They Came And Ate Us...

Posted on April 22, 2004

… and we definitely didn’t like it. Well, I didn’t anyway.

So far I liked most of what I’ve read from Robert Rankin.

I am reading the books in (mostly) chronological order as laid down in the author’s biography.

The 5 books of the “Blessed Trilogy” (5 books in a trilogy, that’s why it is blessed, it has to be a miracle) were rather good, especially considering they were (almost all of them) the first books written by the author. The last one -“The Brentford Chainstore Massacre”- is the least interesting one but it is not all bad nonetheless.

Then came “Armageddon: The Musical” which, despite having a good premise as a starting point didn’t quite make the mark. But that’s OK, sometimes you get some books which are weaker in a series and it is to be expected, you can’t keep a good run forever, etc., etc.

But then it was time to read “They Came And Ate Us - Armageddon II: The B Movie” and man, did it go downhill!

Granted, the man is no Terry Pratchett and we can’t expect the same kind of “endurance” from him. Even the genre is different, but come on, you just can’t call yourself a comic genius and expect to get away with everything you throw at us based on that!

The book started out OK and went along great until roughly the middle where it started to go downhill.
But this one went a lot lower than the previous one did.
There is a more or less clear point where the author simply looses control over the plot and the characters and tries to get away with it by pretending he just wanted to turn it to some nonsensical joke.

Well, guess what: not everyone is a John Cleese and even he couldn’t get away with some of the stuff he created sometimes…

It’s really sad to see such a promising concept die because of a lack of inspiration or whatever happened there.
The ending (and I’m being generous here, the decline starts well before the ending) doesn’t have a shred of logic and the worst is that it isn’t even funny. It looks like something that was hammered together in 30 minutes just to meet the stinking deadline and let the author get on with his life.

I’m disappointed. Very much so. And I still have “The Suburban Book Of The Dead - Armageddon III: The Remake” on my queue. If it turns out to be as bad as this one I might just give up on Rankin. Which would be a shame, but there you have it, I just feel awful to be taking the (precious) time to read this over things like Quicksilver, just to name an example.