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Website Story [Hardcover]

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

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Book Description

2 April 2001
Everyone likes that nice Mr. Doveston. In fact they all like him so much, they've elected him to the post of Prime Minister. And as a student in the teachings of Hugo Rune, Mr. Doveston knows just how to sort the country out from the ground up. And it all starts with footwear.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st Edition edition (2 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385600585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385600583
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,329,616 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 claims he's invented a whole new literary genre, "Far-Fetched Fiction", and his latest novel Web Site Story certainly fits the description. Again science fiction, fantasy and low comedy collide in that most mythic region of the Rankin cosmology, Brentford.

The eternal city has many aspects, each dafter than the last. This time it's joy, joy, happy joy in utopian 2022 Brentford, transformed by the teachings of Hugo Rune (The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived) and advanced but nevertheless deeply silly holistic footgear. Every Eden has a serpent, though, and the sinister Mute Corp computers which have replaced PCs can give you the real Millennium Bug:

The Black Death was spread by rats.
But this plague will be spread by a mouse.
The computer mouse.

Symptoms include amnesia--bringing a Brentford Magical History bus tour to a most peculiar end--and then disappearance. Can this be the Rapture, with virtuous Brentfordians translated bodily to heaven in the world's last days? Or can it be (for Rankin is having fun with slippery realities like Philip K Dick's) that the world has already ended?

Incredibly sexy girl investigator Kelly, master of the deadly art of Dimac, brushes off various males panting after her body as she penetrates the suburb's unlikely cyber secrets. Suitably off-the-wall set pieces follow, the most farcical being a pub poetry night that turns into a colossal punch-up. Zippy one-liners abound, and terrible old jokes stagger zombie-like from their graves--not to mention the running gags. (All together now: "I told you not to mention the running gags!") Very indescribable, very Rankin. --David Langford


