The Brightonomicon

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Reviewed by James Bacon.

As most of you know, or will shortly learn, I am a discerning reader of Roberts books. They are not always to my liking, sometimes I can’t get into them, and then again, I still rate some of his books in my Top five ever. So I don’t usually write about them. 

Well I said that about Witches of Chiswick, and here again, I must put pen to paper, and make it known how much I enjoyed The Brightonomicon. 

This book is Brilliant. Its really a great fucking read.  

This book is not a Brentford book, no, not at all. BUT Attention, I say, ACHTUNG ACHTUNG;  Brentford, Swindon, Ankh-Morpork and Dalkey, prepare to welcome Brighton with a thunderous bound to the elite status of Cult Literary town. 

I know I will feel that extra special way, as soon as I get off the Train, in Brighton, that special twingley effect that shoots up my back, makes my hair stand on my neck, and just feels like I am arriving to somewhere not home, but just as good. * 

The fluidity of the book  is something shocking, the sorrow and disappointment that I felt when I had finished the book is something I usually reserve only for Brentford books. I had it finished within two days, and might have been one, but for, well. 

There is a literary formula used throughout the book, as our stars Hugo Rune and the young acolyte once known as Jim Pooley head out to solve the twelve cases of the Brightonomicon. Each chapter has a map, and of course a badge, mostly. This formula, makes one feel comfortable, but the laughs at the outrageous surreal goonery are always a surprise. The use of Language to tremendous effect, will either have you reaching for your sides, or perhaps at least your dictionary first. 

The running gags, are there, of course, there is talking toot, and there is quite a bit more, what I was a bit surprised at was how I could find something that was expected to be quite so hilarious, but then Robert actually provides a new joke each time within a given framework. So much laughter. 

I came to have a proof, and a Draft, of the book, last weekend when my girlfriend Simoné was over. I had the weekend off, so we said we’d read the book together. We were in bed a fair old bit, and we read, and pointed out gags, and I repeated lines that I thought were hilarious, and we only stopped reading, occasionally. 

When we ate, we had the books near, we went to a number of interesting pubs, and we had drinks, and we also read. We relaxed, and laughed, and read, occasionally ate, drank, and we’d read more and then we’d stop occasionally, but not in the pub.  

It’s a great read, its defiantly a classic, and begs for further works to be written about Brighton, not that the story isn’t finished, but I just want another, the same way I want another Brentford Triangle, its just not fair. Christ, I think this book might actually turn me into a raving sycophant. ** 

* The Brentford Effect     ** Ok, maybe not.