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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book, 19 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights (Paperback)
The person who said this book reads like a trip on acid was spot on which is a bit daft of me to say since I've never tried acid but anyway...
This book was my introduction to Robert Rankin. I read it for the first time in '96 and I recently re-read it. And it was just as enjoyable as the first time.
Due to a reality fracture the world leaves the age of science and enters the time of legends and myths where the formerly chronically unemployed (and for some mysterious reason recipient of the Queen's Award for Industry award) Maxwell Karrion finds himself Max Carrion, Imagineer. Carrion has to set out on a quest to do the bidding of an evil magician and here he encounters such things as traveling TVs, a bus whorshipping cult, news crumpets and barrack-room smut dressed up as arcane knight-speak.
I've only read two other books by Rankin and they were rather disappointing compared to this one ('The Greatest Show off Earth', 'Apocalypso'). I have high hopes for the Brentford books, however. Anyway, my advice is that if you haven't read anything by Robert Rankin before you could do a lot worse than starting with this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant new-reader friendly comic fantasy, 6 Dec 2004
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights (Paperback)
Robert Rankin's 12th novel, and only his second (after The Greatest Show Off Earth) that isn't part of a series, The Garden of Unearthly Delights is a perfect introduction to this comedy genius. Normally Rankin keeps one foot in reality (or at least Brentford), but this novel finds him tackling the sort of pure fantasy satire of early Terry Pratchett (though obviously rather more unhinged). The novel doesn't start particularly strongly however, as the initial pages of hero Max Karrien waking up a century in the future in a world that has shifted out of a scientific age into a fantasy age are very rambling. Max gets into some amusing scrapes with a bunch of On The Buses cultists and has a disastrous attempt to re-introduce advertising via electricity-free man-sized 'live action' TV's, but these seem to be sketches in search of a plot. Unlike his previous 'double-team' novels (Cornelius & Tuppe, Omally & Pooley, Raymond & Simon etc) Rankin also only has one hero here, so the novel sticks with Max Karrien on every page in a very linear fashion, and with no cutaways his aimless wanderings start to become a little boring.
Thankfully after a hundred pages of this the plot finally kicks into gear, as Max has his soul stolen by a magician, and is sent on a quest to recover a mechanical woman to save his life. From here on in The Garden of Unearthly Delights is pretty much flawless, as Max encounters such various threats as the rat-like Skaven (freely nicked by Rankin from the Warhammer games) and a very Monty Python-ish section where a bunch of effete knights use such impenetrable vernacular as "Me thinks Lord Percy has a swidgen for a billydock". Rankin wraps his plot up with some fantastic twists, as the true nature of this new fantasy world is revealed, and Max's vital contribution in the books early chapters makes for a clever dénouement as Rankin reveals just what is going on.
The early aimlessness of the novel just stops it from getting the full five stars, but The Garden of Unearthly Delights is still a treat - one of Rankin's best book, and a perfect one for new-comers to try out, especially Pratchett fans looking for something smuttier, more inventive, and funnier...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underated book by an underated author., 20 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights (Paperback)
This is an incredible book, in that it appears to re-write itself every time you read it, and reads like a fantastical trip on acid. This is probably not for the Rankin virgin, but is a true tour-de-force for afficionados. A great example of his uniqueness in the world of fiction - marvellous.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Particularly unhinged- even by Robert Rankin's standards, 17 Nov 2007
By 
Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights (Paperback)
Robert Rankin and his characters take a big step into fantasy in this book. Many of Rankin's books are about the Devil invading Brentford and the local pub, but not this one- reality takes a running jump as the world slips into a realm of fantasy, knights and wizards.

This gives Robert Rankin a chance to revel in all sorts of different comedy, definitely treading on Terry Pratchett's toes in places but mostly very funny as well as exceptionally weird. One of Rankin's strongest books thanks mainly to it being particularly unhinged.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Robert Rankin book leading me to become quite a fan, 1 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights (Paperback)
After reading this book i continued on and am now reading my seventh robert rankin book. It is a great plot with great characters, the beginning, middle and ending and are all brilliant. A tale where Earth leaves the time of science and goes into the magical age, where you follow the main character. Once i had started the book i couldn't stop. Easily FIVE STARS *****
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "whacky mind" rankin does it again, 27 Jan 2002
This review is from: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights (Paperback)
once again Robert Rankin explains to us how the world "really" operates in this new world- colliding novel. it is always a great pleasure to read what robert has to say about the rules of the universe and this book is no different, this writer must have been on something when he wrote it because it is extremely funny and crazy, though it still doesn't reach the edge like some of the other novels Rankin wrote. i give it a whopping 4 stars
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The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights by Robert Rankin (Paperback - 4 April 1996)
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