The Brightonomicon

The Brightonomicon is a novel by British fantasy author Robert Rankin. The title parodies that of the fictional grimoire Necronomicon from the Cthulhu Mythos. The author lives in Brighton, England, and the book is set in an accurate fictional depiction of the town. The book is based on "The Brighton Zodiac", a map consisting of carriageway constellations found in the city of Brighton and Hove, similar to the purported landscape zodiacs of Glastonbury and Kingston. The 2010 edition features a new cover design and internal illustrations by Rankin himself, who studied at the Ealing School of Art and worked briefly as an illustrator in the 1970s.

The Brightonomicon
Robert Rankin - The Brightonomicon.jpg
AuthorRobert Rankin
IllustratorRobert Rankin
Cover artistRobert Rankin
CountryGreat Britain
SeriesThe Brentford Trilogy
GenreFantasy novel
PublisherVictor Gollancz Ltd
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages404 pp (paperback edition)
ISBN0-575-07773-5 (paperback edition)
Preceded byKnees Up Mother Earth 


The novel is set in Brighton, and concerns the grand high magus Hugo Rune (AKA The Reinventor of the Ocarina, the Mumbo Gumshoe, the Hokus Bloke, the Cosmic Dick, the Guru's Guru, the Perfect Master, the Lad Himself) and his quest to solve the mystery of the Brighton zodiac, with the aid of his amnesia-struck assistant, Rizla (revealed at the conclusion of the novel to be Jim Pooley of The Brentford Trilogy). They are opposed in the novel by Rune's arch foe, the evil Count Otto Black.

The following cases are featured:-

Case Description Connection
The Hound of the Hangletons Hugo Rune and the amnesiac Rizla are hired to investigate a strange lost dog, and Rune reveals to Rizla the secret of the Chronovision, a television that allows the user to witness any event in history The lost dog of the original case
The Curious Case of the Centenary Centaur While attending a lecture on the size of the universe with Hugo Rune, Rizla is captured by a group of demented doctors seeking to dissect him for organ transplants, and a centaur is unleashed A centaur appears from a fairy mound
The Monstrous Mystery of the Moulsecoomb Crab A conversation with a bog troll about his dead brother leads to Rizla and Rune learning of a terrible plot by the Secret Government to bring down the Royal Family with the aid of a group of space crabs The crabs originate from a distant nebula
The Lark of the Lansdowne Lioness When a statue of Queen Victoria begins to cry tears of real Earl Grey Tea, Rune alone knows that a nightmare from the past is about to be unleashed The 'Lioness' is Queen Victoria, who according to Rune was the reincarnation of King Richard the Lionheart
The Curious Case of the Woodingdean Chameleon With Rune away on business, it is up to Rizla to avert an assassination attempt at a game of croquet while posing as fictional private detective Lazlo Woodbine Rizla initially believes that the case refers to Count Otto Black in disguise at the Withdean Stadium- identified as 'Woodingdean' by a barman by accident-, but Rune later claims that it referred to him (Continuing the running gag of Lazlo Woodbine's name being mispronounced)
The Scintillating Story of the Sackville Scavenger Attending the opening of a nudist theme restaurant with Rune (All other Brighton restaurants no longer accepting Rune's presence), Rizla is shocked to witness a group of dead rock stars dining with them The scavenger is Robert Johnson, who aided the world around him with his music
The Fantastic Adventure of the Foredown Man While attending a garden party, Rizla witnesses the apparent murder of Lord Jeffrey – despite the fact that the man in question vanished over a hundred years earlier – and his various relatives subsequently begin to die in various horrible manners Lord Jeffrey was the forefather of the others
The Baffling Business of the Bevendean Bat Reports of lost cats in the Bevendean area, coupled with radioactive doves, multiple roaring animals at regular intervals, and an encounter with an exploding uniped in the bar The Really Small Atlantean, lead to a confrontation between Rune and the evil Count Otto Black about a modern-day version of Noah's Ark The bar's true name is the Bevendean Bathyscaphe
The Sensational Sage of the Saltdean Stallion While at a party in Lewes, Rune is apparently killed as a sacrifice to reveal the location of the Chronovision, leaving Rizla to escape Count Otto Black's followers with the aid of an urban legend The 'Stallion' is Norris Styver, who became trapped in Lewes's complicated street system and could not escape
The Birdman of Whitehawk The Chronovision now recovered after a trip into the Forbidden Zones, Rune and Rizla must tackle the mysterious apparitions that plague their current host The Birdman is a native-American/Indian chief, Chief Whitehawk, who provides Rune and Rizla with accommodation
The Wiseman of Withdean Rizla is forced to disguise himself as a woman as he and Rune search for the last descendant of Jesus Christ at a heavy metal concert The Wiseman is Lord Tobes, the last descendant of Jesus
The Concluding Chaotic Conundrum of the Coldean Cat Their forces gathered, Rune and Rizla prepare for the final confrontation with Count Otto Black and for their final parting after a long year of adventures Coldean is Tobes' recently-lost cat

