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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

The Velocity Gospel

Steve Aylett

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To purchase The Velocity Gospel

Title: The Velocity Gospel
Author: Steve Aylett
Genre: Novel
Written: 2002
Length: 131 pages
Availability: The Velocity Gospel - US
The Velocity Gospel - UK
The Velocity Gospel - Canada
  • Accomplice Book 2

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Our Assessment:

B : the usual very warped Aylett fun

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The Guardian A 15/6/2002 Michael Moorcock

  From the Reviews:
  • "You can't afford to skip through Aylett's idiosyncratic eloquence, and there's no easy way of further summarising the story without reducing it to something else. So much depends on tone and inference. The plot races as fast as it thickens (.....) This is his genius -- if you give him your time, he'll return you solid value, an enjoyable rollercoaster ride. But you'll never be entirely sure of what you've heard or where you've been." - Michael Moorcock, The Guardian

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       The Velocity Gospel is episode two of the Accomplice-quartet, all set in that unfortunate, twisted locale. The characters introduced in Only an Alligator (see our review) return again: Mayor Rudloe, "notorious mooncalf" Barny Juno and friends, and others. There are new problems to deal with.
       For one, there is the rather nasty Skittermite -- who naturally feels quite drawn to Accomplice:

Some saw Accomplice as a skull, a domain bound by bone and notion. To Skitter it seemed a fertile arena.
       Mayor Rudloe also feels himself being undermined by the Cyril movement, a particularly grating turn of events since he made up the cult of Cyril for his own purposes and never meant it to be real.
       And there's also the Velocity Gospel itself, a sacred volume which includes such useful things as "ascension telemetry, the Ballistic Catechism, a Murphy One Curse, Deloquatant's Sin and the first five platitudes." A favoured catechism: "When a man blurs, does he cease to exist ?" It's the sort of question that crops up in Accomplice .....

       When Mayor Rudloe can't find him his cigars Max Gaffer suggests:
       'You'll have to improvise.'
       'Improvise ? Last time I improvised we all ended up dressed as otters.'
       'I enjoyed that.'
       Reading The Velocity Gospel -- or indeed many of Aylett's other books -- leaves one in similar frame of mind. There appears an improvisational character to it -- if only because the reality presented is so unlike anything one might conceive. Aylett creates a world of unlikely connexions and warped (yet in some accomplished way still sound) logic, with events unlike any readers have ever imagined facing -- yet which seem almost ordinary in this fictional locale. It should not surprise readers to find themselves so bamboozled, bewildered, and disoriented that they believe themselves (or actually find themselves) to be dressed up as otters (or similarly transformed). But the weird thing is: one does rather enjoy the experience.
       In The Velocity Gospel Aylett shows a more confident narrative voice -- though detail still dominates, as centres (or anything else) rarely hold in Accomplice. There's the usual clever, often surreal invention. There is loads of wordplay, including more ambitious allusions like the Sarge asking himself: 'Shall I at least set my lads in order ?' And there's action -- of sorts (bizarre sorts !) -- galore.
       Another enjoyable Accomplice romp -- though Aylett's style and stories may not be to all tastes.

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The Velocity Gospel: Reviews: Steve Aylett: Other books by Steve Aylett under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       British author Steve Aylett was born in 1967. He has written several novels.

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© 2002-2010 the complete review

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