'One of the rare guys who can always make me laugh.' Terry Pratchett.; 'To call Rankin irreverent doesn't begin to describe just how good he is at playing with the rules' Mirror.; 'Rankin does for England what Spike Milligan does for Ireland. There can be no higher praise." Mail on Sunday.; 'Everybody should at least read one Rankin in their life' Daily Express.; 'He becomes funnier the more you read him' Independent. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Matrix.... Rankin style!!! 16 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This book is not one of RR's better works but when you consider the competition it's up against it still deserves 4 stars. If you're new to his work start with something else and work your way up to this one.
The new millenium has come and gone without a problem, or has it? Who is in control? What exactly is going on? And why hasn't it affected the good folk of Brentford?
Another Rankin story of good vs evil, man vs machine, Brentonians vs the forces of darkness. As usual, Rankin takes a little while to get going (this one probably moreso than others) but don't let that put you off. There are running gags aplenty, obscure references to 70's console games, a classic Brentonian character or two and all the local pubs, a holographic creature from Griffin Island, not to mention the Rapture!!!
and everything.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Play the game 31 July 2006
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
Robert Rankin's 22nd novel is set once more in Brentford, only this time in the near future of the 2020's, so while there are some familiar locations and aging supporting characters (including a seemingly immortal Old Pete) the bulk of the main cast are brand new. The story revolves around a deadly computer virus that, in a neat turnaround, enable computers to play games with humans, and Brentford's struggle against being turned into a theme park. Typically unhinged Rankin humour abounds, with plenty of running gags and a wild looping plot that wanders all over the place and includes a nice twist finish. It's perhaps not among Rankin's very best books - the plot is perhaps a bit too unhinged for it's own good, and the hero ends up getting shunted off into something of a subplot in the books last third - but this is still deliciously loopy stuff, and very funny.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, if a bit shallow in places. 31 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd read two of Rankin's books before getting around to this one - I found 'The Antipope' very difficult to get into, although it got a lot better towards the end and 'Waiting for Godalming' was rather better (and funnier, IMO).
Of the three books I've read so far, Website Story is by far the best, and manages to be both anachronistic (in the case of Brentford and its denizens) and futuristic (as in Mute Corp - I'm sure that any resemblance to another large computer company whose name begins with M is purely coincidental :-) ), and both serious and laugh-out loud funny, something which can't really be said of the other Rankin books I've read.
People seem fond of comparing Rankin to Terry Pratchett, which isn't really fair to either author. Rankin loses out in terms of writing style, which is often annoyingly disjointed, and character development which is often non-existent. The latter opinion may be revised after I read more of his books (as I most certainly will) but 'Website Story' suffers in that apart from the hero and heroine of the book, there seem to be a lot of bit-part roles.
Criticisms aside, this is very good and often very funny book and a good introduction to Rankin's often off-kilter style, but if you're expecting Pratchett-type material then you may well be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New territory, but a bit muddled. 6 April 2001
By A Customer
After an undeservedly lukewarm response for his last effort "Waiting for Godalming", Rankin returns with a Brentford tale, set 21 years into the future, and incorporating a vague tongue-in-cheek Matrix homage somewhere in the mix.
Set around the mysterious Mute Corp and three Brentfordians investigation into the mysterious Mute chips and their link to a strange vanishing plague that is haunting Brentford, this story has the usual humour and whimsy of Rankin's books, but seems a little confused in its storytelling and needs more concentration than many of his previous works.
Still, it's fresh and more than entertaining, and certainly earns its place among his greater works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This may be the best rankin yet 23 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This book is simply robert rankins finest to date. The wonderfully insane story is presented, as in other rankin books, in many splintered sections, all seamingly unconnected until that glorious moment when ten different parts all fit together perfectly. The bulk of the story settles on two opposites, a lonely man and the adventerous lady whose journey through the book together is more human and subtle than the usual rankin characters. oh and it groin grabbingly hilarious as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Once Again 17 May 2001
By A Customer
Once Again Mr Rankin has shown us that no matter how many books he has written he can still come up with another great one.
What I particularly like is the Martrix sub plot mixed in along with the bunch of new characters as well as reference to the old one like Old Pete and 'Pooley and Omally'.
But I did fell that it did suffer only in the slightest from the abscence of their buddy-buddy comedy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for some time 9 May 2001
By A Customer
Rankin's Brentford based books are clearly a cut above the rest. The running gags are a tradition, an old charter or something.
And images of Kelly, the blonde bombshell, curling her fine locks with her fingers as she uses her Dimac skills in chopping down a few fat moustached poetesses in Brentford's Arts Centre will linger in my memory...
Even ol' Pete and his dog make guest appearances.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last few! 30 April 2001
Definitely a return to form after the last few, pretty poor books. Not up to the standard of his early stuff though, but at least there is almost no poetry in this one thank goodness. I suppose it's an old charter or something but the running gags get on ones nerves after a while, but I suppose I shouldn't mention that. (Nice hat though)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly odd and entertaining.
Pleasantly odd and entertaining.
I wasn't sure at first, but then I couldn't stop reading.
Joy joy happy joy... :0)
Published 4 days ago by S1mone
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Far fetched fiction from the master!
Published 12 days ago by Voddieland
4.0 out of 5 stars All over the place
A convoluted story at best, that ties other series and threads loosely together without being about any of them. Fun, but don't think too hard about it!
Published 22 days ago by Jay
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my thing
I got this book for free recently on Amazon, and I really have to say it was worth every penny.
Published 26 days ago by Jean Allen
3.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoy Terry Pratchett and his ilk
I really enjoy Terry Pratchett and his ilk, so was looking forward to this. Somehow just couldn't get into it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The good old days
Back when Robert Rankin was funny. Every page was guaranteed to make you laugh out loud, he would produce genius like this. Treat yourself to a joy while it's free.
Published 1 month ago by Chris Davison
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
If you like weird ideas this is the author for you. The humour is clever, sometimes quite subtle and the story lines always keep you guessing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by cooldart
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost back on form
The dictionary definition for flawed genius should be "Robert Rankin." His books are nearly always packed with inventive, left of field ideas, and Website Story is no... Read more
Published on 26 July 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Rankin standard
This one's far from my favorite Rankin book. The story takes way too much focus from the characters, who are usually the most fun about Rankin's books. Read more
Published on 28 May 2001 by Simon Joensen
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