Diana Welsch's Reviews > Venus on the Half-Shell

Venus on the Half-Shell by Philip José Farmer
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's review
Sep 17, 2008

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Recommended for: fans of humorous or cheesy science fiction who are looking for a quick read

I was drawn to this book because of the author. Kilgore Trout is the fictional though semi-autobiographical science fiction author that shows up in many of Kurt Vonnegut's books. He is a complete hack whose work was published largely in pornagraphic magazines to accompany titillating images.

Venus on the Half Shell is actually by Philip Jose Farmer, but is done in the style of Trout. The book sort of resembles The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in tone and theme, though it predates it by a couple of years.

Simon Wagstaff is a horny, space-travelling banjo player who travels to different planets in seek of the answer to the ultimate question. Sexy hilarity ensues. Simon finds out that even advanced alien civilizations can be plagued with the same sorts of problems as Earth.

This book was a short and entertaining read. It didn't have the same timeless hilarity as the Hitchhiker's Guide but it was amusing. For better or for worse, it was not nearly as outrageously crappy as one would expect from Kilgore Trout.

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