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The Antipope (The Brentford Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Robert Rankin
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Burning Down George Orwell's House
Burning Down George Orwell's House
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Robert Stone describes Burning Down George Orwell's House as a "… most enjoyable, a witty, original turn … one part black comedy and one part a meditation on modern life. It is well-written and truly original." Learn more about the author, Andrew Ervin

Book Description

They say that nothing much ever happens in Brentford, the West London suburb, known mostly for nylons and a battle fought so long ago that few can even remember the date. But, when Neville the part time barman of The Flying Swan, encounters a tramp of dreadful aspect and sorry footwear, things change forever.  An ancient evil stalks the streets and terror spreads across the borough. The evil in question proves to be a demonic incarnation of the notorious Borgia Pope, Alexander the Sixth. Who seeks to establish a new Vatican in the local Seaman’s Mission and raise an army of brain-washed slaves, in a bid to conquer the world (which is often the way with super-villains).
THE ANTIPOPE is Robert Rankin’s first novel, written more than thirty years ago and hailed as a classic of Far Fetched Fiction (at least by Rankin himself, who invented the genre in the hope that he would get his own shelf in bookshops and not have to compete with other authors).
It features the adventures of Jim Pooley and John Omally, unemployed bachelors of the parish, who prefer to spend their days in the un-heroic pursuits of drinking, betting and womanizing, but find themselves drawn into a series of epic adventures.
Here too is Archroy, whose wife has sold his Morris Minor to a gypsy in return for five magic beans; Professor Slocombe, Brentford’s mystically-inclined patriarch; Soap Distant, notable mole-man and hollow-Earth enthusiast; and corner shop-keeper Norman Hartnell (who is not to be confused with the other Norman Hartnell - look him up on Wikipedia!).
Together they form a glittering cast of uniquely eccentric, lovable and fantastical characters who stride, sidle across or explode onto the pages of seven Brentford adventures (or nine, if you include THE BRIGHTONOMICON and RETROMANCER, which feature a teenage Jim Pooley) fearlessly challenging all those who threaten the suburb, saving the world from aliens, town-planners and other monsters in human form or otherwise.  
Many say that Robert Rankin is a bit like Marmite. You either love him or hate him. Or indeed cornflakes, as you might well have forgotten just how good he is.
Despite his reputation as an unrepentant Luddite (he really does still write his novels in exercise books with a biro) he has overcome his natural suspicion of 21st century technology to make his novels available to download and keep forever on your Kindle. All of his remaining early titles will be released throughout 2012 with new cover art and extra bits and bobs where possible. It is hoped that you will enjoy reading them as much as he enjoyed writing them. And if there are any typos or errors he offers his sincere apologies. He really is doing his best.


Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'Wonderful ... a heady mix of Flann O'brien, Douglas Adams, Tom Sharpe and Ken Campbell, but with an inbuilt irreverence and indelicacy that is unique - and makes it the long-awaited, heavy smoker's answer to The Lord of the Rings' - Time Out

'Wonderfully entertaining ... reads like a Flann O'brien rewrite of Close Encounters' - City Limits

About the Author

Magus to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Sprout, 12th Dan Master of Dimac, poet, adventurer, swordsman and concert pianist; big game hunter, Best dressed Man of 1933; mountaineer, lone yachtsman, Shakespearian actor and topless go-go dancer; Robert Rankin's hobbies include passive smoking, communicating with the dead and lying about his achievements. He lives in Sussex with his wife and family.

Robert Rankin is the author of Sprout Mask Replica, Nostradamus Ate My Hamster, A Dog Called Demolition, The Garden of Unearthly Delights, The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived, The Greatest Show Off Earth, Raiders of the Lost Car Park, The Book of Ultimate Truths, Armageddon The Musical, They Came and Ate Us: Armageddon II The B-Movie, The Suburban Book of the Dead: Armageddon III Tile Remake and the Brentford quartet; The Antipope, The Brentford Triangle, East of Ealing and Vie Sprouts of Wrath, which are all published by Corgi Books.

Product Details

  • File Size: 703 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Far Fetched Books (March 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,334 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ode to the drinking man August 20, 2000
If you are unacquainted with Rankin's bizarre books, this may well be a good start. It's not his best book, but it's his first. Part of the fun reading Rankin is in the repetitions: Rankin quotes himself constantly, so you won't miss any of that when you start off from here.
"The Antipope" is the first novel in the Brentford series, in which an ordinary London suburb is the scene of grotesque battles between Good and Evil. It's up to Jim Pooley and John Omally, two bums with an insatiable appetite for beer, to save the world, with the help of a mysterious professor and some other highly improbable characters. In this book, the adversary is an evil tramp posessed with formidable powers, who is about to take control of the world as the Pope of some dark new Church.
Two things distinguish Robert Rankin from other comic SF/Fantasy writers like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett: his profound knowledge of the occult, and the sheer outlandishness and pomp of his stories. Rankin calls himself a tall-tale teller and his books far-fetched fiction. Some scenes in this particular book, like the disastrous cowboy night, and the vain attempts to open a mysterious parcel, just project themselves before your eyes, as if you were watching a movie. And make you laugh aloud.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Persistently amusing. April 26, 2001
This is one of my favorite books. It's the first of the Brentford series. I find the whole series to be comfortable, likable and highly amusing. It helps to have a taste for the surreal. I found the characters to be very likable. They have the carefree attitudes of the characters from Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat or Cannery Row, but they are intelligent and educated. They are not the type one would expect to be called upon to save the world. Essentially Brentford is the world. Should any character temporarily wander out of Brentford, Brentford would still be the reference point. The pub is the core essence of this world. Nothing is really serious unless if effects the pub. To this little world comes every silly notion that ever landed on the front page of the most bizarre tabloids. The Antipope is the place to start. It's one of the best, and will introduce you to the Brentford perspective. I found after reading a few pages, I wanted to take a break and wait for the smile on my face to ease up a little before I dared to proceed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my taste October 25, 2008
About a year ago I read my first Robert Rankin book 'The Witches of Chiswick' after seeing it in the library and just being attracted to the title. I absolutely loved it. I never laughed aloud so much from reading a book. I was surprised because I am not usually into this genre. My husband read it after me and fell in love too. I then decided that I wanted to read every single book by R. Rankin.

