Dummyland (2002) Steve Aylett, Gollancz, £9.99, pbk, 119pp, ISBN 0-575-07087-0
In this third installment of the Accomplice series Barny Juno is still unaware that the demon Sweeney wants him dead. Having been abandoned by Dietrich Hammerwire, Sweeney now sends the Rakeman after Barny, who just wants to replace his parents' pet which he accidentally killed. Still friends with Gregor and Edgy, Barny is also a target for Accompice's Mayor Rudloe (who still hasn't managed to solve his lobster problem). And in the doll forge Maquette comes to life and makes a run for it.
This is probably the least best of the Accomplice books so far but, considering that Aylett's standard is far above that of others, it is by no means bad. Just as funny and trenchant, Aylett's observations point up the myriad absurdities of life while betraying an overwhelming fondness for the characters, good and bad alike. Just one book left to go -- Karloff's Circus -- I can't wait for it to get to town...
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