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The Big Sheep

(The Big Sheep #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,151 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Los Angeles of 2039 is a baffling and bifurcated place. After the Collapse of 2028, a vast section of LA, the Disincorporated Zone, was disowned by the civil authorities, and became essentially a third world country within the borders of the city. Navigating the boundaries between DZ and LA proper is a tricky task, and there's no one better suited than eccentric private in ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
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JD It's a play on Chandler's _The Big Sleep_ and Dick's _Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep_?

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  1,151 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thank goes to Netgalley!

Perhaps I should say double-thanks? The novel more than lived up to all expectations and perhaps a great deal more. In fact, from the outset, I didn't really get the sense of a lot of promise. It seemed to be a pretty standard Private-Eye (sorry, Phenomenological Inquisitor) with a pretty heavy SF bent, full of light humor and quirky intent.

What it became, after a while, was anything but standard and anything but simple. In fact, even being a long-time reader of both genr
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I had a feeling I was really going to enjoy this book. A light, breezy read with a wildly entertaining premise, The Big Sheep deserves high marks for humor and excellent characterization, plus major bonus points for creativity. This was a truly unexpected but enjoyable sci-fi mystery which reminded me very strongly of Sherlock Holmes, with shades of Philip K. Dick and a nice heavy injection of bizarre twists.

It is the year
Book Haunt
Robert Kroese puts a fresh spin on the LA noir detective story with this tale of quirky private investigator Erasmus Keane and his assistant, Blake Fowler. The story is told from the POV of Fowler. It takes place circa 2039 in a section of Los Angeles that has been disowned by civil authorities after the economic collapse of 2028. The section is referred to as the Disincorporated Zone, or the DZ. Erasmus Keane, who prefers to be referred to as a “phenomenological inquisitor” rather than a P.I., ...more
Timothy Ward
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Robert Kroese is a shocking talent. His last book, Starship Grifters was a hilarious story that surprised me with its complexity in the end. While that was labeled as a space opera satire, it really had a strong mystery element. That had me very excited for this future noir mystery in The Big Sheep, and I was more than impressed with how he delivered.

The story is a sheep kidnapping turned into a sneak peak in how cloning and a civil collapse within America might change the face of the entertainm
Aug 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
A big disappointment. Although it was easy to see the influences here, even the cover is reminiscent of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, as is the title, with the Big Sleep. One would think that with Dick’s bleak dystopian future and questions on what it means to be human combined with the gritty crime and twisting double-crossing nature of Chandler’s detective story we would have something, if not completely original, at least worthy of it’s influences. However, sadly, this is not the case. ...more
Jeff Miller
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
+ Wise-cracking but super intelligent detective - check.
+ Trusty Watson like character good in a pinch, but never sure about what is going on - check.
+ Super complex Raymond Chandler-like noir - check.
+ A really big sheep - what?

This is a novel that is firing on all cylinders. Often when you have a comedic novel the plot is just a scaffold to string along jokes. What matters is how the characters react to the situation. This is not true at all in this case. The plot from start to finish would ha
Stevie Kincade
(Audiobook) This book was brilliantly narrated by Fred Berman. If there was a description of Erasmus Keane I do not remember it because I instantly saw him in my mind as "Joe Pesci in a bouffant wig". Who wouldn't want to read a story where Joe Pesci is our eccentric Sherlock Holmes archetype trying to track down a genetically modified sheep? Berman's performance was pitch perfect, allowing every wisecrack to land. He did a good job voicing every single character in an impressive performance.

