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Dead Men Scare Me Stupid

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One of a series of comedy science fiction novels featuring slow-witted detective Frank Burly. By John Swartzwelder, the writer of 59 episodes of The Simpsons.


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One of a series of comedy science fiction novels featuring slow-witted detective Frank Burly. By John Swartzwelder, the writer of 59 episodes of The Simpsons.

30 review for Dead Men Scare Me Stupid

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lewis

    If you're a fan of The Simpsons, you're already a John Swartzwelder fan. Not only has he written more episodes than any other writer, but his episodes are many fan favorites, such as Whacking Day (1993), Homer the Great (Stonecutters, 1995), Homer the Smithers (1996), and Homie the Clown (Clown School, 1995), along with 55 other incredible episodes. Dead Men Scare Me Stupid is an adventure of Frank Burly, the world's most dimwitted, yet likeable, detective. In this adventure two of his former cli If you're a fan of The Simpsons, you're already a John Swartzwelder fan. Not only has he written more episodes than any other writer, but his episodes are many fan favorites, such as Whacking Day (1993), Homer the Great (Stonecutters, 1995), Homer the Smithers (1996), and Homie the Clown (Clown School, 1995), along with 55 other incredible episodes. Dead Men Scare Me Stupid is an adventure of Frank Burly, the world's most dimwitted, yet likeable, detective. In this adventure two of his former clients, who are not-so-coincidentally deceased, come to haunt and torment him from beyond the grave. The most devious of their actions is framing Frank for many unexplained crimes. The story takes off from there and doesn't stop. Even Amelia Earhart's body makes an appearance. Yep, that's right. As one would expect from Swartzwelder's talent, the book is full of one-liners that will crack you up and stay with you long after you're finished the book. The jokes are so dense, one needs to watch to not read too quickly and pass over some humorous absurdity. This also makes the book great for a reread. I'd recommend Dead Men Scare Me Stupid to any fan of The Simpsons, satire, or witty humor. Swartzwelder's a genius; this book won't disappoint.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Craig Garrett

    Note: I’d likely give this 3.5 stars if possible. This is the 4th Frank Burly book I’ve read this year, and I feel like that might be my upper limit; I might space the remaining ones out more to better get the full impact of the jokes and absurdist humor. Still, I managed to be engaged and found myself chuckling often.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dan Prestwich

    Not my favorite entry in this supremely silly series, but if it brought me fewer guffaws, I was still smiling on nearly every page. B

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul Cloutier

    equally silly as all the rest of these books, though this one is a little tighter writing than some of the earlier ones.

  5. 4 out of 5

    D.M.

    John Swartzwelder is kind of the mad genius behind some of the greatest moments during the golden age of animated TV show The Simpsons. He's a figure of mystery to the fans, and even to his fellow show creators he seems a bit enigmatic. Back in 2003, though, he started (seemingly self-) publishing one of these hard-boiled detective parody novels featuring his idiot protagonist Frank Burly. This one is from 2008, so much has already occurred in Burly's life, but it's not necessary to have gone th John Swartzwelder is kind of the mad genius behind some of the greatest moments during the golden age of animated TV show The Simpsons. He's a figure of mystery to the fans, and even to his fellow show creators he seems a bit enigmatic. Back in 2003, though, he started (seemingly self-) publishing one of these hard-boiled detective parody novels featuring his idiot protagonist Frank Burly. This one is from 2008, so much has already occurred in Burly's life, but it's not necessary to have gone through all that to get some joy here. Frank Burly is not just a bad detective, he's a complete moron. Like most complete moron's, he has no idea just how dumb he is. In this novel, he finds himself uniquely haunted by the ghosts of two former clients, for whose deaths he is (somewhat indirectly) responsible. Things go unpredictably strange from there. I'm not really sure there was a need for more madcap detective takeoffs, but I'm glad Swartzwelder's doing it. His sensibilities are notoriously archaic, and this genre serves them beautifully. There's nearly no way to picture the things happening here in any kind of actual reality, much in the way Douglas Adams' classic Hitchhiker's Guide... books played fast and loose with nature through marvelously comic use of language. This is not heavy reading in any way. It's strictly for laughs, and those come plentifully. I'll definitely be back for more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Circa Girl

