Chris Dawes lives in a quiet street in Brentford, opposite Rat Scabies, former drummer with The Damned and best noted for setting his drums on fire while playing them. Life with Rat as a neighbour isn't run-of-the-mill and things turn even stranger when Rat announces that the two of them are going on a search to find the Holy Grail. The sacred relic has eluded everyone from King Arthur to Monty Python, but Rat reckons he knows where it's stashed.
Once they've written a list of things to do ("Buy metal detectors!") the pair get to work on unravelling the mystery, which involves the Knights Templar, the ancient sorcerer Kings of France, a shadowy secret society called the Priory of Sion, the CIA and the remote and spooky village of Rennes-le-Chateau in the Pyrenees, where it begins to look as though someone - or something - wants to stop them from finding out anything at all ...RAT SCABIES AND THE HOLY GRAIL is a psychedelic road trip, a rich historical yarn, and a testimony to the sometimes odd nature of certain friendships.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 336 pages, Map and two line drawings
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 27/03/2006
- Category: Travel writing
- ISBN: 9780340832127
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Review by johnthefireman
As the blurb on the cover says, "The Da Vinci Code gets the punk rock treatment". Our unlikely heroes are Rat Scabies, formerly a drummer with a '70s punk band, and a mediocre free-lance music journalist. When Rat is reminded of an incident where he set fire to his drums, caused a riot, and sparked fighting in the car park for hours, he replies, "Sorry, mate, you're gonna have to give me something more. There were loads of gigs like that." A cast of characters includes Mad Dog (an antiquarian bookseller who was formerly a guitarist and got his name because he used to be "a complete animal" when it came to substances, "whether alcoholic or narcotic, whether swallowable or snortable"), Atomic Joe (suspected of being a CIA agent) and a French cheese van. An amusing satire on the search for the Holy Grail which, we are reminded, King Arthur, Adolf Hitler and Monty Python all failed to find.