I bought 'Anti-Pope' and neither me or my husband liked it. He gave up 1/4 through and I had to force myself to finish it.

I'm not saying it is bad... it is just not my type of thing. The story was pointless to me and not exciting at all. The writing and posh language of the characters was too surreal and the wit, puns, and silly footnotes from the author that I found in 'Witches of Chiswick' were missing completely.

I'm not giving up on R. Rankin all together, but I wouldn't recommend 'The Anti-Pope' at all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a line of fabulous tales November 26, 1999
Robert Rankin is probably the funniest writer today. This book is the first of the 'Brentford Triangle', and is a marvellous read. The story is gripping, the characters endearing, the humour is largely pub-based, and there's a whole chapter to support nothing but a fantastic pun. Brilliant.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pooley and omally- England's heroes. March 17, 2002
By Ash
I've been reading Robert Rankin for three years, and I have to say, all the books in the Brentford triangle series are classics! The sheer silliness of his stories just have you in stiches for hours, The Antipoope is a favorite for one reason only. It's a first! It starts everything off, Neville the part-time bar man, the professor, the tramp... This book starts it all and I assure you, you'll never put the book down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A romping good read March 13, 2012
By S4RG3
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first read this book way back when, and out of chronological order when I stumbled upon Robert Rankin's books in the local library. I since bought it, lost it, bought it again and then moved abroad inadvertantly leaving it behind. Bravo to Robert for self publishing this for the kindle, I can now own and read it once again, hopefully now never loosing it thus breaking tradition, an old charter or something.

Liking forward to seeing the rest of the books appearing on kindle.
(Why only 4 stars? I very rarely give 5 stars to any book)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How could I have missed reading these??? October 28, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am overjoyed to have discovered Robert Rankin! I can't believe I never read him before! I just finished the Antipope, which will be the first in months of happy reading! This is a wonderful, hilarious, gripping story of what happens when evil comes to a town in England, and the only people who can battle it are a group of perpetual drunks, and eastender stereotypes with a few odd Deus ex machina (dei ex machinis??) thrown in for fun. These people were somehow very endearing. The villain, a Borgia no less, is so bad, with his evil little minions, that we are aghast as the onslaught against truth, justice, and human decency is waged.

To be 100% honest, when I first started reading, I thought I understood why I had a problem finding the books. They didn't seem to me like they would work well here in the USA. The humor seemed very, very British, and lots of phrases could only be understood in context (and here I thought we all spoke the same language!). Also, there is the fact that a few terms are terribly offensive to USA folks (some rude terms for Italians, for example). And, finally, we tend to find so much drinking as symptomatic of disease, not fine fun.

Having said all that, by page 50 I was swept away. I LOVED this book! I LOVE the characters! I can hardly wait to read the next on the list!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Just the right amount of silly.
Great fun, silly and clever and just a good romp all around.
Published 8 months ago by T. Willitts
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Writing, But the Story Meanders
Robert Rankin's writing in "The Antipope" is good in most senses. But, unfortunately, there are three aspects to it which keep me from considering the whole book to be good. Read more
Published 11 months ago by David A. Lessnau
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
I read my first Robert Rankin in paper format quite a few years ago, and I have to insist that he's one of the great humorous authors of all time. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jo Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny but...
I enjoy Rankin a lot, and had always wanted to read the Brentford Trilogy so i picked this up from the lending library. Read more
Published 20 months ago by NathanC
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange but entertaining.
Loved the characters who were like eccentric old friends by the end of the book. As entertaining as a bucket of eels. Keith R
Published 23 months ago by Keith Rouxel
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
Not up to Rankin's normal excellent standard but still quite funny in places. I found it a little confusing in places but perhaps that is because I do my reading in bed - before I... Read more
Published on April 19, 2013 by chevin
5.0 out of 5 stars Wordcraft at its best
Rankin crafts words with the skill of Woodhouse and acid wit of Sharpe. Dated but quaintly wonderful and a ribald roller coaster ride.
Published on March 11, 2013 by Jimbo-wiki
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated (in the US, at least) British humorist (or humourist, as...
Some years ago, I loaned my physical copy of "The Antipope" to a friend. He was a longtime member of a local Doctor Who fan club, loved Red Dwarf, Blackadder, and all... Read more
Published on January 11, 2013 by B. McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars robert rankin is a rare find
there are not many authors i would describe as "genuinely funny", but rankin is in my top two with douglas adams. a fantastic english writer.
Published on January 10, 2013 by Lucas Thorn
5.0 out of 5 stars This absolutely Rocks !
I have never enjoyed a book like this before. Subtlety combined with outrageous humour. Talk about piss myself !! And it was free !
Published on January 9, 2013 by Gavan Boucher
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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

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