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on November 5, 2000
This is Robert Rankin's eighth novel, the first of a new series. It introduces some endearing characters: the wild-haired seventeen-year-old Cornelius Murphy, and his dwarf-like companion Tuppe.
A typical Rankin plot: Cornelius and Tuppe are on an epic quest to retrieve the suppressed chapters of The Book of Ultimate Truths, and to keep them out of evil hands. Hugo Rune, the author of the book in the book, appeared in earlier Rankin novels, but now his outlandish ideas get the full attention they deserve: about the secret life of Gandhi and H.G. Wells, about the strange behavior of biros and small scews, stories that make you laugh aloud.
This was the first book I read from Robert Rankin, and at times I wondered if this guy needed to see a doctor. I read it again recently, after having read all his other books, and I found out that I had missed a lot of jokes during the first reading. The more you read these books, the better they get.
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on May 1, 2003
First of all, I don't understand why this guy isn't that popular (at least in the USA)! His sense of humour is unlike anything you would have ever read in your life. Laced with witty humour, brilliant use of words and insane ideas, his plots keep getting better and better with successive novels. However, this one remains a classic to the very end. Its about Hugo Rune and all his crazy theories about life (well, at least the life of a screw!). I sometimes wonder how this guy's mind works...I mean, first of all, his plot is incredibly complicated, on top of that, its situational comedy to the very best (forget those stupid sitcoms after reading least I have)
Read this one and expand your mind! And the ending of this book is...well, MINDBLOWING!
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on December 16, 1998
References to Douglas Adams aside (no, it's nothing like the Hitchhiker's Guide), this book is absolutely hilarious. It's one of the few books I've ever read that's been able to make me laugh out loud so often. Rankin's bizarre and somewhat halucinatory style is guaranteed to catch you off guard. The endorsements on the back include Terry Pratchett saying that Rankin is one of the few authors that can consistently make him laugh. What better reason do you need?
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on November 7, 1998
There is a fine line between genius and madness and I'm still not sure which side of it Rankin walks. His main characters Cornelius Murphy and the diminutive Tuppe are simply surreal. After reading this I went out and bought all his other books and I have not been dissapointed yet.
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on April 17, 2013
I liked the book but it is probably not for all readers. I downloaded it by accident recently as it was first published in 1993. It is of a peculiar style of British humor, a bit like Monty Python, in that is it is silly and absurd. If it does appeal to you then get it. I intend to try all his other titles.
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on January 31, 2016
This is a very funny book. At times it will have you laughing out loud, at times chuckling, at times scratching your head, wondering what you missed - and then realizing that you didn't miss anything - the author is just insanely random. This is not a bad thing of course, as, in fiction like this, a certain amount of insanity is required... but... A certain amount of sanity is also required, and Rankin struggles to make the humor last much longer than a page. Very little of so much potent material spans the book well. The tiny screws and pens of course are the bright points, and the execution of Hugo's 'wisdom' was well enough done to keep the story readable, but it's very frustrating to see so much other material go to waste.

Douglas Adams earns five stars in this category, and Adams this is not. This is the Jedi Knight's effort as compared to the Master's. How very unfortunate that the Master is dead. While Rankin is far far better than the average (... as if there are enough authors out there who embark upon this kind of venture to make a statistically significant 'average'...), his storytelling is not nearly as masterful, but well worth the time and money to read it, especially given the lack of contemporary authors capable of anything meaningful in this genre.
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on May 10, 2001
I read this book once and laughed out loud. I read this book twice and had a giggly fit. I lent it to my Grandma and she didn't give it back.
Robert Rankin is a master wordsman and his books never fail to deliver. The Book of Ultimate Truths is mentioned in other books of his, and Hugo Rune is in every book. This is truly wonderful - the extracts from TBOUT are really clever and makes me wish that I'd realised that first. An extremely funny book (in case you hadn't gotten the message by now) that EVERYONE should read.
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on June 4, 2012
If you've read any Robert Rankin, you don't really need this review.
I enjoyed the Cornelius and Tuppe series, and it is nice to seem them available for the Kindle. I got this as a free download, but will cough up the money for the next two in the series.
It's a very English humour, populated by caricatures.
I've linked to the reviews of the 'physical' version.
 The Book of Ultimate Truths
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on October 10, 2012
A good surreal tale of a young man's epic adventure. This novel centers around the character of Hugo Rune who plays a large role without ever appearing in person (or does he?) in the narrative. Murphy and Tuppe are delightful characters but lack the charm and witticism of Jim Pooley and John Omalley in the Brentford series. Probably not amongst the strongest of Rankin's outings but quite enjoyable nonetheless.
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on March 10, 1997
If you like Douglas Adams you'll probably like Robert Rankin because his anarchic, surreal humour matches the Hitch-Hikers style very well.

Follow the hero (Cornelius Murphy) and his sidekick (Tuppe) as they search for the missing chapters of the Book Of Ultimate Truths. You'll meet an Uncanny Scot, a strange lady in a straw hat, some dubious monks and numerous other delightfully bizarre characters.

The plot moves swiftly and the jokes come thick and fast with every turn of the page. I highly recommend this book, but I've only scored it 8 out of 10 due to the slightly narrow nature of the humour.
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