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I’m retired.

No, really.

No more running around, doing the scut work for every conspiracy in the Information Underground. I quit all that a year ago, got myself a nice quiet life up the coast, doing normal things with normal people like my girlfriend, Mina.

And then someone framed her for murder.

Now I’m coming out of retirement to figure out who wants her behind bars - and me dead. Again. At least this time I’m pretty sure it’s not aliens. Or the government. Might still be the Russian mob, but at least Bigfoot’s on my side.

I don’t know who to trust, and I don’t know how I’m going to survive this one, especially with an unkillable hitman, some Satanists, and a couple of lunatic movie stars gunning for me. But one thing’s for sure…

I really need a better career plan.

330 pages, Paperback

First published May 22, 2014

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About the author

Justin Robinson

41 books151 followers
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.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Scott.
42 reviews
April 12, 2014
The intentionally absurd layered onion of conspiracy continues in "Get Blank," Justin Robinson's follow-up to "Mr. Blank." A style mash-up of off-beat noir, Terry Pratchett and The Illuminatus trilogy, anyone with even the mildest sense of humour (i.e. you have a pulse) will get a kick out of Blank's antics as he smart-assess his way through the bevy of unseen hands that control the world. (There's a lot of hands, more hands than you can count on the fingers of your - ah, you get what I mean.) With seemingly everyone out to get Blank, join the conspiracy, and Get Blank. (And if you don't THEY'LL know...they're watching.)
Profile Image for L.S..
707 reviews25 followers
June 22, 2014
I'll keep this brief, as I am clearly on my own with this review.

It doesn't matter how many rave reviews a book might, sometimes it just isn't for you!

In this case, I was expecting great things, but it might just have well been written in another language - I just didn't get the references - at all! I realise now that there was an earlier book, introducing the main character - Blank - so, maybe that's where my 'education' is lacking. Also, I may fall outside the usual catchment area for this tale, being a European, as too many references just passed me by.

Profile Image for Daniel.
2,388 reviews36 followers
August 11, 2016
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.5 of 5

James Bond?  Sam Spade?  Ellery Queen?  Matt Helm?  Maxwell Smart?  Sherlock Holmes?

If you need a spy/detective, all you need is to get Blank.


Blank is a man of many names and even more talents, most of them useless, but some of them will come in to play.  He's trying to retire from his active guess-who-I-am-today life, but the criminals around him have other plans.  Blank's girlfriend Mina has been framed for murder.  A job so complete that Mina has no hope for bail and Blank is going to need to come out of retirement and pal up to some of the most detestable figures in the underworld.

Author Justin Robinson has a great concept and a great character here.  A spy/sleuth who is a blank slate and is named such as well.  He can become (and does) anyone, at any time, with full resources of the identities' position at his disposal.  Unfortunately, most of his alter-egos (perhaps we should identify this as 'alter-MEGA-egos' as Blank is pretty full of himself) have been discovered at some point, so he can't stay in any other identity too long.  Does that get confusing?  Yeah, a little bit, but that's part of the fun.

The plot is ripe for an active spy thriller and Robinson mines the caricature character pool for all the most interesting types.  Although a spy/thriller novel, this is also, intentionally, a work of humor in the vein of Richard Hooker's M*A*S*H series or writers like Chistopher Moore and John Kennedy Toole.    Robinson's prose is nicely fitted for being Blank's narrative voice.  I was hooked early on to his writing with the passage:
She was some kind of rockabilly goddess, with a halter top showing off an uneasy detente between cleavage and tattoos.  She smelled like cinnamon, and wanted me to be damn sure of that fact as she leaned to tickle my ears with her breath.

The problem I have found with humorous books of this nature is sustaining the level of comedy, and here I felt that the book didn't quite live up to its potential.  A huge part of the comic aspect is Blank's various personnas and the fact that he's had so many of them.  But even as I read through this I thought to myself... "Is this man 120 years old?  How can he have developed and experienced so many professions and IDs and remember them all?"  It was fun and humorous at first, seeing him pull out an old police ID or some such, but after page 50 or so, it already started to get a little repetitive.  I wanted more story and less information on who he once was and all that the former name held for him.  (Though I have to admit that Robinson nicely caps it off when Blanks says..."It wasn't the first time I'd impersonated a deity."  Yeah, that's funny.)

There's a lot here that promises some really good spy/humor fiction and I'm looking to get ahold of the first book, and will be happy to read whatever is next in store for Blank.