    Okay, so this is the weakest of the Frank Burly detective series that I've read so far. Some of the gags kind of drag and the overall conflict isn't developed as well as the previous books. In fact it sort of felt like Swartzwelder just made up random opportunities for jokes and tried to see what stuck. Farcical humor and crazy, offbeat happenings are expected to some extent in the series obviously, but previous books seemed to have more of an outline that worked for developing punchlines and sa Okay, so this is the weakest of the Frank Burly detective series that I've read so far. Some of the gags kind of drag and the overall conflict isn't developed as well as the previous books. In fact it sort of felt like Swartzwelder just made up random opportunities for jokes and tried to see what stuck. Farcical humor and crazy, offbeat happenings are expected to some extent in the series obviously, but previous books seemed to have more of an outline that worked for developing punchlines and satire themes. But that aside, even a weaker book by the comedic genius John Swartzwelder is a damn funny book. I got a good handful of laughter out-bursts that made it more than worth my time. I do hope the next book is a bit more engaging and consistently funny, but I have nothing but love for the series as a whole either way.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ohexcardonme

    Very funny book. If you like the Simpson's humor, you'll like this. It is a very short story with forgettable characters, a plot that is not very interesting, and a resolution that happens over the course of a few pages. However, this book is not trying to be any of those things. It's hilarious, and you can finish over the course of a few hours. Read it, enjoy it as you're reading it, then forget it. Very funny book. If you like the Simpson's humor, you'll like this. It is a very short story with forgettable characters, a plot that is not very interesting, and a resolution that happens over the course of a few pages. However, this book is not trying to be any of those things. It's hilarious, and you can finish over the course of a few hours. Read it, enjoy it as you're reading it, then forget it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This one had a few less laugh-out-loud jokes than others of the Burly books, but it also had more conceptually hilarious pieces: how hard ghosts have to work, how great the world is for not being born, the chapters where a ghost is trying to bring his corpse back to life. More high-concept humor, but a few less laughs.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Noah Sturdevant

    Anyone who likes the Simpsons should read this book. Anyone who likes clever word play and unexpected dialogue should also read it. Actually, go ahead and read it, because if you don't like it that is probably a character flaw on your part and not my fault. Read the rest of Swartzwelder's books too. Anyone who likes the Simpsons should read this book. Anyone who likes clever word play and unexpected dialogue should also read it. Actually, go ahead and read it, because if you don't like it that is probably a character flaw on your part and not my fault. Read the rest of Swartzwelder's books too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joe Kearney

    Absurd, and hilarious - everything you'd expect from another John Swartzwelder story about the great Frank Burly. Absurd, and hilarious - everything you'd expect from another John Swartzwelder story about the great Frank Burly.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Pierce

    The latest in Swartzwelder's tremendously goofy Frank Burly series. The latest in Swartzwelder's tremendously goofy Frank Burly series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robert McKiernan

    I don't think I was in the mood for it to be honest. Didn't enjoy it nearly as much as his other books I've read. I don't think I was in the mood for it to be honest. Didn't enjoy it nearly as much as his other books I've read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Thjodbjorn

    Another Seartzwelder book that had me crying in public (from laughing).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Very very funny! Such a practical, logical writer too...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erik Erickson

    Frank Burly Special! Another book in a series that's the most fun you can have reading. Frank Burly Special! Another book in a series that's the most fun you can have reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Finlay

    More Frank Burly zaniness, this time with ghosts. Just lots of chuckles, nothing more.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    I love everything about all of the Frank Burly novels. SO GOOD.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  19. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christina Botkin

  21. 4 out of 5

    David

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan Mahoney

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  24. 5 out of 5

    Craigeden

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Schroeder

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt Ockmond

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Clemons

  29. 4 out of 5

    reggie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Hedger

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