Ten Dead Comedians
Fred Van Lente’s brilliant debut is both an homage to the Golden Age of Mystery and a thoroughly contemporary show-business satire. As the story opens, nine comedians of various acclaim are summoned to the island retreat of legendary Hollywood funnyman Dustin Walker. The group includes a former late-night TV host, a washed-up improv instructor, a ridiculously wealthy “blue collar” comic, and a past-her-prime Vegas icon. All nine arrive via boat to find that every building on the island is completely deserted. Marooned without cell phone service or wifi signals, they soon find themselves being murdered one by one. But who is doing the killing, and why? A darkly clever take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and other classics of the genre, Ten Dead Comedians is a marvel of literary ventriloquism, with hilarious comic monologues in the voice of every suspect. It’s also an ingeniously plotted puzzler with a twist you’ll never see coming!

Ten Dead Comedians Details

TitleTen Dead Comedians
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseJul 11th, 2017
PublisherQuirk Books
ISBN1594749744
ISBN-139781594749742
Number of pages288 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Humor

Ten Dead Comedians Review

  • Sam Quixote
    June 4, 2017
    In his debut novel, Fred Van Lente does Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None - but with comedians! And it’s not bad. Many of the characters are thinly-veiled versions of real-life comedians: there’s a Larry the Cable Guy-type, Carrot Top, Ali Wong, George Lopez, and Joan Rivers, to name a few. They’re lured to a private island owned by a famous, rich comic they all have connections to who strangely isn’t there to greet them - and then the comedians start getting killed one by one! And Then In his debut novel, Fred Van Lente does Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None - but with comedians! And it’s not bad. Many of the characters are thinly-veiled versions of real-life comedians: there’s a Larry the Cable Guy-type, Carrot Top, Ali Wong, George Lopez, and Joan Rivers, to name a few. They’re lured to a private island owned by a famous, rich comic they all have connections to who strangely isn’t there to greet them - and then the comedians start getting killed one by one! And Then There Were None (alternately titled Ten Little Niggers/Indians/Soldiers hence Van Lente’s title) is my favourite Agatha Christie novel and a masterpiece but Van Lente, despite being a talented comics writer, isn’t as good a novelist as Christie to make his story as gripping as hers. I think he’s going for both a comedic and thrilling novel and, in splitting his focus on two disparate genres, doesn’t really accomplish either. Whereas with Christie the tension builds until you forget you’re even reading, you’re flying through the pages, Van Lente’s story has a stop/start rhythm to it; sometimes it’s exciting, like when a murder happens, but more often than not it’s kinda dull as the characters stand around wondering what to do. The story is padded out with excerpts from the comedians’ standup routines which were the worst parts of the book. Full marks to Van Lente for trying, and I realise writing genuinely funny comedy is very hard, but, wow, were these passages unfunny - I didn’t laugh once at anything. Maybe that was the point - to highlight the comedians’ hackery - but it didn’t make for entertaining reading either. The premise is still a great one and kept me reading to find out whodunit. I also couldn’t guess who the murderer was (though their motivation for the killings was so stupid) so the mystery is maintained the whole time. Van Lente sporadically wrings enough interesting scenes out of it to make this a decent, quick read on the beach or on a plane. But it’s still a very average book and, if you’ve never read Agatha Christie’s original, I’d highly recommend checking that one out over Ten Dead Comedians.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    March 11, 2017
    This was an entertaining homage to Agatha Christie and to old school murder mystery but with a cutting edge and a lot of hilarious happenings.Full review to follow.
  • Jackie
    June 17, 2017
    This was a surprisingly good read (better than the last 3 books I read and DNFed lol). I was going to give this like 3 stars but the ending convinced me to add another star! RTC.
