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British humorist Rankin's latest journey into absurdity manages, sometimes in spite of itself, to be a entertaining read. Teen narrator Tyler spends the 1960s alternating between playing glam rock with his band, the Sumerian Kynges, who signed a fame-and-fortune contract in blood with the mysterious Mr. Ishmael, and working as a private detective. His adventures eventually lead to encounters with "the Spirit of the Nineteen-Sixties," the Rolling Stones and the evil Papa Keith Crossbar. Frequent Rankin readers will recognize '50s private eye Lazlo Woodbine and the secret Ministry of Serendipity (last seen in The Brightonomicon) as well as plot twists involving time travel and parallel worlds. The narrative occasionally gets muddled-notably during the mid-book scenes with Elvis and the hurried denouement-but fans of Rankin's zany style will find more than enough humor to outweigh their quibbles. (Dec.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.