Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mr Blank (Fill in the Blank, #1)” as Want to Read:
Mr Blank (Fill in the Blank, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mr Blank

(Fill in the Blank #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Every conspiracy needs a guy like me.

Every conspiracy has one... me.

And now someone's trying to kill me.

When everyone has a motive, everyone is a suspect, and I don't even know who all the players are. It's a race against time to figure out who wants me dead, and why, and how to prevent all the underground conspiracies, aliens, cryptids, and things that go bump in the nigh
Paperback, 302 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Candlemark & Gleam (first published October 22nd 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  113 ratings  ·  39 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mr Blank (Fill in the Blank, #1)
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ooops, never posted this here.

I’m not normally a fan of crime fiction. At all. I was really into murder mysteries in junior high, and I think having devoured umpteen back issues of Ellery Queen left me feeling like I was always smarter than the so-called detectives I was reading about. ”OF COURSE IT WAS SO AND SO, YOU FOOL!” Anyway, I received a review copy of Justin Robinson’s Mr. Blank from Candlemark and Gleam and wasn’t sure going in how much I’d like it.

It took less than two pages for me t
Kate Sherrod
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: candlemark-gleam
Was Tobias Knight your favorite character in Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson's fiction, or did you at least wonder what it would be like to be him?

Did you dig X-Files but think it was kind of cheap that Mulder & Scully only had to deal with one freakshow at a time? And too much FBI red tape?

Do conspiracy theories make you horny, baby?

Then, brother, have I got the novel for you.

The title character in Mr. Blank makes Tobias Knight, quintuple agent, look like a monogamous pansy. As he tells us in
Nick Rossi
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
As an enormous film enthusiast, I'm well acquainted with the turbulent, stylistic and oft-violent film noir genre. Thick with suspense and intrigue, the genre yielded some of the best films ever made...but there were many, many times when I just wanted to yell at the screen "Will you just lighten up?"I think Justin Robinson heard me and wrote Mr. Blank.

Rife with conspiracy, Robinson introduces a tale that whilst firmly ensconced within the film noir style, has clear elements of comedy that adds
It's a classic noir trope that the lead has a mysterious past - but in MR BLANK, Justin Robinson takes it one step further. His narrator has no past at all, and about a thousand different identities, all in service of different masters. A low-level operative for every conspiracy you've ever heard of (and a few dozen you haven't), Our Narrator is making a decent living running a string of errands for occult, obscure, or power-hungry cabals when someone tries to murder him. Obviously, this is unac ...more
Amanda Ching
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I want to take this author to lunch. Lots of lunch.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you've ever wondered how many conspiracy theories you can cram into one book, here is your answer.
Slow to start, the pace soon picks up as Mr Blank is hurtled from one deep-underground-secret-society to another, trying to work out which one, if not all of them(!), are trying to kill him. And aliens.
There is a blossoming romance which the main character is naturally suspicious of, an insane plot which somehow works and fits in every way and an ending that came out of nowhere and is so perfect
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! The writing is clever and fun and funny. I actually laughed out loud quite a few times. I was quoting this book within the first chapters.

It has heart, soul and wit. One of my new favorite authors. A little ridiculous and completely unexpected. Enjoy the ride.
Andy Vale
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun, roaring yarn that takes you to many places, and makes the familiar feel alien in humorous ways. I kept finding myself standing at the train station desperate to finish the chapter before heading off on my journey. Dive in!
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's the end of the world. Again. Maybe. In any case, it's quite possibly the end for Mr. Blank, the nameless agent who moonlights as a henchman for every secret group in L.A.. Why? Because they put ads in the paper and he has to pay the bills. Which is problematic, when half of them at at war with the other over arcane artifacts, alien technology and ancient grudges. Somewhere around the time a manchurian candidate tries to smash his brains in with a curious home-made meteor hammer on a routine ...more
Pop Bop
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
L.A. Noir, With a Wink and a Tour of the Conspiracy Underworld

There are a fair number of books out there that attempt to blend a noir sensibility with a sci-fi setting or a fantasy premise. Most run in to problems because the alien/sci-fi/fantasy angle takes so much energy and space to keep going that the noir feel falls to the side. This book is a happy find because the world-weary, honorable but tempted, loyal but double-crossed, heroic but cautious star, Mr. Blank, is always the focus of the
Fanbase Press
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The following review originally posted on Fanboy Comics at the following link:

'Mr. Blank:' Book Review
by Sam Rhodes, Fanboy Comics Creative Director

To read Justin Robinson’s Mr Blank is like following some self-deprecating, white rabbit into a sprawling, L.A. noir wonderland on a 100-m.p.h., nerd culture-fueled rollick. Hot on the heels of Robinson’s thrilling zombie noir, Undead on Arrival, which was released just four months before, Mr Blank will keep yo
Sam Rhodes
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
To read Justin Robinson’s 'Mr Blank' is like following some self-deprecating white rabbit into a sprawling L.A. noir wonderland on a 100 mph, nerd-culture fueled rollick. Hot on the heels of Robinson’s thrilling zombie noir, 'Undead On Arrival' released just four months before, Mr Blank will keep you guessing until the very end.

