The Witches of Chiswick

( 4 )

Overview

We have all been lied to—a great and sinister conspiracy exists to keep us from uncovering the truth about our past. Have you ever wondered how Victorians like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells dreamed up all that fantastic futuristic fiction? Did it ever occur to you that it might have been based upon fact? That War of The Worlds was a true account of real events? That Captain Nemo’s Nautilus even now lies rusting at the bottom of the North Sea? And what about the other stuff? Did you know, for instance, that Jack the ...

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The Witches of Chiswick

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Overview

We have all been lied to—a great and sinister conspiracy exists to keep us from uncovering the truth about our past. Have you ever wondered how Victorians like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells dreamed up all that fantastic futuristic fiction? Did it ever occur to you that it might have been based upon fact? That War of The Worlds was a true account of real events? That Captain Nemo’s Nautilus even now lies rusting at the bottom of the North Sea? And what about the other stuff? Did you know, for instance, that Jack the Ripper was a terminator robot sent from the future? In this book, learn how a cabal of Victorian Witches from the Chiswick Townswomen’s Guild, working with advanced Babbage super computers, rewrote 19th-century history, and how a 21st-century boy called Billy Starling uncovered the truth about everything.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Will Starling saves the world from itself, if he can survive all the puns. Rankin, a cult mini-industry across the pond but still a big old nothing on these shores, has saved the critics here a good pile of work since, as he has one of his confused characters say, "If this were a book or a movie, the critics would tear it to pieces, saying that the hero was two-dimensional and the entire sorry business unconvincing and totally plot-led." Precisely. But that doesn't mean it couldn't have been a spot of good fun. What's not to like about a futuristic novel in which nervous guy Will, who works at the Tate Gallery, discovers on close examination of a Victorian painting that one of the figures in it is wearing a digital watch? It seems that there was an entire alternate history in which the Victorians had made all sorts of technological leaps, allowing the British Empire to rule pretty much anywhere it wanted to, only to have that history erased in the year 1900 and replaced with the boring dregs left to us. The whole thing is due to a conspiracy, of course, something to do with a cabal of witches, H.G. Wells (mostly invisible), Jack the Ripper, and a talking sprout named Barry that implants itself in Will's skull but is always sleeping when he needs help. In a desperate attempt to keep things interesting, seeming at times like a smart-alecky kid telling a nonstop stream of terrible jokes at the grownup party he just crashed, Rankin throws in some Terminator-style killer robots and more horrible puns and alliteration than should ever be attempted by mortal man. It seems like mere carping to complain that a book of this sort could have been enjoyable had it not tried so darn hard-Rankinobviously revels in his kitchen-sink approach-but that's the case nonetheless. Attention-deficit SF humor: like Douglas Adams on a sugar high.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780575085442
  • Publisher: Gollancz, Victor Limited
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 410
  • Product dimensions: 7.78 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Rankin is the author of The Brightnomicon, The Da-Da-De-Da-Da Code, Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse, Knees Up Mother Earth, Necrophenia, and The Toyminator.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2010

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    Posted February 14, 2010

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    Posted October 9, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2009

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