Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.39
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail: Can a Punk Rock Legend Find What Monty Python Couldn't? Paperback – June 28, 2005


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, June 28, 2005
$138.60 $55.92
Best%20Books%20of%202014
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (June 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560256788
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560256786
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–A semi-retired rock-music critic in the midst of a midlife crisis, Dawes moved into a new home in the quiet suburbs of Brentford, England and discovered that one of his neighbors was Rat Scabies, drummer for the uber-important punk band The Damned. The two began to bond over afternoon tea and trips to the local pub, discussing everything from neighborhood gossip to music. As he got to know Scabies better, Dawes learned that the man was obsessed with a story of conspiracy and treasure that began in 19th-century France, in the town of Rennes-le-Château. The local priest suddenly transformed from a man of limited means into a multimillionaire. The general theory was that he had stumbled onto a fabulous treasure that may or may not have included the Holy Grail. Dawes didn't believe the tale at first, but with nothing better to do he dove into the odd books, videos, and Web sites trying to explain the source of the riches. The memoir turns into a combination travel narrative and buddy book, taking the men across Europe as they investigated different sites, uncovered clues, and attended bizarre conventions populated with occultists, psychics, and members of esoteric societies. But in the end, the book is really about a friendship, how it was built on a mutual obsession, and how the men finally moved on. Witty, funny, and often downright off-the-wall, this book contains just enough heart to make it a real reading pleasure.–Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

English music journalist Dawes, who has interviewed everyone from Nirvana and New Order to Guns n' Roses and NWA, also lived across the street from former Damned drummer Rat Scabies, considered the best punk-rocker this side of Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious, who guarantees that this quirky account, salted with Monty Pythonesque antics, is not your typical travelogue. Because of Scabies, Dawes was drawn into a wild search for the Holy Grail, the mystery of which apparently centers around a remote French village in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Like all serious Grail hunters, Scabies compiled a list of things to do, including boning up on historical research and attending appropriate meetings. Lacking anything better to do and in the throes of a low-level midlife crisis, Dawes tagged along. Despite its rather off-putting title (which punk rockers of all stripes will unconditionally love), the resulting picturesque picaresque is rather sweet. Dawes has a droll humor and a winning style that make the book bounce along nicely. Very weird and goofy and quite irresistible. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
3
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 10 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joseph F. Pauswinski on July 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
You can classify this book many ways: road trip story; buddy book; coming of age tale; psychic mystery; historical quest; hysterical slice of life. Whichever you seek, you will find it within these pages.

But how can that be true? Did Christopher Dawes set out to wrap all of these genres into one? Or is he just an excellent story teller, recounting his life in a small British town, where he is suddenly drawn into a fantastic treasure hunt across Europe by the kind of person we would all love as both a neighbor and a friend?

What do you like in your books? Is it a good mystery, unsolved over centuries? How about unforgettable characters who pop up when you least expect them? Care for car crashes and attacks by killer bees? And do you like laughing out loud while you read?

The author's greatest gift is his ability to see the events that unfold before him with a clarity that most of us lost when we were children. He describes people, places, and events in a way which gives the reader a chance to evaluate everything without the author's manipulation. Although the tale is sometimes earthy, it never loses its innocence.

The book was a page-turner where I laughed at each new event and welcomed each new comrade on the journey. I really felt the friendship that was discovered during the trip.

And I even learned some history about the Holy Grail along the way!

We could all use a neighbor like Rat Scabies. We could also use a friend like Christopher Dawes. You will enjoy their adventures. And you will regret when the book comes to an end.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Smith on November 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Holy Blood Holy Grail" - and this one.

The first because - despite the fact that other books on the subject preceeded it - it's the one that really put the subject on the map. And Dawes' book because it's the only one I've read that really seems to pick up where the first one leaves off, with a very entertaining and comical, yet touchingly personal, spin. Is there anything to the mystery after all? Who knows? But with a book like this, the quest is just as beguiling a read as any blockbuster revelation could be.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Traylen on February 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
What happens when a journolist and a punk rock legend go off to find the Holy Grail? Well read this to find out. An hilarious account of adventuring in the misty world that most people have only heard of due to The DaVinci Code. A good travel book and mystery book. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Cummins on June 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is awesome! I've read it three times already...It just doesn't get old. I originally got it because I'm a fan of The Damned. Any fan of The Damned, the DaVinci Code, the esoteric, or anybody who just wants a laugh-out-loud read should buy this!

Funny as hell, interesting, mysterious, spooky, and, oh yeah, funny as hell!! Great book!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By illnoise on November 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
The title really says it all, it's a great buddy/travel/paranormal book for cynical jerks who hate buddy, travel, and paranormal books. It's a real-life story about the famous punk rock drummer and a rock journalist attempting to solve a mystery along the lines of the DaVinci Code, but fear not, it's written for people who wouldn't read the DaVinci code in a million years.

My favorite line (paraphrased) comes on a bus tour of "Rennies" (believers of the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery) and the author notes that Rat Scabies is the *least* odd person on the bus. That's saying something. It's really sort of a true-believer story, the author does a great job of debunking the legends even as he accepts them as truth, and of gently (maybe even subconsciously) mocking other "Rennies" even as he shows honest affection and camaraderie. He's never mean, and the friendly tone makes the story enjoyable even for someone who doesn't buy the legend at all.

A less abrupt and vague ending would have won it 5 stars, though I dont' have any suggestions, ha! I obviously didn't expect they found it, (you'd think we would have heard about that) and the ending's actually better than I expected, but still just not as conclusive or poignant as it could have been.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again