Gary Tenuta's Reviews > Space Orville

Space Orville by Jeff Whelan
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Nov 06, 12


One reviewer said Space Orville is like "Dr. Seuss meets Hitchhiker's Guide". Okay, I can see that. But I had a different thought as I went "fripping and bizzling" my way through Space Orville's epic adventure: Monty Python meets John Lennon. I haven't read such imaginative and delightfully crazy word-play since John Lennon penned "John Lennon In His Own Write" and "A Spaniard In The Works". Part of what makes the humor work so well is exactly what made it work in the movie, "Airplane". In that movie, funny lines are delivered dead-pan. Remember, "And don't call me Shirley"? C'mon, you know you laughed when that line was delivered. In Whelan's wild world of Space Orville, words like "Weezle Bums" and "Irreplaceable Fog Napkin" and names like Miles O'Teeth and General DeKay are uttered in all seriousness which, of course, makes them so funny. I mean, really, this is serious business. A teenager is recruited to do nothing less than save the entire freakin' Universe, for crying out loud. And there are villains out there. Bad, nasty villains. You never know what they might do. For example, who wants to meet up with anyone named "Bizmo the Inconceivable"? Surely, that can't be good. And don't call me Shirley.

As I'm writing this review I'm realizing how impossible it is to convey just how wonderfully compelling this book really is. Everything I wrote in the above paragraph is true but because it's out of context it doesn't do justice to Whelan's genius. The brilliance of this book isn't just confined to the humor. Whelan's descriptive passages are works of genius in their own right, not to mention the imaginative details that make the world of Space Orville so "real" in spite of the absurdity of it all. Space Orville truly is a delightfully entertaining adventure. I can easily see it getting picked up by Pixar for their next big blockbuster animated film. Really, it's that good.

A WORD OF CAUTION: Don't read this book in public. I was reading it in the waiting room of Les Schwab while having new tires put on my car. I kept trying hold in the snickers and the chortles but they snorted out anyway. It was just plain embarrassing.
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