Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Duck, Christopher Brookmyre
This audio book was part of my revisit of the entire Parlabane series so I was cheating a bit, having already done "all the emotions" over the opening line of the blurb.
I do get the idea of telegraphing the end of Jack and the whole Parlabane series was going to grab some attention. And I understand fully that being elected Rector of Kelvin University was a bit of a parting surprise. I can even get behind the idea that Parlabane going out in a blaze of psychic attention seeking was just the ticket for getting your average fan steamed up and in a take no prisoners mood. And I will admit that even on first reading I was firmly trying to convince myself that "this is Christopher Brookmyre right?" And there's that "Or is he?". Is that the sliver of light in an otherwise hefty cloud of "what the's"?
Book number five in the Jack Parlabane series, ATTACK OF THE UNSINKABLE RUBBER DUCK is a glorious / clever title, for a seriously good book. Good because he's launching an almighty forehand at the spoon bending fraternity, with a very nice backhand lob at the creationists along the way (it's Australian Open time / I might have heard some terminology floating around...). Good because I'm particularly partial to Christopher Brookmyre when he mounts his umpires chair and starts chucking some pointed commentary from on high. Good in that it's got it's moments of hilarity and sheer weirdness. Good because he really shouldn't be rector of Kelvin University, and yet he really could be a worthy one. Perhaps not quite so good because it does take a while to get going, which did stand out a lot more in audio than I remember on the page. Even better ultimately because it's a complex plot, with the return of some favourite characters (Spammy has to be one of the all time greats - and the narrator's voice for him in these books has been gold).
Jack Parlabane is dead. Or is he? In an unlikely twist of the democratic process, he had been elected Rector of Glasgow's Kelvin University, taking over the post from the celebrity para-psychologist Gabrielle Lafayette.