Like many previous reviewers, as someone who has followed Julian Cope’s work over the last 30 odd years, I had high expectations of this book. In some respects these expectations were met as this book is certainly unlike anything I’ve read before. It is evident that a great deal of thought has gone into this work which includes detailed maps and line drawings in the book itself and a website with music from the fictional characters. The plot, taking in Italia 90, the Hillsborough tragedy, a faded rock star, and megalithic Sardinia is original and unexpected.
Unfortunately, I found the writing at times really difficult to follow. I bought the book before Christmas and have only now just finished it. I didn’t find it an easy read and the Random use of Capitalisation- a style those familiar with Mr Cope’s blog posts will be used to - must have ensured that the proof reader certainly earned their fee. Using Roky Erickson as a verb would probably have readers not familiar with the author’s previous work on the ropes but my guess is they would have given up by then (page 24) anyway.
In conclusion, I’m glad I stuck with it as I doubt I’ll read something like this again but I’m left with the feeling that this book, like a fair proportion of Julian Cope’s music over the last 20 years, is something of a curate’s egg, albeit a very original one.