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Dead Men Scare Me Stupid Paperback – April 3, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Author of The Anti-Vampire Tale
"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"
The worst part? I have to wait who-knows how long for his next book.
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!
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It reads like a Simpsons episode (the earlier seasons, before it got mediocre). If you like absurdist humor and a 200 page stream of constant jokes, you'll really enjoy... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kevin C.
This didn't deliver. It made me smile at first, but the humor was repetitive and obvious. It's no Simpson's episode.Published on March 24, 2014 by Brian Mac
it is a really funny book. totally recommend it for those who just started to read books written by John SwartzwelderPublished on March 10, 2014 by Faizal
Very Funny book. Deals with supernatural, government conspiracies, time travel and what to do if you find Amelia Earhart in your car trunk.Published on June 18, 2012 by Sam Addison
I have read some of MR. Schwartzwelder other books and this one ranks up there with them. I the main character, Frank Burly, and the way he approaches life. Read morePublished on November 18, 2010 by Ricardo J. Noriega
It reads like a Simpsons episode and if you only have a little leisure time to read, this book is great for getting in a few pages here and there with weeks or months in between. Read morePublished on November 4, 2010 by Schmeagle
No one writes intelligently about stupid people better than John Swartzwelder. He has a real knack for making the mundane thoughts we all have funnier than when we think them. Read morePublished on January 18, 2010 by Gene Glotzer
His name should be John "The Best" Swartzwelder. Or "The Best" John Swartzwelder. Or, if he were to select a nickname, obviously, since he is the best, it would be better than my... Read morePublished on May 29, 2009 by Brendan