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The Fifty Foot Detective Paperback – April 6, 2011

Book 7 of 7 in the Frank Burly Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: Kennydale Books; First edition (April 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982273649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982273647
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric L. Wozniak on July 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Frank Burly is The Fifty Foot Detective, so spoilers, I guess. John Swartzwelder is back with, quite possibly, his best book to date. Not that the Fifty Foot Detective is necessarily the funniest Burly outing, but it is the most well-written, coherent, and thematically interesting Burly adventure yet. In the Fifty Foot Detective, Swartzwelder is exploring common tropes of detective/sci-fi/horror literature and film. Burly is vied against an arch-nemesis, mad-scientists and their creations, his own troubles with not being his normal size, and a roaming city. How can Frank Burly beat the odds and come out on top? By taking notes from his favorite crime novel detective.

Most of Swartzwelder's books read like he doesn't know where he's trying to take the narrative. The jokes drive the reader to finish his books. This time around, I found myself just as invested in the story as I was in the jokes. Swartzwelder still writes himself into a few corners that are hardly resolved, but the Fifty Foot Detective is, I imagine, the most thought out book of his since Double Wonderful.

As always, this Swartzwelder book will make you laugh constantly and whoever is around will ask you why you're unable to read quietly like a normal person. Get back at them by making them read it too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. White on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I meant to read this one last, since it is the last book published as of this writing, but the previous book has yet to arrive so I went ahead with the 50' Detective. As a five-star reviewer stated, this book had more consistent writing than previous Burly stories, and it was of course quite funny. I thought a few other Swartzwelder books were funnier but there's definately some laugh-out-loud parts in this one. The horror & sci-fi stuff in this book were quite good, and I was happy there wasn't any aliens or time-travel in the story. This is a good book and fits well into the series, if not a bit predictable and not as over the top as the other stories I felt, which isn't a bad thing. 4+ starts for predictability and for the fact these books aren't for everybody; not to mention the fact that they're a third of the size of a regular novel but twice the price.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some of the other reviews said that they found the plot more consistent than the other Burly books. I don't get that. I think it may be even more nonsensical regarding the plot (because it doesn't rely as heavily on genre), but who cares? It's still funny as hell.
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By Nate on February 28, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even when I wasn't laughing out loud... it kept me engaged with silly, absurd twists in almost every paragraph.

I started with this title to see if I want to read others in the series and I'm definitely going to read a few more.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KBC on April 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a brief comment set for THE FIFTY FOOT DETECTIVE, by John Swartzwelder.
For those looking for strident lampooning of the basic conventions of modern civilization, Swartzwelder's entire collection of stories make for fun reads. This particular treatment (a bit of continuation) contains a more than typical rant session... so I would tend to refer first time readers to either the plot-related THE EXPLODING DETECTIVE (2007) or the charming DOUBLE WONDERFUL (2005).
The author might not appreciate a likeness to Jack Handy on Steroids... but I'd like to coin that here.
Swartzwelder is best known for his many works on the animated series THE SIMPSONS.
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