The story follows a loner “go-for” embedded in all the secret societies and cults you’ve ever heard of (and many you haven’t) who greases the wheels and helps with the d
Mike Robinson
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Umberto Eco writes in "Foucault's Pendulum" of what I believe he called 'synchrony', the idea that there's a Theory of Everything connecting all secret occultish groups and their histories and practices. Who could have guessed such a thing might assume the form of a man, and, once more, a man in the tradition of Hammet's Spade or Chandler's Marlowe, though uniquely his own being.

MR. BLANK opens with a wide platter of possibilities. The main character, we learn, is a creep-for-hire employed by vi
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don’t really believe in them, but I always like a good conspiracy theory. I’m not talking here about those propounded by the birthers or the 9/11 truthers; those people can go to hell. Instead, I mean conspiracy theories involving secret societies, the Kennedy assassinations (my favorite John Kennedy one? Elaborate suicide), the moon landings and Area 51. I also love the Weekly World News. Justin Robinson’s Mr. Blank is a thriller that’s like candy for the conspiracy theorist.
It’s about the
Dru Pagliassotti
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy
Harry Dresden knows a few people. Repairman Jack's involved with a supernatural group or two. Eddie Drood and John Taylor have connections. But none of those guys are as deeply enmeshed in the secret underground world of occult organizations and worldwide conspiracies as Blank.

Blank is every conspiracy's go-to guy. He's the anonymous fellow who drives the car, delivers the package, answers the door, hides the gun, and cleans up the mess. He maintains a few dozen secret identities, keeps his head
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you're at all interested in conspiracies or mysteries, I highly suggest this novel to you. I loved reading about a man who casually performed mundane tasks that included planting envelopes in lockers, moving goats blood, and annoying members of opposing conspiracies on the same day.

I'm especially enamored with Mina; it's not very often I come across women characters who are written so well. She's not over-the-top badass with guns/swords blazing, but neither is she damsel in distress. In fact
J. S. Turner
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-read
Do you like conspiracies? Who doesn't right? Justin Robinson takes you inside most every conspiracy you know (and some you may not) with Mr. Blank- a humorous, original, pop-culture laced romp through the conspiracy epicenter of LA. Not in the "all the way to the top" of the conspiracy ladder kind of way, but down to the conspiracy information underground. Low-level quadruple agent style.

The main character is a low-level gopher for every type of conspiracy organization imaginable. An unassuming,
Mana Taylor-Hall
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: noir, chupacabra
Let us start with our hero. Not that he would think of himself that way, which is part of the charm of Robinson's story. Our multiply-named protagonist is a noir hero - human and fallible. And distractedly charming. A man that you end up cheering for not because "Of course he can win the day" but because you want him to survive.

Add to that a cast of supporting characters that are just a tad beyond reality, further tapping into the modern day mythos which Robinson weaves solidly into Mr. Blank. C
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Damn fine book from one of my favorite authors on this rock. I was knocked flat by the brilliance of Robinson's City of Devils, and after burning through that "noir adventure comedy with monsters" picking up the Blankverse titles was the best gift I could give myself.

Mr Blank follows the canonical noir hero who never seems to have the answers he needs until, finally, he does, and then it's a mad dash to stay alive until the next thing happens, and the next and so on. Actually, with Blank, it's a
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Justin Robinson clearly loves Los Angeles, noir, and conspiracy. And it is just as well that he does, because we, as readers, reap the benefits. This book is a fast-paced romp through LA, told from the perspective of the unnamed protagonist. Well, Mr. Blank has many names (at least one for each conspiracy), but who is he, really? Mr. Blank works for almost every conspiracy around, and at the beginning of the novel is almost killed by one (or more?) of these conspiracy groups. The mystery of whic ...more
Gayle Karen
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The main character, whose name I still don't know, is a fascinating character in this clever novel. He works for nearly all conceivable conspiracies, and none, and the way conspiracies are woven together makes my head spin deliciously. The author weaves so many components together into a seamless whole - assassin attacks, aliens, anorexic Los Angeles cults, the Knights Templar, inferences to the Bene Gesserit and a host of other sci-fi/fantasy references (Willow and LotR in the same paragraph) - ...more
J. Ringo
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Who is Mr Blank?

Well, that is the question, isn’t it? Read the book and you’ll find out…maybe.