  • Julia
    June 23, 2017
    This was a funny murder mystery. It was an entertaining and a quick read. 10 strangers are on a deserted island, the home of legendary comedian Dustin Walker. He has invited them there to work on his latest project. When they arrive, they find the island deserted and their host dead. With no internet or phone service, they have no way of getting off the island. And one by one, they are being murdered.The ways they are killed become increasingly complex, as we try to figure out who is responsible This was a funny murder mystery. It was an entertaining and a quick read. 10 strangers are on a deserted island, the home of legendary comedian Dustin Walker. He has invited them there to work on his latest project. When they arrive, they find the island deserted and their host dead. With no internet or phone service, they have no way of getting off the island. And one by one, they are being murdered.The ways they are killed become increasingly complex, as we try to figure out who is responsible for the deaths, and who, if anyone, will survive. The main story is interspersed with comedy monologues from each of the comedians. I felt the monologues were the weakest part of the story. Towards the end, I just skipped over them. I don't feel like I missed anything.It also seemed that the people weren't taking the threat seriously enough. They didn't seem as panicked as I think I would be. As in all horror movies, people were still going off by themselves instead of sticking together. And being lured to isolated locations. Why are people so stupid?For all these flaws, this was still a fun read. I enjoyed the basic story. The murders were inventive and the ending was satisfying. Just be prepared for characters that you like to die. This is a murder mystery after all.I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jennifer
    April 29, 2017
    In Fred Van Lente's sly update of mystery classic And Then There Were None, ten comedians of varying levels of success and talent travel to a tropical island at the behest of reclusive legendary funnyman Dustin Walker. To the surprise of absolutely no one who's ever even heard the words Agatha Christie, they find the island deserted - except for the unseen killer who stats picking them off one by one.Given that Van Lente is recycling his material from one of the greatest and best known mystery n In Fred Van Lente's sly update of mystery classic And Then There Were None, ten comedians of varying levels of success and talent travel to a tropical island at the behest of reclusive legendary funnyman Dustin Walker. To the surprise of absolutely no one who's ever even heard the words Agatha Christie, they find the island deserted - except for the unseen killer who stats picking them off one by one.Given that Van Lente is recycling his material from one of the greatest and best known mystery novels of all time, I have to assume we're meant to guess our destination and that the thrill is in the journey, which treats us to send-ups of several famous comics as well as the comedy-world in general. I'll admit here and now that comedy is not an area I pay a lot of attention to, so while I could identify the obvious Larry the Cable Guy and Joan Rivers repliques - and Jesus, is that a Gallagher reference? does anyone even know who that is anymore? - most of the other caricatures missed their marks with me. There is, however, no speciality knowledge required to enjoy the series of horror-movie-style murders, which Van Lente has bumped from Christie's discreet PG to a hard R in some places. The only real issue with Ten Dead Comedians is that its premise insists it be funnier than it quite manages to be. Chapters end with flashbacks from the routines of all the characters (whom you'll notice I don't bother to name or describe, as they're sort of incidental), and while they may be good for a grin I doubt many guffaws will be expended over these pages. Still, Van Lente's debut manages to kill - at least in one of the two genres it's straddling.
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  • Ivonne Rovira
    June 23, 2017
    Savvy mystery lovers will recognize immediately from the title what Fred van Lente’s debut is: a modern reworking of And Then There Were None, the Agatha Christie novel originally published with the offensive title of Ten Little Niggers. Which is especially appropriate for this novel for reasons I’ll get to later.Dustin Walker was a comedy legend in his day; however, a series of extremely lucrative but terrible movies has reduced the one time king of comedy to a punchline. Even so, Walker has ac Savvy mystery lovers will recognize immediately from the title what Fred van Lente’s debut is: a modern reworking of And Then There Were None, the Agatha Christie novel originally published with the offensive title of Ten Little Niggers. Which is especially appropriate for this novel for reasons I’ll get to later.Dustin Walker was a comedy legend in his day; however, a series of extremely lucrative but terrible movies has reduced the one time king of comedy to a punchline. Even so, Walker has accrued so much wealth that he now has a Caribbean island to himself with a mansion to match. So when an assortment of comedians — some well-known, some not-so-much — get an invitation from Walker to come to the island, they all respond, hoping that they can profit from what they assume is a comeback gambit. The group includes funhouse versions of Larry the Cable Guy, Joan Rivers, Pewee Herman, a Puerto Rican David Letterman, among others. As in And Then There Were None, the guests find their host has killed himself and then arranged that the rest should die, one by one.As the novel’s title suggests, van Lente has crossed the Agatha Christie classic with a no-holds-barred, profane and often tasteless show-business satire to create a gripping thriller, both funny and suspenseful, a book that kept me reading into the wee hours so I could see how it ended. And worth every lost minute of sleep. Highly, highly recommended.In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley and Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Josh
    June 8, 2017
    The heady mixture of murder and comedy makes for an addictive read from opening stanza to punch line. In this murder mystery, author Fred Van Lente employs a number of classical genre tropes but keeps the story fresh with a healthy dose of humor. As the title suggests the plot revolves around a group of comedians brought to an island under false pretenses, thinking they're going to collaborate with a comedy heavyweight only to be picked off one by one by a mysterious murderer. I couldn't put it The heady mixture of murder and comedy makes for an addictive read from opening stanza to punch line. In this murder mystery, author Fred Van Lente employs a number of classical genre tropes but keeps the story fresh with a healthy dose of humor. As the title suggests the plot revolves around a group of comedians brought to an island under false pretenses, thinking they're going to collaborate with a comedy heavyweight only to be picked off one by one by a mysterious murderer. I couldn't put it down - highly recommended - 5/5 stars.
