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James "Jim" Arbuthnot Pooley is a fictional character in The Brentford Trilogy written by fantasy/humour writer Robert Rankin. Jim tends to avoid regular employment, preferring to make his living by his wits and constantly seeking to make the perfect bet on racehorses that will give him all the wealth he could ever want. However, to date his attempts have proved fruitless, and his only successful bets have failed due to both Satanic intervention and the bookmaker losing all his money.
Jim is very likely a semi-autobigraphical figure, based on Robert Rankin, as much of Pooley's life (his birth, the birthplace etc.) match Rankins. (This is seen in The Sprouts of Wrath in Chapter 34, where Inspecter Hovis meets with Jim (who is currently frozen solid in a bath) and reads out Jim's Birthdate and place of Birth, all of which match Rankins.
Throughout the series, despite his lack of a work ethic, Jim has taken on jobs on occasion, ranging from part-time gardener to Professor Slocombe, co-chairman of the Brentford Millennium celebrations, and manager to Brentford Football club. This last occurred on the recommendation of Professor Slocombe, who stated that Jim possessed great strength of belief in his convictions, as demonstrated by him constantly making bets by trusting his instincts even if Bob the Bookie feels he is making a mistake.
Jim has had very few romantic liaisons throughout the series, with his only confirmed sexual encounters being with Suzty, a girl who worked at the windscreen wiper shop, in The Brentford Chainstore Massacre and a one-night stand with Ms Jennifer Naylor on the occasion of Jim having enough money to turn an ambitious woman's head, in The Sprouts of Wrath.
In the books The Brightonomicon and Retromancer- set in Pooley's teenage years- Jim collaborated with Hugo Rune, initially using the name Rizla due to his current state of amnesia and later using it simply because Rune refers to him as such, against the evil plans of Rune's foe Count Otto Black. During this time, Pooley comes to see Rune as a father figure, a relationship that Rune apparently reciprocates. This culminates in a tearful farewell when Pooley unintentionally undoes Rune's immortality by defeating Otto Black for good, although Rune assures him that he is grateful.
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