Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks

Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks

I’ve had so little time on my hands recently that, since finishing ‘The Terror’ ages ago, reading was put on the back burner. Apart from a half-hearted attempt to read a spec puchase I read nothing until I got a hold of the new Christopher Brookmyre book, ‘Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks’.

I confess I was losing a bit of faith in Brookmyre after ‘Be My Enemy’ and ‘All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye’. Despite the former including the most hilarious self-decapitation scene in literary history (is there any competition?), both seemed to illustrate an inexorable drift away from some of the things I loved so much about the earlier books.

So it was a relief that his last book, ‘A Tale Etched In Blood and Hard Black Pencil’ was a welcome return to form and ‘Attack …’ is further confirmation of this renaissance. Essentially an exercise in deception (and to talk about the plot in any detail will spoil the book) at times it looks like it’s almost going to be a supernatural thriller. Like the best Brookmyre it rattles along at a fair pace and, if at times it is a little far fetched (the hilarious dénouement certainly falls into this category), it is nonetheless a cracking read.

As ever there are more serious points at work here, specifically the conflict between rationalism and unjustified faith. Whilst the main plot concerns individuals attempting to foist the likes of creationism and Intelligent Design on the school curriculum (no, really!) one wonders what Occam’s Razor would make of the news story which has dominated the headlines over the summer months. When there are such radically different viewpoints at work (and when the way it is reported seems to be dependent on geography), you know for sure that both can’t be correct.

Back to the book and ‘Attack’ is both thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking. What more could you possibly want? Buy it.

Musically there are no direct references I can latch onto from my collection but this band, whilst not someone I own a record by (although I did once see them supporting Interpol), are mentioned in passing and I do have this song on a compilation:

Franz Ferdinand – The Dark of the Matinee (from ‘Franz Ferdinand’) [Buy it]


  1. Ed says:

    haven’t finished it yet (about 85 pages away from the end, but am loving it. If there was one book that seemed out of kilter to me, it was ‘one fine day in the middle of the night’ which i still enjoyed, but seemed to stretch it all out too much.

    Ed, 17 seconds

  2. For me the one that didn’t work was Granny Die Hard. I’m not sure quite why, but CB seemed to be losing his edge at that point. Hard Black Pencil was much more like it.

  3. Matthew says:

    Ah so this is the one you were on about. Tell you what Ed, once you finish it you can swap for that iLiKETRAiNS 7″ I bought for you.

  4. sherby57 says:

    This was my first (and so far only) Brookmyre novel and I loved it. I’ve definitely been inspired to try more of his other books, hopefully they’ll live up to this one!

  5. Well, sherby57, I’d definitely recommend ‘A Tale Etched …’ although it’s a more realistic story-line (it may remind you of your school days!). Just got the new one but haven’t started it yet.

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