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The Witches of Chiswick Hardcover – August 1, 2003
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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More About the Author
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 Brentford Triangle
East of Ealing
The Sprouts of Wrath
The Brentford Chainstore Massacre
Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls
Knees Up Mother Earth
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
Eddie Bear Novels:
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
The Greatest Show Off Earth
The Garden of Unearthly Delights
A Dog Called Demolition
Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
Web Site Story
The Fandom of the Operator
The Da-da-de-da-da Code
Top Customer Reviews
It begins in a future (note: not THE future) with museum-worker Will discovering an odd discrepancy in a Victorian painting. I dare go no further in describing the plot, but it's hilarious, exciting, inventive, unexpected, and fresher than a new coat of apple-green paint. I loved it.
Warning: I was very distressed early on over a plotpoint (you'll know what I mean), but don't let it stop you--in this book, plotpoints are made to be broken ... it is about time travel, after all.
This is a sparkling, marvellous book. It's only my second Rankin (I read Hollow Chocolate Bunnies first) so I come to him with a neophyte's enthusiasm that will hopefully remain undimmed with time.
Note: a 3 star ranking from me is actually pretty good; I reserve 4 stars for tremendously good works, and 5 only for the rare few that are or ought to be classic; unfortunately most books published are 2 or less.
The author makes a number of references like this (characters refer to things that `happened in earlier chapters' or point out continuity problems in the story). The author is essentially winking at the reader, as if to say "We both know this is all pretty silly."
The plot here is absurd, convoluted, and seems not to have been entirely thought out. The pleasure in the novel comes, not from a plot that really doesn't make much sense, but rather from the writing itself. Rankin has a writing style that demands to be read out loud (if not actually spoken, at least read out loud in one's own head.)
The entire novel has an amusing tone but I can't say that anyone ever caught me laughing out loud while I read it. It did have me smiling most of the way though. This is a novel that features a boy who was raised by snails (they call him Snail Boy of course), talking vegetables that you insert in your ear, and a cabal of pinch-faced witches who fancy quilting and world domination. The novel portrays John Merrick (the Elephant Man) as an oversexed alien human hybrid spy, Queen Victoria (God Bless Her) as a party girl who parades around in diaphanous outfits wearing nothing else but high heeled clogs, Oscar Wilde as a `ladies man', and HG Wells as an invisible (literally), obnoxious and frustrated scientist.
The Witches of Chiswick is amusing enough* but lacks the big laughs needed to inspire a `four star' rating.Read more ›
One of my sayings is "that history is written by the victors" and this book, in some ways, adds fuel to my fire of conspiracy theories that do we really know the truth from history or just one persons account of it!
The jokes peppered throughout this book were groaningly corny at all times but did make me chuckle out loud on several occasions. The author managed to fit a lot of literary quotes, historical events, historical characters and the corny jokes quite well into the story. Not a book for everyone but I am finding it difficult to suggest who would like it or not. One to read if you already have it but I wouldn't suggest that you rush out to acquire it especially. A good book to read between heavier tomes if you want something that gives you some thought but is very tongue in cheek.
I was hooked in trying to see where it ended as there were so many loose ends to tie up and I was keen to see how the author handled it. I was slightly disappointed in the ending but it seems, by his own words, that the author may be writing more books linking on from this story and I suppose they will tie up the loose ends. This left me rather frustrated and I really was not wanting to read another story like this one in the near future but feel I should seek it out now to finish the story - clever marketing ploy!!!
Anyway, 3 out of 5, although nearly a 4.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of my favorite books, and an excellent introduction to Robert Rankin's far-fetched fantastic fiction.Published 16 months ago by Julia James
This book is super quirky fun! An interesting read, not a typical plain mainstream boring read! LOVED IT! It's a must read!Published on November 15, 2013 by Kat
...you'll like Robert Rankin. This is the first book I've read and it's Brit wackiness at its best. I'm hoping that his other books are as good.Published on May 22, 2013 by Home Theater Buff
This is not one of Rankin's best, but it's typical of his style. It's a crazy mix of characters, some fictious, some historical, from all different time periods, thrown together... Read morePublished on April 11, 2012 by Kevin J. Hooke
Full of plot holes, rambling, some good ideas but they were not developed properly, or in some cases just completely forgotten. Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by mcderms
I won't bore you with a synposis of the book. This is the 3rd Rankin book I have listened to. Robert Rankin does a wonderful job of performing his book; his reading is as... Read morePublished on January 31, 2011 by adnaper
If the persistent rumor that Alice in Wonderland was written by Lewis Carroll high on LSD is plausible, then it's very likely that Rankin wrote Witches while on crack cocaine. Read morePublished on December 4, 2009 by GoodRead65
I won't re-hash what others have already said. This book is about time travel but Rankin gets caught up in the time travel paradox and I guess he's trying to be clever but it... Read morePublished on September 15, 2009 by Brian Faulkner
I love love love Robert Rankin. This was one of my favorites. Read anything of his you can get your hands on. He is very hard to find in the states.Published on December 13, 2007 by P. Lebeau