Review: Amityville House of Pancakes: Volume 3 edited by Pete S. Allen

Monday, May 12, 2008

Amityville House of Pancakes (volume 3) cover

Amityville House of Pancakes: Volume 3 edited by Pete S. Allen
Creative Guy Publishing, 2006
284 pages, ISBN 1894953355
$14.95 / Paperback

AHOP is an annual collection of humorous specfic wrapped up in "hot buttered weirdness" [Don Muchow].   The third volume is built on three novellas with a bit of Crypt-Keeper-style book-ending.

"The UnHardy Boys in Outer Space", by Gary K. Wolf and Jehane Baptiste, is the shortest of the three, a tale of two misfits coming into their own on the /ISS Alpha VI/.  Misfit numero uno is Father Jack Edwards, a well-meaning but run-down priest; and his best pal is "science fiction author Michael Henry", a none-too-subtle foil for co-author Wolf's "Roger Rabbit" fame (I get the strong impression he's tired of being referenced as such).  Father Jack and Michael Henry have banded together against "The Fun Posse"'s pranks and the crew-as-a-whole's rejection of their existence on the space station, and the novella fills us in on much hilarity not directly related to the throughline--the characters and supporting characters are fleshed out and have a satisfying amount of arc for the length.  The story is pulpy and inventive, but primarily it's a fun ride, and I recommend it for that.

The second course is K.M. Praschak's "Paragon", which takes the science fiction much farther into space (and fiction).  The humor for humor's sake is turned down a few notches, but there's definite twinges of camp in this space opera.  Mankind has spread through the stars, there are other races (some related, some otherwise?), strange and disparate cultures and religions and technologies... and those are just the spices we get infused with this twisted action-hero-esque glimpse of a battle determining the fate (and origin?) of the universe.  The story's plot crosses generations and millennia, but we're introduced to it through a personal vendetta against Captain Meriwether, which has his crew and ship being towed out to a black hole to be disposed of.  I'm generally hesitant when any story plays the "epic" card, but this one made me believe it within the implicit rules of the story.

And then for dessert, we have "Dalton Quayle and the Curse of King Tuti Fruiti" by Paul Kane.  This nutty confection is a non-stop groan-fest (and I don't mean the mummy) that had me physically wincing as I read.  While I enjoy puns in day to day conversation, and as a social game, this was the densest such work I've ever tried to read (and I've enjoyed a Xanth novel from time to time).  The supernatural/mummy genre is plumbed to its roots, here, and a few cherries may have been harmed in its making.

AHOP is definitely a different kind of diner--and if you're the sort that would eat there, well, you already know who you are, I think.

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posted by kaolin

50 comments; 0 subscribers

Monday, May 12, 2008 / 02:52:29
WANT TO WIN OUR REVIEW COPY? What's the funniest thing you've read lately? Let us know in the comments below, and one lucky entrant will be selected at random to receive this collection so you can see if it trumps it. :)

Entries will be considered through Monday, May 26 (midnight, pacific time). Open to anyone in the US/Canada.
Monday, May 12, 2008 / 03:19:07
The Sweet Potato Queens Guide:How to Raise Children For Fun and Profit by Jilll Connor Browne
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Monday, May 12, 2008 / 08:21:38