Audio adaptationEdit

The book was adapted into a 13-part full-cast audio drama in 2008 by Hokus Bloke Productions and BBC Audiobooks, starring Jason Isaacs, Martin Jarvis, Mark Wing-Davey, Sarah Douglas, Andy Serkis, Ben Miller and Michael Fenton Stevens, along with co-Executive Producers David Warner and Rupert Degas.

The audio series was re-edited into 28-minute, 30-minute episodes which was broadcast on the BBC digital and online radio station BBC7. The 13 half-hour episodes were originally broadcast at 18:30 UK Time (with a 00:30 repeat) on Saturdays from 23 August 2008 to 15 November 2008, with each episode being available on the BBC iPlayer for six days after broadcast. The series has been repeated a number of times subsequently. It won eZine The Hub's 2008 Award for "Best Comedy (Audio)".[1]


Role Actor[2] Role Actor
Hugo Rune David Warner Rizla & Others Rupert Degas
Count Otto Black Andy Serkis Narrator Michael Fenton Stevens
Fangio Mark Wing-Davey Tobes De Valois Jason Isaacs
Bartholomew The Bog-Troll, aka Capt. Moulsecoomb Ben Miller Colonel Mortimer & Inspectre Sherringford Hovis Martin Jarvis OBE
Lazlo Woodbine, Clant, Doomsayer & Us Voice-Over Kerry Shale Nurse Hearse, Lady in the Straw Hat & Old Lady Sarah Douglas
Professor Nessor Patrick Barlow Norris Styver, The Devil & Paul The Student Kevin Eldon
Inspector Hector & Quentin Vambury-Greystoke Brian Murphy Jeffrey Primark, Isambard Kingdom-Come & The Priest Jonathan Cecil
Kelly-Anne Sirjan Katherine Parkinson Chief Whitehawk & Leon Rich Fulcher
Queen Mother, Pa Anncr, Medic, Susan The Student Kate O'Sullivan Stan Post, Lewes Tour Guide & Medic Iain Lee
Nigel Fairborough-Countless, Sam The Zombie & Maitre D Steve Oram Edward Marzipan-Fudge, Bill The Zombie & Morris The Novice Tom Meeten
Sir Burberry Spaniel-Fondler, Henchmen & Doorman Ricky Grover Hubert The Tramp, Butler, Hotel Manager + Others Simon Gregor
Doctor Proctor & Scottish Groundsman Steven Cree Robert Johnson & Croquet Commentator Ben Onwukwe
Jimi Hendrix & American Gangster Colin McFarlane Father Ernetti, Waiter, Tailor, Mario & Croquet Commentator Johnny Daukes
Danbury Collins & Mister Mate Danny Eastman Janet Orion Tamsyn Challenger
The Monk Elliott Stein Cabbies & Himself Robert Rankin
Announcer & Mail Van Driver Graham Rogers Girl in Bar & Young Lady in Pub Laurie Buckley
Ahab The Space Crab & Ministry of Serendipity Voice-Over Neil Gardner Hugo Rune's Biggest Fan Jay Francis (who won the role through an online competition)


  1. ^ "The Hub Awards, 2008". The Hub. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Brightonomicon – Production Details". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 28 March 2013.

External linksEdit