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  • Robin
    March 27, 2017
    A take on the "locked room" mystery, this had about 6 too many characters; I had difficult time keeping them straight and never felt I knew much about them. The solution was clever with a good twist.It's compared to Agatha Christie's AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, and while the plot is similar, take care in recommending to Christie fans as it is a bit raunchy in places.Thanks to the publisher for the advance digital reading copy.
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  • Lexie
    January 23, 2017
    So this probably would have been a 3.5 bumped to a 4 if not for the fact I was rather let down that (view spoiler)[ the movie ending was followed, not the book ending (hide spoiler)]. well insomuch as it could be - Lente did a really good job following the cues of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, adapting the deaths to match some aspect of the Comedians lives (much as Christie adapted the children's ditty), but to make the final punchline stick the Judge character was different.I recently re-skimmed th So this probably would have been a 3.5 bumped to a 4 if not for the fact I was rather let down that (view spoiler)[ the movie ending was followed, not the book ending (hide spoiler)]. well insomuch as it could be - Lente did a really good job following the cues of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, adapting the deaths to match some aspect of the Comedians lives (much as Christie adapted the children's ditty), but to make the final punchline stick the Judge character was different.I recently re-skimmed this, to finish up my review, and guys...guys its possible I was being too nice earlier. My skin was crawling at points that I marked to revisit for my review.I will warn for grisly deaths, foul language and well the language in general - no punches are pulled here. But hey a good comedian kills the audience right?
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  • Rachel
    April 4, 2017
    Ten Dead Comedians advertises itself as an homage to "the Golden Age of Mystery" and a satire on show business. I don't know much about either of those things, but I do know that this is a fun book. I really had a tough time putting it down, and the only reason it took me so long to read was because I was busy with my stupid life (Job? Family? Who has time, when there's books?). This is author Fred Van Lente's debut novel, having previously wrote comics, such as Weird Detective, X-Men Noir, Cowb Ten Dead Comedians advertises itself as an homage to "the Golden Age of Mystery" and a satire on show business. I don't know much about either of those things, but I do know that this is a fun book. I really had a tough time putting it down, and the only reason it took me so long to read was because I was busy with my stupid life (Job? Family? Who has time, when there's books?). This is author Fred Van Lente's debut novel, having previously wrote comics, such as Weird Detective, X-Men Noir, Cowboys and Aliens, and Action Philosophers! I've only read some of the Noir comics, and enjoyed them, so I figured that would also be the case here, and I was pleasantly proved right.The premise is basically this: A group of comedians (let's say 10) are brought to an island, and- Surprise!- there's a bunch of crazy traps that starts picking them off, one by one. The man who brings them to the island tells them he is punishing them all for their "crimes against comedy", which is clarified for each one throughout the book. Not an overly done, yet well loved trope, and something about the "classic"-ness of the plot made it comforting, while author Van Lente's particular take, the use of comedians, made it fresh and funny. I found myself laughing more than anticipated for a mystery, but since the word "comedians" is in the title, I would have been disappointed if this hadn't been the case. I really enjoyed the nods to actual comedians in the business; Billy the Contractor is one of the titular ten, a "redneck" comic who tends to wear shirts with the sleeves cut off. Sound familiar? What about the retired late show host who had a penchant for sexual harassment? Personally, I couldn't place all the comedians, and maybe I'm wrong in the correlations. Either way, the characters, while a bit two dimensional at times (some more-so than others) were a bunch of fun. I will say, though, kudos for the diversity. And while I mention two-dimensional, I must mention that this is not because of over-use (or even standard use). The writing itself was pretty great. Not the flowing prose of Sylvia Plath or anything, but who needs that all the time anyway? I personally enjoy a more conversational style of writing; and that's how this felt. Not only with the dialog, but just the writing in general, felt almost intimate, like Van Lente was telling me this crazy story over beers one night. I'm not a drinker, but I'd knock a few back for this tale. One thing that struck me is that the major twist of the book isn't so much the climax of the story, which was a touch predictable, but a who actually survives the island! I don't know if the author intended, but he red herringed me into totally falling for the wrong survivors, and I loved it. I guess the main thing about this book is not to expect a new invention, but a new twist on an old standard. With the warm weather coming up, I'd say this would make an excellent beach read, or a great book to get through a plane ride. It's light, filling, and just the right amount of spice: like a perfect lunch.