The most recent book I read was Discover Paradise by David Jermiah! It was very inspirational and I needed to be inspired at that time! Would love to read this, it sounds a tad offbeat, like I am.
Monday, May 12, 2008 / 10:49:14
I have been reading mysteries mostly lately, so funny book would be most welcome. Well, every Sunday, I do read the comics and "Arlo and Janis" really cracks me up. I love their cat. The cartoonist really has cat behavior (and misbehavior) down!
Monday, May 12, 2008 / 14:03:24
Stephen King's short story "LT's Theory of Pets." Read it out loud and try not to crack up.
Monday, May 12, 2008 / 14:16:25
her mother's daughter by marilyn franch
Monday, May 12, 2008 / 14:42:06
I havn't read anything funny lately, I read alot of forensics and Murders mysteries, I don't even read the sunday comics.
Monday, May 12, 2008 / 18:47:14
i've been re-reading terry pratchett's discworld series
Monday, May 12, 2008 / 23:12:39
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 / 00:07:49
I think some folks really aren't trying.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 / 05:42:12
I read Are You My Mother to my son last night. For some reason he thought it was hilarious which just warmed my heart.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 / 05:48:44
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008 / 08:00:07
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008 / 12:50:29
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008 / 15:12:24
what do these people do? just leave random comments everywhere in the hope that somehow, somewhere, they'll win something???
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 / 17:54:54
i would like to win this month. thanks
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 / 18:37:31
I think Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk if funny in this weird, ironic kind of way that makes you reassess the meaning or secondary meaning of the things around you.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 / 01:30:15
The funniest thing I've read lately was a Garfield cartoon where a fly lands on John's coffee, so John asks Garfield ewww what could be more disgusting than that? The fly comes back with his family bringing beach items to make camp at the coffee cup and Garfield says, that!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 / 01:47:43
titanicliberty--if you haven't come across it before, you might really enjoy "garfield minus garfield" --
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 / 16:52:05
The funniest thing I've read lately is a re-read actually...Calvin and Hobbs Revenge of the Baby-Sat.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 / 20:08:48
This would encourage me to find time to read. Love the Amityville House, and comical. Please enter me, thank you
Thursday, May 15, 2008 / 18:00:19
I have not read anything funny lately. I could use some good laughs. Thanks!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008 / 17:14:39
I just read the little jokes in our local daily newspaper, giess I'm pretty boring!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 / 07:56:25
looks like a fun read!
Thursday, May 22, 2008 / 13:49:29
I recently read Rock On, that book was funny!
Saturday, May 24, 2008 / 02:34:27
i was reading "Letters From a Nut" by Ted L. Nancy is sooo funny! it's a series of prank letters to major companies and it's SO funny!
Saturday, May 24, 2008 / 04:27:23
i really love the book "The Odd Couple" by Neil Simon, a classic and it's just hilarious!
Saturday, May 24, 2008 / 08:52:55
Okay this is an old book, but great for any baseball fan and I re-read it recently...The Umpire Strikes Back.
Saturday, May 24, 2008 / 17:54:34
I've been reading Josh Kilmer-Purcell's latest catty book. 'Candy Everybody Wants' is funny, smart-alec, witty and a perfect follow to his debut memoir 'i am not myself these days
Sunday, May 25, 2008 / 12:51:06
I've just reread The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie which is a wonderful book and funny as hell.
Sunday, May 25, 2008 / 13:09:21
ty 4 the book contest!
Sunday, May 25, 2008 / 13:22:44
David Rakoff's essays in "Fraud" have made me chuckle quite a bit.
Sunday, May 25, 2008 / 14:27:02
Shopaholic and Baby cracked me up. She's just so ridiculousand silly.
Sunday, May 25, 2008 / 16:03:23
ty 4 the book contest
Sunday, May 25, 2008 / 20:46:54
Looks like a fun book!
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 07:23:47
This book would be cool to win!!
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 07:55:02
Lamb:The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 08:51:12
I love the "Cat Who" books. I just finished "The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts". These books tickle me!
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 09:11:04
"One for the Money" by Janet Evanovich
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 11:05:28
The funniest thing I've read lately was The Wager: A Humorous Novel About Dog Parks, Seniors and Gambling For Love Later In Life. Good Luck to all! Have a fun and safe holiday! Thanks for sponsoring this contest!
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 19:30:41
The funniest thing I've read lately is the character Gerard in Michael Crichton's novel titled NEXT. In particular, Gerard's interaction with his penultimate person, Stan Milgram. Now the whole Gerard story itself is improbable, to say the least, but the character's interaction with humans is sometimes funny, sometimes hilarious, sometimes witty, even occasionally appropriate!
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 21:13:34
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Okay. Most of the books I read have at least one or two hilarious things in them, even if they are mysteries or biographies. The most recent fictional book I read was Can't Wait to Get to Heaven. If you read it, laugh like mad when you get to the 'House for Sale' part. I think I cried a little...
Seriously, the most hilarious series is Janet Evanovich's Stephane Plum books. The dad and grandma interactions are priceless.
Do I make up for all the frustration? Come on... Tell me I do. :-)
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 21:29:12
I would love to give this a run through.
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 21:35:51
funniest thing I've read lately is "How to live with a Neurotic Cat" - would love to win this book
Monday, May 26, 2008 / 22:52:54
Superfudge by Judy Blume
Monday, June 2, 2008 / 10:50:35
Congratulations to reddon30--you're our latest review winner! And thanks to all for participating! Keep checking back as we're almost always running a review raffle!

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