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Mr. Monk in Outer Space Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Having a sci-fi show as one of the backdrops to this novel gives the author plenty of scope for comedy. There's a wonderful scene at a `Beyond Earth' convention involving some priceless packets of thirty-year-old breakfast cereal. Monk also recoils at the sight of the attendees in their `Beyond Earth' regalia, particularly those dressed as Mr Snork, one of the show's lead characters complete with trunk-like snoot.
As ever, Monk's assistant and friend Natalie Teeger chronicles this adventure; the events are told in the first person from her point of view in easy-going, humorous prose. We share her exasperation at Monk's obsessiveness while at the same time marvelling at his uniqueness.
One thing that has been missing from some of the previous novels in the series has been the lack of Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher in the stories. This is not the case with `Mr Monk in Outer Space', and, in my opinion, their presence in this story adds to the feeling that this could, and perhaps, should be turned into a television episode.
Lee Goldberg has really done the business with this latest Monk novel. Funny, clever and thoroughly compelling, this is the best in the series so far. Mind you, I think I might have said that about all the Monk novels.
Because Stipe was shot right outside a fan convention for his show, Captain Stottlemeyer knows there are too many suspects. He's hoping Monk's attention to detail will help them find the one fan who did it.
However, Monk is unnerved by the costumes everyone is wearing. The alien costumes are elaborate and unnatural. Monk just can't see how anyone would willing become devoted to something so unnatural.
And then he finds out his brother Ambrose is a devoted fan of the series.
Who shot Conrad Stipe? What clues does the costume provide? And will Monk ever look at Ambrose the same way again?
The Monk novels have proved to be plenty of fun, and this is no exception. I must admit I had pieces of the plot figured out before Monk, but I think that is because I have gotten used to author Lee Goldberg's plotting. Still, I enjoyed finding out if I was right and how Monk would piece it all together. I felt at times Monk slipped into caricature in this book, a charge I've leveled at the TV show a time or two as well. Still, I laughed out loud plenty. Fans and TV executives get a gentle skewing over the course of the book. I especially enjoyed one producers proposal to change the Monk series.
This isn't the strongest entry in the Monk novel series, but it is still absolutely worth reading. Fans of the TV show are in for another treat.
Monk is not as smart here, Natalie is not as nice. If you write about a genius, it might help to be at least as smart or sensitive as the hero. But here, Natalie seems just vulgar and the plot is often interrupted by uninteresting musings about her private life. Things by the way she would never do in the series. Monk himself seems sometimes bored - something he never is because there is always a stain to clean, or something to adjust if there isn't a case for him to solve. He wouldn't just lie around and read a cartoon. Many details are just wrong: Natalie is not tall, Stottlemeyer is not vulgar, and Monk is not just annoying. It feels like someone has heard about the show and tries to recreate something that feels like it but really only gets out a blur. It is not Natalie's voice, it doesn't even feel like Sharona's talking. It just feels wrong. I only read it hoping I would find some of the familiar voices or interactions in this book. But it misses the point, only on the last page it tries to restore some of the affection between Natalie and Monk. But so clumsily that it really leaves you unsatisfied. And another thing: "Salt doesn't disinfect a wound?" I thought it did.