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  • Mike
    May 27, 2017
    After receiving a mysterious text message, nine comedians are drawn to an island where they are murdered one by one.A whodunnit that's been done many, many times before, but this time the characters are caricatures of famous comedians, and the only surprising twist is that it isn't very funny. Although it didn't appeal to me, fans of the stand up comedy scene might enjoy the book's gallows humor.
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  • Terryann
    April 12, 2017
    i thoroughly enjoyed this camped up rendition of a classic 'who done it'. i was not entirely surprised by the culprit, but i loved getting to him. i also loved the 'happy' ending. this was a delight to read.
  • Tracy
    April 6, 2017
    Laugh out loud funny. I kept imagining who the real comedy star was that each character was modeled after. Very much like And Then There Were None but with more, um, adult themes and language.
  • Patrick
    January 17, 2017
    Ten Dead Comedians reads like a love letter to classic murder mysteries from a major stand-up comedy nerd. Imagine Clue starring the cast of a Comedy Central Roast. The characters fit instantly recognizable comedian archetypes and following as they are killed in cleverly gruesome traps is hilarious and gripping at the same time. Fred Van Lente writes some of the most laugh-out-loud comic books it the business and while his fans will love this book, fans of Agatha Christie and Garth Ennis will be Ten Dead Comedians reads like a love letter to classic murder mysteries from a major stand-up comedy nerd. Imagine Clue starring the cast of a Comedy Central Roast. The characters fit instantly recognizable comedian archetypes and following as they are killed in cleverly gruesome traps is hilarious and gripping at the same time. Fred Van Lente writes some of the most laugh-out-loud comic books it the business and while his fans will love this book, fans of Agatha Christie and Garth Ennis will be equally pleased.
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  • Cornerofmadness
    May 31, 2017
    I received an ARC via Netgalley and Quirk books but that in no way influenced my review. This book is an homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (Otherwise known as Ten Little Indians after the nursery rhyme which, sad to say, had an even more offensive racial title back in the 30s, think N word). The plot was lifted directly from her work and it’s one most mystery readers will know even if they’ve never read Dame Christie’s book as it’s been done a thousand times (I just saw a reru I received an ARC via Netgalley and Quirk books but that in no way influenced my review. This book is an homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (Otherwise known as Ten Little Indians after the nursery rhyme which, sad to say, had an even more offensive racial title back in the 30s, think N word). The plot was lifted directly from her work and it’s one most mystery readers will know even if they’ve never read Dame Christie’s book as it’s been done a thousand times (I just saw a rerun of the Murder, She Wrote version of it the other day). I wanted to read this one because it sounded fun and I know the author from some of the comic book work.The twist this time is they’re all comedians at various stages in their careers with one connection: they all credit Dustin Walker, their host, with being their inspiration. You’re quickly introduce to the nine comics in short chapters, Steve who once was on a TV show with Walker but whose career tanked and he’s now teaching improv (and he has a dark secret that is referenced through much of the novel before being revealed), TJ who also worked on that show but went on to be a relatively big deal with another TV show (and hates Steve) and makes his Hispanic heritage a big part of who he is, Dante, an African America comic (who might not be as street as he pretends) and alcoholic with rage issues, Ollie, a prop comic who does an act Orange Baby Man (who comes across as a cross between the Blue Man group, Pee Wee Herman and Ned Flanders in his abhorrence of bad language and mean humor), Bill the Mechanic, who’s snobby and wealthy pretending to be blue collar ala Larry the Cable Guy, Janet who reminds me of Joan Rivers only more obsessed on making her vagina part of her act, Zoe who’s a bit of a stereotype: the neurotic Jewish woman, and Ruby, the Vietnamese lesbian who does podcast humor. Rounding out the 10th comic could be either Walker himself or Meredith his African-British gal Friday and comic wanna be.Walker has lured them all to a private island, to his estate there, all of them thinking this comic legend is going to help their careers but in short order they’re shown a recording of him accusing them of crimes against comedy and of him committing suicide. Following Christie’s template, they can’t reach the outside world (no internet, no cell phone reception) and one by one they start getting picked off until well...there was none.To be honest it wasn’t too hard to figure out who the killer was and why (that really wasn’t the point I don’t think) but it was an entertaining read. I will say that not ever character is as well drawn as the others with the ladies suffering more from this lack of depth than the men. Ruby is the best drawn of the women, an overly sensitive, overly aggressive feminist who sees men as the enemy (there’s no subtly to her feminism which, as a feminist, I found disappointing). TJ and Dante are also aggressive and very unlikeable to be honest. Actually only Ollie, in his child like innocence (child like in an arrested development sort of way) was nice and he is abused badly by the others as not being a ‘real comic’ because of his type of act (ironically he’s the richest, most successful of them). His pain at their mockery is the most real emotion in the whole novel.And that is maybe one of the bigger failures of the novel: not a lot of emotional depth. Sometimes