Book Review – The Dance of the Voodoo Handbag by Robert Rankin (Kindle Edition)
This novel is a first person account with the author (or someone of the same name) as the main character. It also includes Voodoo gods, a Guardian Sprout (like an angel only vegetable based), and a madman bent on taking over the world. It is the second book in the “Completely Barking Mad” Trilogy, preceded by Sprout Mask Replica, and followed by Waiting for Godalming.
It’s hard to pick a genre for this book, let alone summarize the plot, but I’ll give both a try. For genre, I’d label it ‘comic science fantasy.’ It’s certainly funny. None of the characters comes within shouting distance of ‘sane,’ but it also includes a little light philosophical messing-with-your-head stuff and a few pokes at contemporary culture, which take it a step above pure slapstick. It has some high-tech virtual reality elements (Sci-Fi), as well as supernatural entities (fantasy). The plot, such as one exists, centers around an insane fellow who adopts different personalities to suit the occasion (and has a voice in his head named Barry) trying to stop a less obvious but far more dangerous lunatic from subjugating humanity — or something like that. This is Rankin. It’s not really supposed to make a lot of sense.
What it lacks in plot and character development, it compensates for with pure zany antics, complete with a classic cartoon scene climax with a dropping piano and dynamite in the trousers. It reminded me of the movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Yeah, it’s juvenile, but it’s funny!
I’ll recommend this book simply because it’s fun, and fun is good.