Robert Rankin, Author . Corgi $11 (288p) ISBN 978-0-552-14742-2

Stuff and nonsense reign supreme as Lazlo Woodbine and Barry—the faithful Holy Guardian Sprout that lives inside Woodbine's head—are called upon to solve "The greatest case that ever was": Who Killed God? Was it His wife, Eartha, or one of His children—Jesus, Colin or Christene? Rankin (Snuff Fiction, etc.), an outrageous British humorist often compared to Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, strikes a singular chord in this winsome tour-de-farce. Using a slippery stream-of-consciousness narrative style, Rankin parodies everything from current British and American culture to 1950s private-eye novels. Woodbine is a "lone-walking, smart-talking, pistol-packing" London PI who reluctantly teams up with his brother, Icarus Smith, and a midget named Johnny Boy to uncover a sinister plot devised by demons who aim to take over the world. In the process, the three men bust up a brainwashing operation run by the Ministry of Serendipity, converse with Jesus and engage in multiple car chases. This madcap spoof is more charming than sacrilegious, and fans of SF, mysteries and Monty Python will be heartily entertained. (Aug.)

Forecast:An electric cover featuring one of Rankin's own sculptures—a teacup swathed in red leather, skimpy lace and a black boa—will stop readers in their tracks as they peruse the shelves.

Reviewed on: 06/25/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
Hardcover - 264 pages - 978-0-385-60057-6
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