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Dead Men Scare Me Stupid Paperback – April 3, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
Book 5 of 8 in the Frank Burly Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Kennydale Books; 1st edition (April 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975579983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975579985
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you're a fan of The Simpsons, you're already a John Swartzwelder fan. Not only has he written more episodes than any other writer, but his episodes are many fan favorites, such as Whacking Day (1993), Homer the Great (Stonecutters, 1995), Homer the Smithers (1996), and Homie the Clown (Clown School, 1995), along with 55 other incredible episodes.

Dead Men Scare Me Stupid is an adventure of Frank Burly, the world's most dimwitted, yet likeable, detective. In this adventure two of his former clients, who are not-so-coincidentally deceased, come to haunt and torment him from beyond the grave. The most devious of their actions is framing Frank for many unexplained crimes. The story takes off from there and doesn't stop. Even Amelia Earhart's body makes an appearance. Yep, that's right.

As one would expect from Swartzwelder's talent, the book is full of one-liners that will crack you up and stay with you long after you're finished the book. The jokes are so dense, one needs to watch to not read too quickly and pass over some humorous absurdity. This also makes the book great for a reread.

I'd recommend Dead Men Scare Me Stupid to any fan of The Simpsons, satire, or witty humor. Swartzwelder's a genius; this book won't disappoint.

Lewis Aleman
Author of The Anti-Vampire Tale
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read all of his books and was really excited when his latest came out. From the very first line I was already rolling. I haven't finished the book to entirety yet but I have to say this may be his best work to date.

"Well they found Amelia Earhart, that's the good news"

Also a hilarous gag where Frank tries to punch a ghost and comments that it felt like punching the air "I take that back, it felt like punching my lamp"

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

The worst part? I have to wait who-knows how long for his next book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have only one complaint about this book: IT'S TOO SHORT!!!

Don't get me wrong--Mr. Schwartzwelder ties up all the loose ends rather nicely and VERY HUMOROUSLY! I just wish there was more to read about this story! 143 pages aren't enough!
I'm not the type to give spoilers, but this is kind of a detective/ghost-story/insane-government-takeover-plot story. Normally I'm not big on ghost stories, but this one is VERY GOOD.

Anyway, I should explain my review title. The whole time I was reading this book, I kept thinking, "Schwartzwelder's Frank Burly is just like Adams' Dirk Gently!" (If you don't know what I'm talking about, read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams) Schwartzwelder knows just about everything there is to know about comedy-writing and makes ghosts at once hilarious and frightening. His writing is a little less sarcastic than Douglas Adams' though, but rest assured it's not any less funny. In fact, it's even funnier in some cases, because I found myself thinking the character knew what he was talking about (it's written in 1st person), and then two sentences later I'd realize--nope, he's just a completely idiotic buffoon! Very very very very very VERY GOOD STUFF!
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Format: Paperback
This book might possibly be the greatest achievement in the history of all mankind. Sure, there's a chance it might not be; but it might be, too.
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Format: Paperback
Like many Simpsons fans who are familiar with John Swartzwelder I too heard about his books through episode commentaries. I knew John wrote more episodes than anybody (is that still true going into their 24th season?) and in my humble opinion his writings consistently make the best episodes of the show, so I figured I would like his books as well, and I do!

Although I intended to read them in order, as I do with most stories, I received this one first as a gift and got through it over a weekend. The story was a bit odd, even considering where it came from, but it was still absolutely hilarious, and I made the mistake of reading it in public making me a bit of a specticle.

I gave it four stars instead of five for seemingly petty reasons but I stand by them none-the-less: Since I started with the fifth book of the series I wasn't prepared for the craziness or characterization of Frank. I didn't really buy into some of Burly's antics toward the latter half of the book, while he was a ghost; they just didn't seem feasible to me, despite the fact that it was completely fictional. Besides those vague things I really enjoyed reading it and may do so again once I read the first four. Another point I also feel needs a mention is that the books in this series are about a quarter the size, if not even smaller, than the average novel yet costs double the standard amount. Granted $16 isn't really that much but considering you can read this in an afternoon I can't say it's entirely worth the cost. That opinion might change if the covers were more artistic or there were some Simpsons tidbids that you can't find anywhere else (as just two examples although Burly prefers at least three), but I felt all that was worth a star reduction.
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Format: Paperback
Frank Burly is at it again in John Swartzwelder's fifth book, "Dead Men Scare me Stupid." This is the fourth book in the Burly series, and this time he's being haunted by the ghosts of two men he had accidentally killed while trying to help them solve some mysteries. They end up causing Burly many problems up to the point that he gets arrested and is sent to a mental institution. He manages to escape but is then kidnapped by a secret government organization who uses a machine to erase Burly's existence without actually killing him. He eventually is able to escape, and spends the rest of the story trying to get his life back to normal while encountering several other issues.

I think "Dead Men Scare me Stupid" is one of Swartzwelder's most consistently funny novels. His absurdly farcical sense of humor isn't perfect by any means, but there are still a lot of good jokes throughout the story that really made me laugh, most of which is in the dialogue and the first-person narration. I personally think 3.5 stars is a more accurate rating for this book. The plot is somewhat unstable and the ending is kind of weak. Although there were some jokes that were too stupid to make me laugh, overall this story didn't seem to have as many of those jokes like Swartzwelder's other novels. Since 3.5 stars wasn't an option, I decided to round up because of how consistently funny the story is and how unpredictable the plot is. Overall, "Dead Men Scare me Stupid" is easily one of Swartzwelder's better books and one that I think is worth reading, especially if you're a fan of his slapstick, farcical style of humor.
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