Anyway, this is a great dark comedy. To be honest, I’m not really sure how to describe it…other than to say that it’s unlike anything I’ve read before and I enjoyed the heck out of it. Like the best authors (and directors), Robinson’s vision of Los Angeles remains true to the spirit of what it’s like to live here no matter how fantastical the plot might seem. He clearly knows what it’s like to expect to
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The mystery kicks off almost immediately with an attempted assassination of the main character and the rest of the book is him scrambling to stay alive and figure out who set up the attempt on his life. And it's HILARIOUS. Once you start reading, you will not want to put it down. It's full of pop culture, movie, and conspiracy theory references that, even if you don't really get the reference, it doesn't matter, it's still funny just because of the way it's phrased. I call this a screwball comed ...more
H.L. Cherryholmes
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's funny and smart and full of conspiracy theories that even a buff like me didn't know where out there. Mr. Robinson is a great writer and storyteller. It got a bit confusing but that's only because I didn't read it straight through over consecutive days. It was easy to catch myself back up, however, so I don't think I missed anything. The best part for me (besides the narrator, who was just the right part snarky/smart/self-deprecating) was having a beautiful plus-sized mod ...more
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very well written with a plethora of pop-culture references; a lot going on, but not too complicated where I would forget some of the plot lines. (That's a problem another favorite book of mine, Lonely Werewolf Girl, has with many people I recommend it to.) It does help that I have spent time in Southern California, because it helped me to appreciate some jokes made at the expense of that area. Recommended. ...more
Joanie Chevalier
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Did I just fall into the rabbit’s hole with Alice? Or more appropriately…Mr. Blank? This story was fun, unconventional, wacky, full of wacky strange characters (this story deserves two “wacky’s” in one sentence), conspiracies and creatures called “chupacabras.” (I’ve never heard of these creatures, being a city girl and obviously sheltered). This story is fast paced, so make sure you’re hanging onto something as you dive into the adventure. I recommend you read it and laugh, all the while lookin ...more
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Justin pens "Mr. Blank" in an original and unique plot filled with mystery, conspiracy with a touch of humor. His characters are fascinating and well developed in this action pack, fast paced book. I totally enjoyed this book and it really wasn't like anything else I've ever read which kept it extremely interesting. Highly recommended for all readers....this is a must read!

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
Glinda Harrison
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, glinda
I think that Justin Robinson wins the Internet for the most pop culture references in a book. Honestly, I was challenged to keep up! FWIW, I worked in a video store in college and I have had people refuse to play Trivial Pursuit with me, so I mean that as a big compliment!

If you hear "Flock of Seagulls hair" and laugh, this is a book for you. Fascinating, funny and with an ending that took me completely by surprise! Looking forward to the sequel! :)
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Blank was entertaining and clever from the first sentence. It reminded me of Good Omens - my happy introduction to both Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Justin Robinson captures all of the conspiracy-laden seedy underbelly of LA giving this book the feel of classic noir, but somehow combines that with laugh-out-loud wry humor.
Beverley Albright
Jul 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Actually, I didn't finish this book. I just could not get into it at all. The author was trying to be 'too cute' with all the pop culture references and the quirkiness of the lead character. I couldn't keep the organizations straight that he worked for nor the ones who were out to get him. I just felt like my time would be better spend on a book that I was enjoying than on one that I wasn't.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Dapper Gentle...: Mr. Blank (Spoilers) 6 14 Feb 08, 2013 11:45PM  
The Dapper Gentle...: Mr. Blank (No Spoilers) 7 10 Feb 08, 2013 07:22AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • WebMage (Webmage, #1)
  • All You Need Is Kill
  • Vagabond, Vol. 1
  • The Sea Cloak and other stories
  • Scaling the Revenue Engine
  • My Love Story
  • The Viper of Milan
  • 進撃の巨人 28 [Shingeki no Kyojin 28] (Attack on Titan, #28)
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
  • Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
  • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World
See similar books…
Much like film noir, Justin Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles. He splits his time between editing comic books, writing prose and wondering what that disgusting smell is. Degrees in Anthropology and History prepared him for unemployment, but an obsession with horror fiction and a laundry list of phobias provided a more attractive option.

Other books in the series

Fill in the Blank (2 books)
  • Get Blank (Fill in the Blank, #2)

Related Articles

Space operas, magic, destiny, dystopia, aliens: There's a bit of something for everyone in 2020's latest offerings in science fiction and fantasy...
80 likes · 20 comments
“So what is it?” “There’s a part of me that’s convinced it will be the head of a Girl Scout.” “The box is the wrong shape.” “It disturbs me how quickly you said that.” “I’ve been hanging out with you since Friday night.” 0 likes
“No, that’s weird. I’m sort of strange in terms of, you know, relative sizes of things.” “I hadn’t noticed.” “Every other sentence you’ve said has been addressed to my breasts.” “I didn’t want them to feel left out.” 0 likes
More quotes…