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Incompetence (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Kindle Edition]

Rob Grant
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.95 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Bad is the new good.

In the not too distant future the European Union enacts its most far reaching human rights legislation ever. The incompetent have been persecuted for too long. After all it's not their fault they can't do it right, is it? So it is made illegal to sack or otherwise discriminate against anyone for being incompetent.

And now a murder has been committed and our possibly incompetent detective must find out who the murderer is. As long as he can find directions to get him through the mean streets.

Product Description


Crime Fantasy Fawlty Towers-style (DAILY MIRROR)

A revolutionary black comedy... he is spookily similar to that other science ficiton writer... Douglas Adams (Paul Pickering THE DAILY EXPRESS)

It's a tequila-sniffing, lemon-in-the-eye kind of affair - all wrong, but so right (MAXIM)

Who needs Red Dwarf? Rob Grant doesn't any more... (SFX)

A surreal, Monty Python-esque detective novel peppered with laugh-out-loud gags and elaborately conceived, vastly silly set-pieces (DREAMWATCH)

The jokes comes thick and fast (Scotland on Sunday)

Satire abounds in this consistently amusing comedy of errors (Starburst)

Book Description

The new bestseller from the co-creator of Red Dwarf - a comic novel of the far too near future

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 879 KB
  • Print Length: 333 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005LWR6PO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,973 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone will get it 27 Oct. 2004
I don't normally write reviews, but I was moved to do so in this case after reading some of the earlier comments. In short, there's nothing at all wrong with this book except that it isn't Red Dwarf. But, you know, we have to accept the fact that nothing else will ever be RD, and move on. A suitable period of mourning has elapsed, I think.

Although Incompetence has a plot, of sorts, it isn't really that important. And maybe the characters are a bit like cardboard cutouts, but that isn't important either. Incompetence is really a vehicle for the author to make jokes about situations that piss him off. Now, if you can identify with these situations, you'll find the book funny. If you can't, you won't. No particular life experience was necessary to be able to appreciate RD. You may, or may not, have enjoyed its particular brand of lavatory humour and insults; but if you didn't, it probably wasn't because you don't have sufficient life skills. But Incomptence only makes sense, I think, if you have a particular mind-set, and have seen a bit of the world. For example, if you don't understand why the idea of a caterer being compelled to employ a waiter with Tourette's syndrome is funny, it won't help if someone explains it to you. Either you get it or you don't.

For my part, I started laughing from the first paragraph, and carried on laughing until the last page. In places I laughed so hard I thought I'd swallow my own eyeballs. At the same time, I can imagine a bunch of RD fans scratching their heads, and complaining that there's only one fart joke in the whole book.

In summary, the humour in this book is more like that in Dilbert than in Red Dwarf. Like Dilbert, the plot and the characters are sketchy. Also, like Dilbert, if you don't understand it, it's because it's about you. :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Rob Kitchin TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a somewhat of a curious book. A kind of futuristic, comic noir. Its strengths are some very well written, clever and genuinely funny scenes. The weaknesses the unevenness and disjointedness of the whole work and the fact that story is pretty much all surface and no depth. Essentially the book consists of a set of linked set pieces framed within a future united Europe that is overly bureaucratic and largely dysfunctional. Everything is subordinate to the gags in the set pieces, which means the characterisation consists of little more than caricature, and the plot is loosely strung together. The story probably would have worked more effectively if the plot and characterisation had come first, and the humour infused into them. I almost stopped reading the book at a couple of points because the narrative was stretched so thin and some of the scenes are below par. I persevered though and was rewarded by some excellent set pieces. Overall, a book that both frustrates and entertains in pretty much equal measure. The truly first class bits though are worth the effort.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignorance is bliss - Incompetence is better. 27 Feb. 2004
Rob Grant is one of the best comedy writers I have seen, better than Ben Elton in my opinion. His style and humour are brilliant and he would have had me rolling about on the floor in hysterical laughter if it wasn't for all the dog hair.
The book is based on Europe in the not distant enough future, Europe is now known as the United States of Europe and incompetence is a way of life. Political correctness has gone mad and discrimination is not allowed no matter what a persons sex, age, race or incompetence. In fact the worse you do the quicker you will climb the ever so slippery ladder of sucess. This is a bit of a problem for Harry Salt, you see he is actually good at his job - too good! Harry Salt (just one of his many identities but the one he goes by mostly in the book) is an agent working for an establishment mearly known as The Agency. He's abit like a private detective but with a bigger expense account, more authority and the ability to dispose of anyone in his way - okay so not very much like a private detective but he does solve crimes, and a hell of a lot better than the police.
The plot is predictable and the solution even more so, but it is not that that makes the book a worthwile read. It is the journey there and the characters Harry meets along the way that will have you in stitches within minutes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 17 Feb. 2004
By A Customer
If you liked Red Dwarf; think PC has got out of hand, and politicians have lost track of the realities of real word, you will love this.
The story line is thin, but that doesn’t matter in the slightest, because it’s the ideas and descriptions that make this the funniest book I have read for quite some time. Hopefully someone will turn it into a film…
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have been a huge fan of Red Dwarf for many years and so I eagerly waited any further book from Rob Grant or Grant Naylor. This superb book by Rob Grant is in my opinion as good, if not better, then anything he has written for Red Dwarf. The book centres around the misfortune of a secret agent as he tries to save the world while dealing with the incompetence that is everywhere.
This book is so funny I had to read it in one sitting, and had to read it in my bedroom as it was getting annoying for everyone I live with as I was collapsing in fits of laughter every two minutes. If you liked his previous book "Colony", you will love this!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, very funny
Great book, very funny
Published 9 days ago by I. J. Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor. If you have managed to get to, say, page 20 and you aren't...
I was quite a fan of Rob Grant, having read all the Red Dwarf books, and I thought 'Fat' was also really good. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. A Lilley
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely hilarious
Words cannot explain how much I love this book. I own 3 copies, because whenever I lend it to someone they never give it back, one of the funniest and most underrated books ever... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kpdp
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
V good
Published 6 months ago by Mr. J Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars definitely the funnier writer of the Red Dwarf partnership
i loved the early Red Dwarf books and this, while completely different in genre is definitely up there with them is the comedy stakes and will certainly ring a chord with anyone... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ant Newson
5.0 out of 5 stars ... for someone else as I already own it and recommend it. Great story
Actually bought for someone else as I already own it and recommend it. Great story, arrived promptly. Can't ask for more.
Published 9 months ago by MR MARK R FEARNLEY
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have read.
Witty, intelligent, humourous,sarcastic and utterly hillarious.
The first paragraph sums up the tone of the writing.
I have read this book over and over again.
Published 11 months ago by PixieLou85
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, but frustrating
As a political satire this is an interesting concept, and the book is hilarious at times, but it's also tear-your-hair-out annoying and overly labours the point in places.
Published 14 months ago by Anna Buttimore
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny!
Had me laughing and interested from start to finish! Most witty book I've ever read. Had me turning pages all day long
Published 14 months ago by Spacecorps Directives
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor piece if work clearly written to appease an irate publisher.
I tried hard to like this book. It has a basic plot that could have worked but the lead character is just irritating and the plot relies upon a series of physical impossibilities... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
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