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on 23 February 2011
Imagine that the writer took absolutely no care to make the book believable, and didn't avoid being childish whenever it was funny to be childish. Imagine that the author neither knew or cared about geography, cars, the law or any of the rules of film-noir.

Are you imagining that?

Good, now imagine enjoying something that's been written for fun and will make you laugh out loud.

That's the beauty of this book. It's disposable prose, written as a quick, enjoyable read that will make you chuckle and laugh out loud, at the characters, the style of writing, the situations and yourself.

Perfect!
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on 1 March 2011
A stirring and fast-paced action spectacular from start to finish, Rotten Apple pulls no punches in shedding light on the dark underbelly of one of the world's most intriguing cities. Parodying the conventions of classic pulp, Simon Dunn gives us an anti-hero we can be proud of: Vic Malone - cop, rebel, lover, and all-round tough-nut. Never flinching, relentless in his adherence to justice, he rightly deserves to become a household name. Great fun!
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on 22 April 2011
Simon Dunn has proved himself to be a very funny television writer, and now he's done the same with his parody noir novel Rotten Apple. In this novel Simon shows us exactly how not to do it- and how exactly to do it! He sends up the detective novel superbly and points out cleverly and ironically all the pitfalls writers of this genre can fall into. Writing comedy novels is no easy task, but he pulls it off nicely. His style is confident, witty and hilarious. I can't wait for his follow comedy novel.
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on 8 March 2011
Well, I giggled all the way through.
Reminding me of Mark Gatiss & Malcolm Pryce, I very much enjoyed this very well written silliness.
A parody of a dark humour? Is that possible? If not, I've no idea how to describe this!
Described as "stupid writing" in the authors own words I completely disagree.
Pretty clever stuff actually... I imagine its hard to write something which comes across as frivolous and full of double entendres but which actually creates great big belly-laughs!
Maybe not something to read on the train (like I did) if you don't want people looking at you funny for laughing out loud.
Fun, light-hearted and I'm looking forward to a sequel... PLEASE!
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on 17 February 2012
Simon Dunn is a very, very fine bad writer. Doing bad writing well is something that's not as easy as just doing bad writing, or even doing bad writing naturally. Writing badly naturally is bad. Writing badly when really you're writing good is hard. Writing bad well is a skill. Like gutting a fish or stuffing a chicken. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty and spare no blushes.

Simon Dunn has written a fine noir detective story, with sexy bits and violent bits, sometimes in the same bit. It has serial killers and cereal farmers. It has beautiful dames and great danes. It has delightful turns of phrase and a delightful way with words. If this book isn't up your alley, I'd look in the next alley along, because this one's got a dead body in it with an arrow in its head and a rotten apple in its mouth and a broken nose on the front of its face and another on the back. The next alley might have butterflies and nice things.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, but that's life kid.
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on 12 February 2011
Did you see what I did there?

Simon Dunn is a well respected comedian and script-writer, and this book is supposed to be an experiment in Bad writing.

But

It's not.

Well, it is, but. not? ...

A talented writer such as Mr Dunn always shows through, in the same way that Eric Morecambe misplayed his piano, so too Simon Dunn produces a book which is a pleasure to read.

Despite it mocking itself.
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on 18 June 2011
Humor is a strange beast. Whatever the form or the word used to describe it - comedy, parody, satire - individual reactions vary widely. It is safe to say that Simon Dunn knows how to be funny. That others continue hiring him as a sitcom scriptwriter and booking his stand-up act should be evidence of that. "Rotten Apple" has some laughs. Almost immediately, we find a laugh in the first story when Vic Malone (a "hard boiled" detective typical of the noir genre) and his boss Harry have an argument over the "vic," with confusion between the slang for victim and Malone's first name providing the comedic device.

Parody mocks or does a send-up of, in this case, a literary style or genre. Rotten Apple mocks genre conventions by taking them further, a little over-the-top. Sometimes, it seemed to me, too far. One example is referring to "Her Majesty's NYPD Police" with its headquarters on "Sunset Boulevard." The stories all take place in New York City, The Rotten Apple. The "Her Majesty's" part and setting the headquarters in what many readers would assume is Los Angeles, seemed pointless rather than funny.

Other geographical faux pas were of the same type (traveling south from Philadelphia to New Hampshire and then north into New York State in one instance). Had this been a character traveling the wrong direction and not getting there, it would have been funny. Had it been a character confused about what direction they traveled, it might have been funny. But the narrator telling the story wrong just seemed stupid. Possibly this is a send up of some noir genre convention that I'm just not getting.

In the end, I was left wondering. Were the parts I found funny enough to counteract those that fell flat? Is a parody of the noir genre, which is a bit over-the-top to begin with, a flawed concept? Do my sense of humor and Dunn's differ? Most important, which sense of humor is closest to yours? My suspicion is that some people would like "Rotten Apple" much more than I did.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog.**
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on 22 November 2012
If you're a fan of sophisticated characters, subtle motives or exquisite dialogue in a carefully paced intelligent whodunnit then read something else. If however, you want to have great fun with the unashamed idiocy of this messed up cop drama (think Sin City without the production values or the transcript of a sedated Raymond Chandler trying hard to resist torture) then this is for you.
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on 21 May 2011
Most entertaining! a jolly good holiday read. Mr Dunn writes a pretty damn good novel. I could see this as a comic strip for adults. Well done!
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on 22 November 2012
Not for me - very unusual writing style, I cannot imagine how the mind of the person who wrote it works!
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