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The Witches of Chiswick
     

The Witches of Chiswick

4.0 4
by Robert Rankin
 

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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 dreamed up all that fantastic futuristic fiction? Did it ever occur to you that it might just have been based upon fact? That THE WAR OF THE WORLDS was a true account of real events? That Captain Nemo' s

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 dreamed up all that fantastic futuristic fiction? Did it ever occur to you that it might just have been based upon fact? That THE 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? That there really was an invisible man?

And what about the other stuff? Did you know that Queen Victoria had a sexual relationship with Dr Watson? Or that the elephant man was a product of an E.T./human hybridisation programme? Or that Jack the Ripper was a terminator robot sent from the future?

Read on: and 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 23rd Century boy called Will Starling uncovered the truth about everything.

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.
From the Publisher
It's easy to see why Rankin has a huge cult following. Drawing on a rich vein of English humour that encompasses Python, Adams and Stanshall, his comedy-fantasies are filled with pop culture references, music hall wordplay and ironic quips galore—BBC FOCUS

When an author is enjoying himself this much you can't help but go along for the ride and what a ride it is! I couldn't stop laughing the whole way through—GRAEME'S FANTASY BOOK REVIEW

Simultaneously funny, silly, clever, linguistically deft and sometimes very childish. A fine slab of silliness—BOOK GEEKS

One of the rare guys who can always make me laugh—Terry Pratchett

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780575088221
Publisher:
Orion Publishing Group, Limited
Publication date:
06/16/2011
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,087,791
File size:
830 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Robert Rankin is an unrepentant Luddite who writes his bestselling novels by hand in exercise books. He is the author of THE HOLLOW CHOCOLATE BUNNIES OF THE APOCALYPSE, THE WITCHES OF CHISWICK, THE BRENTFORD TRILOGY (5 books), THE ARMAGEDDON QUARTET (3 books) and many more.

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