Looking for a good book?  Get Blank is fun, funny spy fiction from Justin Robinson and just might be the right way to get a laugh while enjoying a little mystery/espionage.
Profile Image for Fanbase Press.
6 reviews
January 7, 2015
The following review was originally posted on Fanboy Comics:

'Get Blank:' Book Review
by Jodi Scaife, Fanboy Comics Contributor

The man currently known as Robert Blank thinks he retired from being a multiple agent of the Information Underground when he fled Los Angeles after accidentally engineering his own assassination in Justin Robinson’s first novel, Mr. Blank. He has a beautiful girlfriend, a respectable career as the owner of an occult bookstore, and just wants his previous personalities to fade away; however, if you’re the star of a tongue-in-cheek comedy noir, life is never that easy, and when Mina is framed for the murder of one of Blank’s former contacts, he reaches deep into his bag of tricks to prove her innocence, even when it might put him back in the path of the people he betrayed in his former life.

I’m not a fan of noir, simply because it often seems overwrought and too full of its own importance, but Robinson’s humorous writing style and self-deprecating lead character drew me into the complex world of the Los Angeles Information Underground without pause. The writing pops with energy, and every word seems placed for a specific purpose. At the same time, Blank’s world, a blend of real-life and fantastical versions of Los Angeles, comes off the page without any need for excessive description. While I didn’t need to constantly have my nose in Get Blank once I began reading, it was hard to put it down. Blank’s strange adventures enticed and amused me so much that I wanted to know how the competent, but somehow bumbling, lead would avoid disaster yet again.

The plot is peppered with hilarious pop culture references that walk a thin line between homage and satire. The various conspiracy groups are satirical in and of themselves, but Blank throws out comments about things as diverse as Carrie Mathison (Homeland) and Godzilla so naturally that I felt they had to be there. Whether the little in jokes will last the test of time remains to be seen. They’re highly accessible to current readers, and if you’re like me, you can play “count the pop culture icons” as you read!

Get Blank isn’t a book I can say much about without giving away the entire convoluted plot, but I do heartily recommend it. The geeky, funny, well-written love letter to both Los Angeles and the noir genre pulses with originality while treading a well-worn genre path. Readers will be kept on their toes until the very end, and you’ll be wondering how much of the Information Underground is fiction and how much is fact by the final page.

5 New IDs for New Identities out of 5
Profile Image for Koeur.
1,080 reviews21 followers
March 25, 2014

Publisher: Candlemark and Gleam
Publishing Date: May 2014
ISBN: 9781936460571
Genre: Scifi/Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Publisher Description: No more running around, doing the scut work for every conspiracy in the Information Underground. I quit all that a year ago, got myself a nice quiet life up the coast, doing normal things with normal people like my girlfriend, Mina. And then someone framed her for murder.

Now I’m coming out of retirement to figure out who wants her behind bars – and me dead. Again. At least this time I’m pretty sure it’s not aliens. Or the government. Might still be the Russian mob, but at least Bigfoot’s on my side. I don’t know who to trust, and I don’t know how I’m going to survive this one, especially with an unkillable hitman, some Satanists, and a couple of lunatic movie stars gunning for me.

Review: I like the cover art. Simple and defines an elaborately built world.

This was a fun romp through pop culture both past and present. It read like Still Life With Woodpecker on LSD. I really liked the glib sarcastic wit of the many named one-”Bob” and his subsequent interactions with a host of entities. I really have not laughed while reading, in quite a awhile. Maybe the genres I survey are not the best vessels for humor.

There is so much going on with the story line and characters that it would take forever to tell you why it was so fun to read. Just Get Blank and lose yourself for awhile….

Profile Image for Leila.
31 reviews
June 3, 2014
I'm fortunate enough to be an early reader of Robinson's books, as I've mentioned in other reviews. I feel lucky to be in this position, as it allows me to encourage anyone who comes across these reviews to check out the book, especially if you read and enjoyed the first one.

The opening chapter immediately grabbed me, and it was a tremendously fun ride after that. Mina continues to be a really well written paramour, and Blank is still full (but not TOO full) of pop culture one liners that work as a seasoning to an already delicious dish. Justin's descriptions have always been one of my favorite things about his writing.

Blank is believable as a protagonist, particularly because he doesn't always get away with everything. He lies a lot to get himself out of corners, and I love that it doesn't always work out for him. Also, Robinson does a really great job of including characters who aren't your Standard White, Straight Male. There's a transvestite character who appears, and an extremely pleasant gay couple who sells guns.