we’re in their heads but often there is a great narrative distance which keeps you from really engaging the reader. In fact, for some reason many of them are referred to by first and last name throughout and I found that irksome. There was one point I was very annoyed by a very obviously wrong death scene but power on. It’s actually a clue. I was a little disappointed by who was the last comic standing only because I didn’t like the character but it made sense that comic was the one to solve it.As I said I did have an ARC so I didn’t take formatting into consideration but it was atrocious in mine so I hope it gets fixed. Also large chunks were in red and I wasn’t sure if that it was an editing left over from either adding to or maybe highlighting for removal and I’m rather hoping the latter. It was in the sections where we were getting to see parts of the comic’s acts (which were dispersed through the book) and honestly they went on rather long and oddly not that funny (at least to me. Humor is one of the hardest things to write because it’s so subjective). There are several post Trump election references as well (I’m imagining were added after the first draft as I don’t think a publishing schedule could take something from start to finish in less than five months without it really showing).
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  • E.P.
    June 3, 2017
    A group of comedians, all either on their way up or on their way down, is invited to a fellow superstar comedian's private island for a mysterious project. But the project, it turns out, is killing them.Like all good comedy, "Ten Dead Comedians" is light fare, but with a definite bite. It's less haha-hilarious than I was expecting, but it does have that upending of expectations, that edgy attack on accepted cultural mores, that good stand-up does. The comedians represent a cross-section of conte A group of comedians, all either on their way up or on their way down, is invited to a fellow superstar comedian's private island for a mysterious project. But the project, it turns out, is killing them.Like all good comedy, "Ten Dead Comedians" is light fare, but with a definite bite. It's less haha-hilarious than I was expecting, but it does have that upending of expectations, that edgy attack on accepted cultural mores, that good stand-up does. The comedians represent a cross-section of contemporary American comedy, including the white blue collar comedian who pokes fun at Liberal America in a heavy (faked) Southern accent, the ultra-liberal Asian lesbian who alienates everyone around her with her crusading, the Hispanic TV show host who harasses women and gays, the washed-up improv instructor, and so on and so forth. Each character has a story, which they get to tell, exposing the sexism, racism, classism, and fame-chasing of their society, and each character has a reason why the others might want to kill them.I won't spoil it by saying whodunnit, but readers of this kind of thing will have a good guess, while also being satisfied by the twist that exposes the villain. The plotting is conventional locked-room murder mystery stuff, but it's done well, with a good balance of surprise and satisfaction, and the action is page-turning. All the characters are sort of likable, or at least pitiable, and sort of irritating jerks, so it's good that the narrative doesn't spend too long with any of them, giving multiple points of view in each chapter. This could be confusing, but the characters are all delineated clearly enough that it's easy enough to sort them out after a couple of chapters. Readers should be beware that the body count is high, as you'd expect, and there is some gore, although not in egregiously large quantities. In the end, "Ten Dead Comedians" is like a good comedy routine--it's a fun piece of entertainment, with enough of a snap to it to keep you listening, and thinking about it afterwards.My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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  • Aimee
    June 10, 2017
    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this Advanced Reader in exchange for an honest review.This is the perfect throwback to classic murder mysteries with an updated twist! I loved reading this whodunit. I found myself trying to replace the 10 comics in this book with real life comics that matched the personalities in the book which was fun. The premise of this story is an updated version of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. A group of people, in this case famous and semi-famous Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this Advanced Reader in exchange for an honest review.This is the perfect throwback to classic murder mysteries with an updated twist! I loved reading this whodunit. I found myself trying to replace the 10 comics in this book with real life comics that matched the personalities in the book which was fun. The premise of this story is an updated version of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. A group of people, in this case famous and semi-famous comedians and TV/radio personalities who all have a connection to ultra famous Dustin Walker are invited to his private island. He has asked them all to come with a promise of a project that could further or revitalize their careers. Each has their own motive for agreeing to go and each has their own history with Dustin. Once they reach the island, it quickly becomes clear that this is not a vacation and it certainly does not promise to end with a boost to anyone's career. The guests find out upon arrival (via video) that their host Dustin intends to kill all of them, but not before diving off a cliff to his death. One by one people start to die in crazy gruesome ways and the finger pointing begins. Who is murdering everyone? Is someone among them the killer? I really enjoyed this book. I flew through it and finished it quickly because I was dying (no pun intended) to see how it would end. I could really see this as a movie!
