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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Witches of Chiswick by Robert Rankin

The Witches of Chiswick

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.

Well, what to say about this rather strange novel.  It has the most ludicrous, unbelievable and strange story of anything I have ever read but, bizarrely, it was a rather enjoyable and compelling read.  It should have been very hard to follow, what with everyone time travelling all over the place and meeting other versions of themselves from different futures and pasts but it actually flowed very well and even my simple mind managed to keep all the characters (and multiples thereof) in some 'semblence of order. 

One of my sayings is "that history is written by the victors" and this book, in some ways, adds fuel to my fire of conspiracy theories that do we really know the truth from history or just one persons account of it! 

The jokes peppered throughout this book were groaningly corny at all times but did make me chuckle out loud on several occasions.  The author managed to fit a lot of literary quotes, historical events, historical characters and the corny jokes quite well into the story.  Not a book for everyone but I am finding it difficult to suggest who would like it or not.  One to read if you already have it but I wouldn't suggest that you rush out to acquire it especially.  A good book to read between heavier tomes if you want something that gives you some thought but is very tongue in cheek.

I was hooked in trying to see where it ended as there were so many loose ends to tie up and I was keen to see how the author handled it.  I was slightly disappointed in the ending but it seems, by his own words, that the author may be writing more books linking on from this story and I suppose they will tie up the loose ends.  This left me rather frustrated and I really was not wanting to read another story like this one in the near future but feel I should seek it out now to finish the story - clever marketing ploy!!!

Anyway, 3 out of 5, although nearly a 4.


  1. Never heard of this Hazel, sounds good though - thanks for the review

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

    1. I had never heard of it either until I found it on my bookshelf and had no idea how it got there but don't you just love it when that happens and you enjoy the book. Xx