His characters are a lot of fun, and although some of them feel a little larger than life, I don't think that's a negative here at all. The dialogue (and internal monologue) are both great fun. Do yourself a favor; check this book out. If nothing else, you'll learn a lot about pop culture you probably didn't know before. :)
Profile Image for Mana Taylor-Hall.
13 reviews1 follower
January 9, 2017
​​​​Robinson returns to his paranoia inducing, conspiracy clogged noir world with satisfied happiness (you know this won't last). The oft-minted, newly minted John Blank owns a bookstore, is dating a model, and is completely detached from the conspiracy-soaked city of LA. Until Mina is framed for the murder of Neil Greene (Freemason and Satanist, one of the Gang of Five that both captured and freed Blank during the Genesis Stone case). Forcing Blank's hand to return to LA and save his love.
Although Get Blank is light on some of the cast I loved in Mr. Blank (namely Mina and Oana) they are the proven femme badasses when they do get screentime. The other three members of the Gang of Five fill out the active cast. Vassily crashes onto the scene, still focused on killing Blank for the disrespect and humiliation his underling 'Nicky' dished out. Ingrid Brady and VC... we get to see new sides of the Ana and the Grey Man, both unexpected and enjoyable.

This wouldn't be Fill in the ________ book without the introduction of more of the weirdness and conspiracy that is Blank's LA including lizard people, the Illuminati, and more. While it might be a bit more confusing to readers who are new to the Blank-verse Robinson supplies the needed back story.

And ​really ​everyone should have a chance to meet Elias.
Profile Image for Holly.
72 reviews3 followers
June 9, 2014
Well, Justin Robinson has done it again. In this (long-awaited by this reader) sequel to Mr. Blank, Justin once again gives us a whirlwind adventure through LA and dozens of conspiracies.

Blank is one of my favorite fictional characters, and he continues to amuse me with his sarcasm, one-liners, and consistently different answers to what the heck happened to his nose. Obviously the story hangs on us liking and rooting for Blank, but what I love about Justin's work is that he also gives us really interesting supporting characters, and not all of them are white heterosexual males.

This is a fast and fun read, perfect for summer. Try to slow down and fully savor the intricate knot-work of conspiracies that Justin has created, or just do like I do: plan to read it twice!
Profile Image for H.L. Cherryholmes.
Author 19 books27 followers
December 5, 2015
I so love Mr. Blank and would want to be his friend except for, you know, all those people trying kill him. That sort of thing puts a damper on game night. Get Blank is a very fun read and what really impresses me is that the author manages to keep all of the threads (and there are a lot of these, as all good conspiracy stories should have) fairly clear as you go along. The minor characters are as memorable as the main characters, which makes it easy to keep who's who in your head. Mr. Robinson has a unique wit, a wealth of knowledge about Los Angeles (which becomes a character in its own right) and more information about cabals and the like than one man probably should. I very much look forward to the next Fill in the Blank book!
9 reviews
December 13, 2014
Well, it looks like Robinson's done it again. In this sequel to (the also superb) Mr. Blank, he continues with the adventures of our titular hero, as Blank is reluctantly pulled out of retirement and (barely) stays ahead of the various shadowy organizations trying to kill him, all while trying to clear the name of his recently arrested girlfriend.

As in the first book, Robinson manages to combine vintage noir with humor to create something wholly unique, a genuinely engrossing mystery that is also hysterically funny. If you're a fan of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, the Coen brothers, or Jesse Ventura, then do yourself a favor and read this book (and Mr. Blank too). You won't regret it.

Can't wait for the next entry in this series!
Profile Image for Gayle Karen.
3 reviews16 followers
June 9, 2014
Justin writes the best descriptions of characters and places, so vivid that you can almost smell them (much more desirable for some characters than for others). I loved the first book, and the sequel is no less of a ride of mayhem, wondering what the heck is going to happen and who is behind it all. It's a fun look into a world run by conspiracies (and makes me wonder in paranoia just how much might be true) and the escapades that happen when fascinating characters are caught at the intersections of little green men, anoxeric cults, and factions of warring Satanists.
Profile Image for Dru Pagliassotti.
Author 19 books92 followers
January 3, 2015
Despite his very best attempts at retiring from his former job as the go-to guy for all conspirators occult, paranormal, and extradimensional, Blank finds himself drawn back into the biz when he has to get Mina off of a trumped-up murder charge in LA. Luckily for us readers, the Satanists (both types), the Little Green Men, the Masons, the Russian Mafia, the Illuminati, and all the rest of SoCal's cryptids and conspirators just aren't finished with Blank yet -- and we can only hope they never are.
Profile Image for Glinda Harrison.
268 reviews42 followers
August 16, 2016
OMG! Hysterically funny and certainly a worthy sequel to the first book. This is a must read for conspiracy theorists with a sense of humor. The moral of the story is that I am never, ever, playing Trivial Pursuit with this author.
Profile Image for Michael.
30 reviews1 follower
July 25, 2015
Well-written sequel, so far, not quite as action packed but it has the same elements that made the first book an interesting read.
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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