I kept pumping into this book repeatedly. After chatting with someone on Reddit, telling me to give another chance for Robert Rankin that the Brentford series is good, I picked up the book and sat down to read.
The concept of the story is great. I like the idea of the bad pope coming back with sinister plans. But the story itself was messy. I had for over a hundred pages hard to differentiate the characters from each other or even understand how everything fit together. For the first half, I thought Neville, the part-time barman would somehow be the central character as he opened the story and had a more solid narrative, but I was wrong. Farther towards the ending the book got clearer the idea came, and it was easier to follow, but my heart wasn’t in it. The characters were interesting, but they never lived up to their full potential and were not given a solid narrative.
I’m not sure if I smiled or smirked once while I read this book, but I think I’m not a target demographic for the wisecracking done. I’m someone who has never hung out in pubs or bars or anywhere near alcohol. And I think that is the problem. This is the side of life I am unfamiliar and couldn’t jump straight into.
All that said. There was something interesting about the way Rankin told the story. It was gritty, dark, original, and downright rude, and I’m glad I read it, but I’m not sure if I will read the second for the series.
Thank you for reading!
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