authors interjections, allusions to a million Sherlock Homes titles and mad one liners. And although this isn't the best Rankin book, it is far from his worse and a damn slight funnier than the dozens of Pratchett clones that seem to be clogging up the book selves. Along with Terry Pratchett and Tom Holt, Robert Rankin proves that some British fantasy comedy writing is just as hilarious as ever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Weirdly wonderful
I started reading this because it was lying around and (I still dont know where it came from) immediately thought what a lot of guff. BUT its not! Read more
Published 20 months ago by Anniefitz
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for God?
Robert Rankin never fails to amuse. The guy is a comic genious. This time God has disappeared and Mrs God employs our favourite detective, Lazlo Woodbine, to track him down. Read more
Published on 9 Jun 2009 by Rob Parsonage
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, from start to finish
Sorry, I'm not going to waste too much time on this review. The book is a waste of your time, read something else instead. Read more
Published on 17 Jan 2007 by Colin Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst books I have ever read...
This has to be one of the worst books I have had the misfortune of reading. I love Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams et al so when I heard about Robert Rankin I jumped at the chance... Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2003 by A. F. Galbraith
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but it's his worst book to date
Perhaps it's just me, as I've never been a great admirer of the Lazlo Woodbine character, but this book failed to grab my interest from page one (very unusual for a Rankin book),... Read more
Published on 2 May 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to the old with a new twist!
When I came to Amazon to buy this title I was surprised to see that it had received such poor star rating average and some of the reviews said it was below Rankin's usual standard. Read more
Published on 10 April 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother reading this.
Rankin at his worst (and I've read all of his books). He is simply going through motions here - pumping out the same old, tired jokes, and the running gag running gag is wearing... Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2001 by lindsay.marshall@ncl.ac.uk
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, typical Rankin ('nuff said?)
Brilliant work by the man himself. Superbly written scenes with Laz and Fangio, running jokes, the same old jokes and cameo's from Brentfords finest residents! Read more
Published on 23 Nov 2000 by simon@wilding.tc
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny
This book was extremely funny more so, I found, than Rankins usual efforts. The scenes where Lazlo and Fangio are 'Talking toot' are especially brilliant. Buy it Now!
Published on 25 Oct 2000 by "cdp181"
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