Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book Review: "Ten Dead Comedians" by Fred Van Lente

Fred Van Lente's debut novel is "Ten Dead Comedians". Fans of the mystery genre will quickly determine it is a modern satirical take on Agatha Christie's classic "Ten Little Indians." His attempt to pay homage to Dame Agatha falls flat for this reader.

Ten comedians are invited to a Caribbean island by comic legend Dustin Walker. Upon arrival, they find themselves cut off from the outside world...and one by one they are cut down in some ingenious...often gory ways. 

On the plus side, the author has concocted wicked caricatures of some of the top stand up comics of recent years. Readers who are fans of comedy will recognize Larry the Cable Guy, Joan Rivers/Don Rickles, and Carrot Top/Gallagher in the mix. However, that might be the highlight of the book for the casual reader.
I really wanted to like this book, but I found it lacking for several reasons.  Interspersed between the murders and a couple of interesting plot twists, the reader is subjected to comic routines that just aren't funny. I found them to be repetitious and boring. My Kindle version of the book had these in red type. I found myself rapidly skimming/skipping these whenever they appeared.

These comedic tirades as well as most of the group's conversations are profanity laced. It gets old very quickly. Maybe I'm too old school...but a teacher once told me that "Profanity is the language of the inarticulate." Its overuse made this book very tiresome to read.

Finally, I didn't find the humor in this book to be that funny. It reminded me of some of the young comedians when they first began their careers. Performances for some were mediocre and cringe worthy. The jokes lacked true comedic timing for me.

Overall, I found this book a tedious and difficult read. 
I give it two stars.

*I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way!*

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