Angie Boyter
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The year is 2039. Los Angeles “phenomenological inquisitor” Erasmus Keane and his faithful amanuensis Blake Fowler have been hired by the Esper Corporation to find Mary, a VERY big sheep that has been stolen from their research lab. They’ve barely begun on the case when gorgeous superstar Priya Mistry also wants to hire them because she thinks someone may be trying to kill her. Why does she think so? Because she has received a warning note signed “Noogus”. And who is Noogus? Her favorite teddy b ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2016
4.5 Stars

The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese is a laugh out loud science fiction noir by a favorite author of mine. This is a fabulous summer read. Robert Kroese is one cool cat that writes about things that really interest me. I love his Mercury series, which is a dark comedy, satire, and it is filled with angels and demons. It is hilarious at times, loaded with light hearted witty dialogue, and is really a fun series to read. Kroese dabbles in science fiction as well and those stories are just as
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

To be clear, Robert Kroese's "phenomenological inquisitor" tale The Big Sheep is not much more than a well-written ripoff of Douglas Adams' "holistic detective" Dirk Gently novels, combined with the characterizations found in the cult movie The Zero Theorem and the alt-history universe-building of a typica
Elena Linville
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, loved-ok
Stars: 3 out of 5

Blake Fowler works for Erasmus Keane, a brilliant private detective. When they are called on a case of a missing sheep, he doesn't even suspect the depth of trouble they will get themselves into if they decide to take the case. And when a rising TV star comes to their agency to seek their help because she thinks someone wants to kill her, things only get more complicated. After all, there is only two of them, so working two cases at once can get complicated. Only the two cases
Whoa, what a ride. This book reminds me of the best of classic science fiction. Using the very basis of sci fi to explore radical ideas about humanity.

Yet it's extremely readable. Classic sci fi written in contemporary settings. Well close enough, it is set in a future Los Angeles that is somewhat dystopic. The synopsis does an excellent job describing the parameters of this world and setting the scene.

I'm a huge fan of Agent Pendergast, star of the long running series by Douglas Preston and Li
Tal M. Klein
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Could not put this book down! Perfect blend of sci fi, detective noir, and humor.
Leah Bayer
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Scott Spotson
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I was intrigued by the odd premise of this story, which is why I bought it. A humorous dystopian (for once), a detective story, and science fiction? Sign me up!

However, while I was engrossed in the story, and kept turning the pages, the implausibilities kept adding up and up. By the end, it avoided becoming a hot mess, but came close. There were moments of brilliance, though, which is why I end up giving this three stars.

I didn't think that highly of Keane by the end. It's not his motives neces
Tim Hicks
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Not bad as a light read.

I have never much like stories that involve cloning. Too often they end up exploring the same moral dilemmas (how could they not?), and the resolution to having too many clones around is too predictable. This is no different.

Fowler is not Watson, not at all. He's much closer to Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe's sidekick, especialy when several times Keane asks him if he's figured it out yet.

Keane is a stock Genius Investigator. There are just too many of those out there.
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can’t tell you how many times I laughed out loud and startled my husband while reading this book. This book went above any expectation I had for the dystopic sci-fi genre. I described it to my husband as Sherlock Holmes (the movie) mixed with Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy with some CSI thrown in to make it modern.

However, it isn’t quite imitation Sherlock. The main detective, Keane, (Phenomenological Inquisitor) stands apart on his own merits as does the equivalent Watson, or Fowler, in th
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kroese, Robert. The Big Sheep. Dunne, 2016.
I confess a weakness for noir science fiction like this. Combine unsubtle nods to Arthur Conan Doyle and Raymond Chandler; then add science fiction ideas like cloning, holography and genetic engineering to some high-tech weaponry, and you can’t help but get a nice confection. Here is the recipe. Take a hard-boiled detective from the mean streets of the Disincorporated Zone in post-collapse LA and put him together with a quirky, nerdy, genius (think Cumb
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 3.5 rounded up to 4. I like Kroese's work. He gets diverse novels with actual stories out of what might seem like a pun. The writer in me thinks he might be working from the hook backwards, but whatever he's doing, it definitely works.

