- Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: The New Adventures (21 Aug. 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0426205103
- ISBN-13: 978-0426205104
- Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 11 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,263,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ship of Fools (New Adventures) Mass Market Paperback – 21 Aug 1997
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When Krytell asks Benny to do an unofficial and somewhat shady job, the benefits are immediately apparent. She has an unlimited expense account, jewels and clothes, and is a passenger on a luxury space-cruiser. The only problem is the passengers are dropping like flies.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Dave Stone delivers another fine book, with plot, humor, and lots of intriguing characters.
The best, is of course Emil Dupont-who has a midget problem. Everything is of course done by midgets: murder, mayhem, archery....
Khaarli the Czhan is cool too.
Thankfully, I found SHIP OF FOOLS to be a fun and entertaining adventure that played to Dave Stone's strengths rather than falling back on his more annoying authorial habits. It's an insane murder-mystery; most of the action takes place on a single location. An infamous jewel thief (known only as "the Cat's Paw") and Benny are both onboard the same intergalactic starship. When passengers begin dying in a host of bizarre ways, it's up to Benny to drink as much as possible, and to solve the mystery, if she can get around to it. This would be the sort of thing that Agatha Christie would write if someone removed all of her blood and replaced it with LSD.
The various clichés and stereotypes that we expect from these sorts of whodunits are all brought out and lovingly mocked. The most amusing of these are the various "great detectives" who all happen to be onboard the ship, and will be very familiar to fans of mystery novels, television shows and movies. While some of the jokes seem to tire by the end, the majority are at least amusing. The pacing is fast enough so that even the jokes that fall with a clunk aren't dwelt upon for too long.
I found the mystery aspects of the story to be genuinely unpredictable. It's virtually impossible to figure out which diversions are actual clues, and which ones are just a result of the author being slightly mad. Expecting SHIP OF FOOLS to follow the conventions of the genre is a pointless task. I recommend just reading it as an entertaining adventure, and then being occasionally amused by the jaunts into the mystery story.
It's an odd, but enjoyable book that moves from over-the-top cartoon violence into occasional bleakness and then back again. But for all of Dave Stone's madness, the plot has method to it. It's not always quite as funny as it's trying to be, but it did get me to laugh out loud a couple of times. Recommended as a fluffy piece of fun with a solid enough center.