Myth-ion Improbable by Robert Asprin

Filed under:Adventure,Fantasy,Humor,Series — posted by Randolph on April 1, 2017 @ 2:23 pm


Myth-ion Improbable by Robert Asprin

This books is set earlier than some of the recent books, following Myth Directions. In this adventure, Skeeve gets hold of a treasure map that leads to a golden cow. At the thought of treasure, Aahz loses his senses, with Tananda, they begin a grand adventure. .

Only, the map is magical and changes as the proceed. They meet some odd characters, some peculiar dimensions. Meeting vegetarian cowboys, odd cattle, and redundant towns on their way to find gold, they face odd obstacles and find humorous solutions.

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks

Filed under:Humor — posted by Randolph on March 5, 2017 @ 6:06 pm

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks

My initial impression of this book was unfavorable. The book opens in a Wooster-Jeeves role reversal. I had a hard time accepting this, but read on. It took a bit, but the book did pick up.

This doesn’t quite have the same feel of Woodhouse, but it is a respectable homage. Faulks is making his own style apparent, and is adding his own twist, with what I suspect is a promise of more books to come.

Bertie is up to his usual antics, trying to help his friends in their affairs and everything goes south. In this story, Jeeves seemed a bit less than his usual on-top-of-everything-and-in-control self, but in the end, he manages everything for the best.

Any fan of Woodhouse’s Jeeves will recognize and enjoy this story.

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish by Douglas Adams

Filed under:Humor,Science Fiction — posted by Randolph on February 13, 2017 @ 10:13 am

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish by Douglas Adams

The fourth book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series was a bit disappointing. That is not to say it was bad, but it didn’t seem to hold up to the previous books. Arthur is on the Earth 2, about 8 years after the destruction of the original version. The book was disappointing to me because the plot was weaker and many of the characters weren’t as interesting as in the series.

Arthur falls in love with a girl, that seems to be a major plot point, but doesn’t develop. The girl’s reactions didn’t seem reasonable to me at times.

Another plot point is discovering why the dolphins have disappeared. But this point is just dropped in favor of another plot point – discovering god’s final message.

On the positive side, Adams displays his peculiar brand of humor quite well. Each turn of events is pretty much unexpected and often funny.

The Long Road Home by G. B. Trudeau

Filed under:Humor,Series — posted by Randolph on April 3, 2016 @ 7:23 am

The Long Road Home by G. B. Trudeau

This is a collection of cartoons relating to B.D.s recovery from an RPG attack near Fallujah. It deals with recovery issues and the loss of a limb. It also tells the story of Fisher House, a recovery house for wounded vets. It not only addresses B.D’s and Boopsie’s recovery, but addresses some of their friends. But Trudeau keeps it light, there is a suggestion we might find out what his initials stand for, and Zonker can keep any subject light.

This collection keeps its distance from politics and the stronger political characters don’t make an appearance. The book really focusses on the recovery issues without any distracting side-stories.

Much Obliged, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Filed under:Humor — posted by Randolph on July 6, 2015 @ 8:48 pm

Much Obliged, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

This is a full novel, most Jeeves stories I’ve read were short stories. In this story, Bertie’s aunt is trying to get a donation from another gentleman. Bertie gets into his usual trouble, being accused of stealing from the same gentleman.

Bertie’s friend, Ginger is engaged to Bertie’s cousin Florence, who has encouraged him to run for the House of Commons. But Ginger later decides that he actually loves another, but he cannot walk out on a commitment.

Then Bertie is trying to help a young woman who has something in her eye. Her fiancĂ© walks in and threatens Bertie, who in his usual fashion, doesn’t understand. The young girl falls for Bertie, who wants nothing to do with her.

In comes Jeeves and solve all problems in one single action full of unforeseeable consequences and humor. The book is funny, in the typical style of Wodehouse. A good and moderately fast read.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Filed under:Fantasy,Humor — posted by Randolph on May 2, 2015 @ 8:54 am

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

It’s the end of the world, and things aren’t quite going as planned. The antichrist has been born into the world, unfortunately there was this mixup at the hospital. He is raised as a middle-class human only becoming aware of his powers.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, you know, War, Death, Famine, and Pollution. Their horses have become motorcycles, and they arrive with the intent of starting a nuclear war.

