Flaming Zeppelins: The Adventures of Ned the Seal
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Flaming Zeppelins: The Adventures of Ned the Seal (Ned the Seal #1-2)

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  126 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Cross-pollinating famous 19th-century fictional characters and historical figures from disparate sources, this wild, steampunk fantasy presents two consecutive tales of madcap adventure. Hilarious and unpredictable, the first section follows Wild Bill Hickock, Annie Oakley, George Custer, Sitting Bull, and Buffalo Bill Cody's head--which is affixed to the top of a mechanic...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 25th 2010 by Tachyon Publications (first published January 1st 2010)
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This is a combination of two related novellas which could superficially be described as League of Extraordinary Western Gentlemen. It's Joe R. Lansdale going full gonzo toying with history and alternate universes and fake realities. While Joe freed from such base concerns like narrative cohesion and realism sounds like it would be a damn near perfect book (or pair of novellas collected) I found that these aren't really that great.
Joe Lansdale is a fine Texan smart ass raconteur, telling fine stories and keeping it just a little (well, more than a little) weird; I rather enjoyed the Hap & Leonard 'mysteries' – the genre is pretty fuzzy. In this double story he take on The Island of Dr Moreau and War of the Worlds, through the eyes, note pad and journal of a surgically enhanced (it was Dr Moreau, after all) seal – the Ned of the title.

We find ourselves in a vaguely steampunk land-of-Momo (Moreau) with Bill Cody (well,...more
Ever have a six year old tell you a story? ("We got in my fire engine, which was a space ship, and went to the moon and a gorilla fought a dragon and then we had cookies!") Well, these two related novellas seem to have been written with the same general principle in mind. In the first one, "Zeppelins West", Buffalo Bill (or rather his disembodied head -- long story) takes his Wild West show to Japan as part of an undercover mission to rescue Frankenstein's monster and ends up on the Island of Do...more
Feb 01, 2011 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Low tastes
Recommended to Alan by: High concept
Zeppelins are in everything these days, it seems, except our real-life skies. Alas. But not every steampunk novel (well, actually, two short novels crammed together) features Buffalo Bill Cody's preserved head in an electrified jar, right there on Page 1.

Drug-addled, sex-crazed and excrement-obsessed, this is not your ordinary steampunk. Joe R. Lansdale, whose other credits include the novel from which the film Bubba Ho-Tep was made, is unafraid to Go There, wherever and whenever There might be—...more
Chadwick Saxelid
Two thrilling (and amusing) tales of adventure, featuring larger-than-life legends from the American West, literary heroes and villains, and an intelligence enhanced seal named Ned.

Zeppelins West:

There is more than one reason for The Wild West Show, run by the disembodied head of Buffalo Bill Cody and featuring Wild Bill Hickok, Annie Oakley, and Sitting Bull, to have crossed the Pacific Ocean, via zeppelin, and visit Japan.

The "Excuse Reason" is for Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok to coo...more
Anytime I was beginning to enjoy this book, Lansdale felt it necessary (or humorous) to throw in a random reference to male sexual organs, self-pleasuring, defecation, farting, rectums, and other crudities. It killed the pace and light-hardheartedness of the two stories. These insertions added nothing, and just seemed like he was trying to get cheap laughs from adolescent teens. "Flaming London" actually includes several references to the Lansdale's short story "The Steam Man of the Prairie and...more
Two books in one
Which requires two separate votes and comments. To Zeppelin East, I give a full five stars because it never loses that crazy rhythm and genial scenes that managed to make me laugh at every single bloody page. To Flaming London... I can't give more than two stars. It only feels like a dull sequel, and although there certainly are moments of brilliance, the characters soon grow boring, and even Ned's jokes and humour scenes become repetitive.
Stumbled on this at City Lights while on vacation. Have since read some more Lansdale, enough to know this isn't necessarily representative. But it's a fun read, sort of James P. Blaylock on acid.
This is an irreverent sci-fi/time travel/historical/pop culture/snicker all the way through book. The book opens with the head of Buffalo Bill Cody (still functioning and stored in a jar), Wild Bill Hickock, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, and others riding the Wild West Show zeppelins to Japan. One of their objectives is to kidnap the body of Frankenstein's monster. After this, things start to get weird.
The characters are typical Joe R. Lansdale funny, even if the ones based on historical people ar...more
Andy Tischaefer
Woo hoo! Crazy Lansdale. I like Crazy Lansdale. I think serious Lansdale is a better writer, but I love it when he goes nuts. And this book (a pair of them, actually) is bug nuts crazy - a mash up of westerns, alternate history, classic science fiction (Verne and Welles), death, sex, genetic experimentation, the wizard of oz, and a talking seal. Really impossible to describe but if that description piques your interest this is worth a look.
Did you ever watch teen-aged boys trying to out-do each other in "what a bad boy I am" idiocy? These stories are a lot like that.

In fact, there are some truly funny, lunatic moments and one or two genuinely cool ideas. However, there's also an awful lot of [goo] thrown at the wall to see what sticks. For me, the balance winds up more tedious than exhilarating, but YMMV.
What a wonderful world. All of the great classic cowboys meeting steampunk, Tentacled aliens form mars, Captain Bemo who made and runs the Naughty Lass (inspiration for 2000 leagues under the sea), and of course how could never forget Ned the Seal with opposable thumbs and a nice large head machine that allows him to think. Ohh he does like his fish and hates sharks.
Tim Hicks
Actually the Goodreads blurb at the top pretty much nails it.

Some people won't like this because the author doesn't hesitate to use gory violence, sex and excrement -- but believe it or not they mostly make sense in context. You'll never think of Sitting Bull the same way after this. Great fun.
Lansdale has created a slightly twisted dedication to some of the influential stories we grew up with.

Read the rest of my review at:

I really liked it. Its quite insane and I think my enjoyment stemmed from knowing most of the historical and fictional characters that the author dragged into the book. I will be definitely looking at more of his books.
Kristyn Rose
I actually didn't make it all the way through this book. The poor dialogue was too much to bear. Sitting Bull repeatedly talking about his "tobaccy" was just one of the details I hoped would get better...and never did.
Emma Mylinson
Wouldn't really recomend this book to kids.. If you were 18+ you would find this... Intersting. I only read about 14 or 17 pages.. It's a very dirty book.. This star rate for me is 0!
Brian Sammons
A fun Lansdale book, but when is the man not loads of fun? My full review of this can be found here: http://horrorworld.org/hw/2011/01/fla...
Some cute ideas, but rather formulaic in its madness. I read the entire first story, Zepplins West, and about 1/2 of the second one, Flaming London.
Regina Hart
Beyond the junior high fascination with bodily bits and functions, there lies a fun, charming story with great heart.
Neal Gardner
It reads just like the dime-store books it pays tribute to. A fun, light read (good for airplane trips).
Great idea but there is only so much farting and penis jokes a person can take.
Jim Sanderson
Very odd. Lot's of fun, if you're open to it.
Bethany marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2014
Herr Lemmy
Herr Lemmy marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2014
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Joe R. Lansdale is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and six Bram Stoker Awards. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas.
More about Joe R. Lansdale...
The Bottoms Mucho Mojo (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, #2) Savage Season (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, #1) The Two-Bear Mambo (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, #3) Bad Chili (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, #4)

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