The Antipope
June 28, 2016 5:35 AM - by Robert Rankin - Subscribe

"Outside the sun shines. Buses rumble towards Ealing Broadway and I'm expected to do battle with the powers of darkness. It all seems a little unfair..." You could say it all started with the red-eyed tramp with the slimy fingers who put the wind up Neville, the part-time barman, something rotten. Or when Archroy's wife swapped his trusty Morris Minor for five magic beans while he was out at the rubber factory. On the other hand, you could say it all started a lot earlier. Like 450 years ago,...
posted by Just this guy, y'know (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I first read Robert Rankin books when I was in my teens, and I enjoyed the very strong sense of place, in that specific routes in and around Brentford are described in some detail. When we'd drive into London I'd peer down from the M4 and imagine where it was.

It was only 20 years after (and by sheer coincidence) that I found myself living just down the round from the Flying Swan.
The pub itself was called the Bricklayers Arms, and has been turned into houses, but the owners have installed a nice metal flying swan silhouette on the outside.

The New Inn remains, but the Four Horsemen is now called the Royal Horseguards.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:01 AM on June 28, 2016

I have never heard of this comic fantasy novel! As a USian, what am I going to not get due to Britishness?*

*as an example, I wondered why there were no Welsh signs. I was in Cornwall.
posted by gregglind at 5:05 PM on June 28, 2016

There's a lot of UK pub culture which may be unfamiliar or different (depending on where you are in the US of course) but that is mostly explained.
There is some stuff on bookies and betting (horses) which you may or may not be familiar with.
Allotments? Do you have Allotments in the US?
They are plots of land owned comunally (generally by local government)
Each plot cannot exceed 40 square rods and must be used for the production of food or flowers for consumption by the plot-holder and their family.

You should read it and then come back and tell us what Britishness was puzzling.
It's an odd book, and I'm not entirely sure what category to put it in, except that it's certainly in the remit of the SSFF club.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:07 AM on June 29, 2016

Wait, you mean this isn't about cstross' blog? I read the wrong thing then.
posted by happyroach at 6:49 PM on June 29, 2016

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