Now, Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, aren’t happy with the end of the world. After 6000 years, they’ve grown accustom to it. So they team up to try and change the outcome.

Pratchett and Gaiman have teamed up to bring an excellent and unlikely story of the end of time. There are a lot of interesting character that help carry the book in various directions.

A fan of either author will enjoy this book. It is funny, light, and a fairly quick read.

You Want Proof? I’ll Give You Proof! by Sidney Harris

Filed under:Humor — posted by Randolph on April 25, 2015 @ 7:59 pm

You Want Proof? I'll Give You Proof! by Sidney Harris

This is a series of unrelated cartoons, mostly about science. Some basic understanding of science is helpful to understand some of them, but anyone can enjoy the book. It is a pretty fast read, worth a few giggles, but not much more. It is a different way of looking at science.

I did find it curious that a science-oriented book would neglect to include page numbers.

The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir by Ken Harmon

Filed under:Humor,Mystery — posted by Randolph on December 10, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir by Ken Harmon

This is humor at the expense of everything North Pole. It is a very light murder mystery in the noir style, with some rerences to Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Almost every other sentence has some reference to a Christmas song, story, or legend. And the puns and jokes are numerous. The author makes frequent allusions to familiar, and not-so familiar books and movies. These aren’t the kind of symbols that get lost in the reading, these are the kind that pick you up like a rosy-cheeked rag doll and throw you in the road to get run over by a reindeer. That’s what these words do. Over and over.

We follow the exploits of Gumdrop Cole. Although not famous by name, he is responsible for starting the Coal Patrol. Those are the elves responsible for identifying bad children and giving them lumps of coal for Christmas. But things are changing, now he is out of a job. He decided to take matters into his own hands, and one of his ‘clients’ ends up being shot in the eye by a Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred Shot Range Model BB Gun with a compass in its stock. Gumdrop was framed. Clues point to Ralphie, and lead his investigations to the Misfit Toy Mafia, and his nemesis, Charles “Candy” Cane.

The book is a fun and quick read. The bad jokes almost get tiring by the time the book runs out, so the length is good. Sit back, take a weekend and read a little humor into your Christmas.

The Inimitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Filed under:Fiction,Humor — posted by Randolph on January 16, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

The Inimitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Another collection of stories about Bertie Wooster and Reginald Jeeves. It is enjoyable to watch Jeeves master every situation that Bertie can get into, whether due to his own bumbling or the machinations of his relatives. In this case, Aunt Agatha who is trying to set Bertie up for matrimony. Of course this would destroy Bertie’s character and may even require him to fire Jeeves. In story after story, Jeeves executes the most unexpected solution to a seemingly impossible problem.

The book got off to a slow start, but did provide the expected surprises and humor to make for an enjoyable read. This book, unlike the other stories (that I’ve read) is a novel as opposed to a collection of short stories, but feels like short stories with recurrent and common themes. As with the others, this book is a light read and fairly quick, and worth the time.

Sweet Myth-tery of Life by Robert Asprin

Filed under:Fantasy,Humor — posted by Randolph on December 12, 2012 @ 8:11 am

Sweet Myth-tery of Life by Robert Asprin

This is the 10th book in the Myth series by Robert Asprin. The book gets off to a slow start, using old jokes and predictable situations. About 1/3 of the way through, Asprin’s style comes through and the book picks up with humorous situations and a few surprises.

The plot is pretty weak, Queen Hemlock has asked Skeeve to marry her. If he doesn’t, she is going to abdicate and leave him in charge. His other responsibility is saving the kingdom from ruin due to a taxes shortfall. He stumbles through in his usual incompetent way in a fun book. He muddles through a couple of minor adventures but always comes out ahead.

The book does leave a number of unanswered questions, even to the point of setting up for a sequel. I didn’t feel this is appropriate for a humor book, and I hope this doens’t continue in a very long series.

Still, the book is a fast read and worth the time. But do read them in order.


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace