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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

on 6 January 2016
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VINE VOICEon 30 January 2008
A small carpet stain in his apartment drives Monk to seek refuge at his brother Ambrose's house. This reunion with his brother has a beneficial side-effect: when a murder connected with cult television show `Beyond Earth' is committed, Monk discovers that Ambrose is a renowned expert on the show.

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.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 February 2008
Everything about the case seems ordinary. The man was shot outside a hotel. In fact, the assassin was captured on four different security cameras. Yet Monk was still called in to help the San Francisco police department solve the case. Why? Because the victim was Conrad Stipe, creator of the cult 70's TV show Beyond Earth. And the assassin was dressed as one of the aliens from the show.

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.
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on 5 October 2010
Are those characters not the Monk and Natalie we know from the show? I thought a Monk-fan who misses the show might find them here again, in other stories, other episodes that don't exist. But no.
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.
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on 9 June 2015
This one is screamingly funny, and provides the reader with a good look at MONK'S brother Ambrose. Clearly a very disturbed individual, he shows us he's a humanitarian and a bit of a comic. He has a thing for Natalie, and MONK himself has the audacity to call him crazy !........An enjoyable read, and an insight into the world of t.v. show fanatics who dress in character clothing and have a unique language which Ambose has not only invented but tries to share with MONK in an attempt to solve a murder.
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on 26 December 2014
the book was well packed and exactly as described
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on 31 January 2016
Laugh-out-loud funny. Read it! Read it!
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on 29 September 2014
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