This story is set in a near future Los Angeles after there's been a devastating crash. It has a noir detective feel, and since it's told from the POV of the sidekick, there's a Sherlock Holmes feel to it. The two cases the team work on are the eponymous Big Sheep
Shhhhh Ahhhhh
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Sherlock holmes set in a post-post-apocalyptic world of science fiction. I picked this book up at complete random, while looking for another, and did not expect to be so thrilled by it (especially with the title such that it is). I enjoyed it very much. The plot is difficult to predict. The characters are believable. The twists are heart wrenching.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love dystopian sci fi noir, so this was great fun for me. The ethical dilemma within the mystery was interesting to think about even though the science was bad. There are even appropriately placed puns in the narrative. I enjoyed this, bad neuroscience be forgotten.
Amy Rogers
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it review:

I first discovered author Robert Kroese when his independently published science thriller Schrodinger’s Gat came to me for review in 2013. I loved it and am kicking myself for not reading more of Kroese’s work (an ebook of his novel Starship Grifters languishes on my computer–so many books, so little time). Kroese is now a hybrid author; his new release is published by Thomas Dunne Books, one of the big players in the publishing world. I gave The Big Sheep a try and w
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I devoured this book. A noir twist on SF, done pretty well. Good world building, interesting characters, twists that made sense, and - most importantly - an ending that didn't suck. (This has been a problem in my last batch of books.)

I'm going to have to look up more of his books.
Grigory Lukin
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Robert Kroese is a funny guy and one of those improbable entrepreneurs that keep the Internet interesting: he's a blogger, a philosopher, a prolific Kindle author, and now he just might become my favorite mystery writer.

"The Big Sheep" is a hilarious twist on the established archetype of Holmes and Watson - or, in this case, Erasmus Keane and Blake Fowler. The former is an eccentric, brilliant, occasionally charismatic and frequently quotable private investigator with a shady past. (Or “phenomen
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing

My initial reaction to the beginning of The Big Sheep could be described simply - "what?" Here we have Keane, a phenomenological investigator (holistic detective) who has been called in by Esper Corp to find a missing sheep. It is a strange place to start that puts the reader a bit off-kilter. Next, a popular starlet who is clearly a bit delusional comes to Keane and his Watson-figure Fowler, saying that someone is trying to kill her. You wouldn't expect the two to be related but it is.

The furth
Vinay Badri
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
A cross between Sherlock and Do Android's dream of electric sheep (heh), this noirish book set in the LA of future has a lot of things going for it. With a Sherlock like character, who is even more cynical, edgy and manipulative and a Watson who is quite driven by a personal agenda even as he cant resist trading wisecracks and barbs, the primary plot concerns a genetically modified missing sheep called Mary (heh again) and the mystery surrounding Priya Mistry an actress who hires our lead pair e ...more
Gina (My Precious Blog)
This is a book I wasn't sure I would like or not. Its set in the future, where LA is no longer a part of the United States. Instead, its just mass chaos in that area. This story has two mysteries, one the disappearance of a research sheep, Mary and two the superstar Pria Mistry feels like her life is in danger. Both cases are being solved by the same detective team, one headed by a psychological inquisitor. The cases take interesting twists and turns. For me, some of the plot/mystery was predict ...more
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love both Phillip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler, so I was already disposed to like this mashup. The mystery itself is fairly interesting, and the world building is well done, but the characters are not well realizedand the puns are way less clever then Krouese thinks they are. The bigger mystery that hangs over the book is left unresolved and setup for a sequel, which was not satisfying though I will probably try the next in the series.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Short review but I loved this book. It's a hard-boiled crime novel with some great future world building. The idea of the DZ is very clever, and the banter between Fowler and Keane is spot on. But the end left me hanging a bit. Too much of a wait-until-the-next-book-before-i-tell-you-anything ending. I wish people would just write ONE book sometimes. However, don't let that stop you from reading this book. It's awesome.
Noah Goats
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Kroese's book Starship Grifters, and I was hoping that this one would provide a similar mix of science fiction and comedy... but it just wasn't as funny. I also wish that Keane, the phenomenological inquisitor/priveate detective in the book was a more interesting character. I just had a hard time caring about anything or anybody in this book.
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Play Book Tag: The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese - 5 star best of 2016 read 4 15 Aug 15, 2016 09:31AM  

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Robert Kroese's sense of irony was honed growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan - home of the Amway Corporation and the Gerald R. Ford Museum, and the first city in the United States to fluoridate its water supply. In second grade, he wrote his first novel, the saga of Captain Bill and his spaceship Thee Eagle. This turned out to be the high point of his academic career. After barely graduating from ...more

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