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  • Samantha
    June 24, 2017
    An entertaining homage to Agatha Christie - this is a humorous take on And Then There Were None - all the characters are comedians who are lured to the island in the Caribbean to collaborate on doing a special television show with the legendary funny man Dustin Walker. The 9 comedians all have a varying level of success in the industry, some are hoping to revive flagging careers, others believe a special show could not be complete without them. As with the Agatha Christie book all the comedians An entertaining homage to Agatha Christie - this is a humorous take on And Then There Were None - all the characters are comedians who are lured to the island in the Caribbean to collaborate on doing a special television show with the legendary funny man Dustin Walker. The 9 comedians all have a varying level of success in the industry, some are hoping to revive flagging careers, others believe a special show could not be complete without them. As with the Agatha Christie book all the comedians arrive to find the island is completely deserted except for them and no sign of their host. One by one they are all being picked off and killed meaning that one of them must be the killer. Good inventive novel where the characters were believable if not all likeable but I think that is the intention. Clever inventive murders that give nothing away until the end. Thoroughly enjoyable read, funny in parts, sad in others but never boring. Quite and addictive read with a good ending and plenty of red herrings. Have to give this one a 4 star rating - had it been an original story and not a take on someone else book I would have given it a 5.I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.
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  • W. Monisa Smith
    May 30, 2017
    [This review based on an ARC from Netgalley]This black comedy is a clever take on Christie's "And then there were none." Quite the interesting cast of characters, too. I couldn't help try to figure out what real-life comics the author was spoofing. The posh, upper-class gentleman whose onstage persona reeked of Larry the Cable Guy; the former talk show host who sounded like a combination of Jay Leno/George Lopez; An older insult comic who reminded me of Joan Rivers; The streetwise urban comic wh [This review based on an ARC from Netgalley]This black comedy is a clever take on Christie's "And then there were none." Quite the interesting cast of characters, too. I couldn't help try to figure out what real-life comics the author was spoofing. The posh, upper-class gentleman whose onstage persona reeked of Larry the Cable Guy; the former talk show host who sounded like a combination of Jay Leno/George Lopez; An older insult comic who reminded me of Joan Rivers; The streetwise urban comic who was actually from a middle class home; The childlike weirdo who came across as some strange genetic combination of PeeWee Herman and the Blue Man Group. They and others are invited to a mysterious island where they are being picked off one by one. The owner of the island in question is an extremely famous comic who has lost some of his shine after a series of bad movies (Eddie Murphy? Jim Carey, maybe?).There are some graphic, bloody moments. But over all it's a pretty good book to pass the time with while chilling out on vacation.On the whole, the book reminded me of the old movie spoof "Death by Murder".
