comic novelist tom holt tries hard but will never amount to anything..
i read one of his books.. i forget which (they do seem to have a certain sameness about them) it was mildly diverting with quite a steady rate of jokes per page.. but it wasn’t premier league stuff.. all seemed slightly derivative.. he can write, he has a sense of humour but lacks originality or flair.
robert rankin is 23 times better (both funnier, a more imaginative kind of weirdness and better plots (if you can call them that)) at least he used to be, haven’t read the most recent ones.. the brentford trilogy is fantastic.
to return to the footballing metaphor.. then t*rry pr*tch*tt is the manchester united of (living) comic novelists.. vastly better known and much, much richer than his rivals. consistently at or near the top but with the occasional duff performance with the ability to attract as much hatred as devotion.
then of course there is Douglas Adams, who has to be the England 1966 World Cup squad.. in a short sharp burst he gave a series of magical performances that made millions of people very, very happy & to which we felt a personal connection and loyalty.. we love him for ever as a result. i love everything he did but if only he could have written more.
in terms of quality and quantity then PG Wodehouse is Pele’s Brazil, unquestionably the best ever, effortless style, grace, kept on turning out winning performances all filled with individual flourishes of skill that draw gasps from the crowd (or make you snort with laughter in a silent train carriage which is the comic equivalent of scoring from 35 yards out)