Orgy of Begrem


Necrophenia, by Robert Rankin – From the Goodreads reviews, this doesn’t appear to be one of Rankin’s more popular books. I liked it, but it is kind of all over the place, which is not unusual with his more recent work. He returns to some familiar themes and characters: an embodiment of evil wanting to cause the end of the world, Elvis playing a significant role, fifties genre detective Lazlo Woodbine showing up, and the main character frequently being knocked unconscious (here, it sometimes happens for decades at a time). In addition to Elvis, we see the Rolling Stones’ unrecorded first gig (they played ukuleles at the school dance), and the protagonist comes across a subterranean city where the inhabitants worship George Formby. The story is basically a stand-alone, without even referencing Elvis’ previous appearances in the Armageddon Trilogy. Laz does refer to the events of Waiting for Godalming, which is kind of odd as he’s currently in 1967, and Godalming appears to take place around when it was written (it was published in 2000). I would imagine Rankin purposely does this kind of thing to screw with people who are familiar with his previous works. Besides, as more of an embodiment/parody of a particular genre archetype than just a person, Laz frequently displays supernatural abilities, and maybe remembering the future is one of those. There are also a few mentions of Count Otto Black, although he doesn’t appear. I do have to say that, for all the buildup about the walking dead, they don’t really figure into the plot that much. There is an explanation at the end for why a guy determined to wipe out all life on Earth would bring the dead BACK to life, but the zombies themselves are mostly just used for quick gags. Still, when you get a group of zombies disguised as transsexuals stealing guitars and amplifiers, you know you’re dealing with a bizarrely creative mind. The tale of the mad alchemist who turns himself into gold is another amusing aside that never really goes anywhere. Overall, it may not be one of Rankin’s best, but it’s quite funny in his Far-Fetched Fiction manner.

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1 Response to Orgy of Begrem

  1. Pingback: I Get Lots More Pleasure When I’m Playin’ with Me Uke | VoVatia

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