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  • Bill
    May 29, 2017
    What happens to comedians when they fade away and you no longer see them on the late night shows or on Comedy Central or appearing in your nearest comedy club?Perhaps they retire to some up market country club and become the official toastmaster, if there is such a thing, or become a DJ or a commentator for Fox News.Or perhaps they are invited to a private Caribbean Island for a few days of revenge and murder. That is the case in TEN DEAD COMEDIANS.Ten comedians, most no longer famous, let alone What happens to comedians when they fade away and you no longer see them on the late night shows or on Comedy Central or appearing in your nearest comedy club?Perhaps they retire to some up market country club and become the official toastmaster, if there is such a thing, or become a DJ or a commentator for Fox News.Or perhaps they are invited to a private Caribbean Island for a few days of revenge and murder. That is the case in TEN DEAD COMEDIANS.Ten comedians, most no longer famous, let alone rich, have been invited to a well known comedian both rich and famous to make a TV special.And it’s special all right; it’s just not for TV. Instead, it’s for revenge or out of sheer nastiness, and the payoff is not new won fame and fortune, but death by some bizarre and bloody means.Is there any hope of survival? That’s what the fewer and fewer survivors wonder, and you might too, in this mystery that is not for the faint hearted, but maybe for those with a particularly wacky sense of humor.
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  • Julia
    July 1, 2017
    As I mentioned in another review, one of the greatest things about getting books through Goodreads is that I get to read all types of books - many of them types that I would normally not go for. It's great, because it opens me up to new types of books. This was one of those books! It's hilarious, it's satirical, and the plot is full of twists, turns, and loop-de-loops! I enjoyed the ride that it took me on, and I really appreciated that although it is a humours book it also - and I think this is As I mentioned in another review, one of the greatest things about getting books through Goodreads is that I get to read all types of books - many of them types that I would normally not go for. It's great, because it opens me up to new types of books. This was one of those books! It's hilarious, it's satirical, and the plot is full of twists, turns, and loop-de-loops! I enjoyed the ride that it took me on, and I really appreciated that although it is a humours book it also - and I think this is the point of satire - reveals true things, opens doors, shows you, through satire, certain ridiculous ways of the world.It kept me engaged, and turning pages. I enjoyed the ride this novel took me on, and would recommend it to anyone.
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  • Margaret
    June 5, 2017
    This is a review of an ARC from NetGalleyOof. Nine comedians are summoned to an island to meet with a legendary king of comedy on a new project. Once they arrive, they realize there host is missing. And then the murders start.This was trying to be "And Then There Were None" meets Clue. But Agatha Christie is a brilliant master plotter and queen of suspense. And Clue was a brilliant farce. This is just...unfortunate. Weak plots, poorly drawn characters, obvious jokes. Just not even worth finishin This is a review of an ARC from NetGalleyOof. Nine comedians are summoned to an island to meet with a legendary king of comedy on a new project. Once they arrive, they realize there host is missing. And then the murders start.This was trying to be "And Then There Were None" meets Clue. But Agatha Christie is a brilliant master plotter and queen of suspense. And Clue was a brilliant farce. This is just...unfortunate. Weak plots, poorly drawn characters, obvious jokes. Just not even worth finishing.
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  • Stefanie
    June 22, 2017
    Thank you NetGalley for providing this advanced reader copy.A funny twist on a classic. The plot line stays true to the original, so readers will easily predict the ending, but I was wondering the whole time if there would be something unexpected. Comedy bits are funny, but not all of them were to my taste, i.e. I found some funnier than others. I will recommend this book to fans of Christy's original and readers looking for humor and mystery.
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  • Jesse
    June 13, 2017
    Read the Advanced Reader's Copy. Characters are a little too broad, and the humor is a little too mean for me. I also think, as a fan of Van Lente's work in comics, this isn't showing his full potential. Still, the mystery is fair play all the way, and the climax rocks three times harder than what came before. Give it a shot.
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  • Luisa
    June 28, 2017
    I won a copy of this book on goodreads in exchange for an honest review. I liked the title and the comedy routines. It just seemed predictable. The flow and pace was good. This book just didn't do anything for me hence the 2*. I do think there is an audience that would appreciate this book, those who are fans of comedy and those who like whodonits.
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  • Seth
    June 27, 2017
    More of a clever idea that real life comedians might like if they read it, but as a standalone story, it was just okay. It wanted to be a statement on celebrity life and pop culture but it was a little too self aware.
  • Paula Lyle
    June 17, 2017
    This is a cute takeoff on Agatha Christie, so if you know that book you know the ending pretty much. That's OK. My problem was that these were just annoying people, not really evil. They really don't deserve what happens.I received an ARC from NetGalley.
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  • Jaymie
    June 26, 2017
    3.5 stars. Good mystery. Didn't care for the characters (although they aren't necessarily supposed to be likable). More language and crass content than I usually like.I received an Electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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