Sunday, October 1, 2017

Review: Ten Dead Comedians

The title caught my attention.  Then I read the premise:
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!
So I knew what I was in for - a comedic take on a classic elimination murder mystery. And I wasn't disappointed.  The story was simple - a series of text messages are sent out to various comedians, inviting them to a small Jamaican island to take part in the next big thing.  No-one is about to greet them, and in each of their rooms is a memento of the past or the future.  A video by their host, the great Dustin Walker, accuses them all of crimes against comedy - all are to be judged and no-one is leaving - alive.
" ... a room full of comics turns into a shark tank with one sniff of blood in the water ..."
The story then builds up with each chapter.  There are plot twists upon plot twists, the characters are suitable odorous, and you found that you didn't really know which character you should be rooting for to survive the obligatory gruesome end.

I knew what I was in for and found myself engaged, having some preconception of the proposed plot-line as I am a dedicated Agatha Christie fan.  Fred van Lente's homage to this classic crime genre, style of story-telling, and sardonic humour will not be to everyone's taste ... but it is what is is.


For movie-buffs, see also:
Ten Little Indians (1965 film)
Ten Little Indians (1987 film)
Ten Little Indians (1985 film)
Clue (1985 film)
And Then There Were None ( 2015 miniseries)

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