REVIEW: Bored to Death by Jonathan Ames

Originally published 2016-04-27: Bored to Death review – A fake private detective wings it through his first case and almost loses everything in Jonathan Ames’ Bored to Death


Does my wife influence every decision I make?  Yes, she does. That’s why the last three books I’ve reviewed have been based on her recommendation.

Why do I give her so much sway over what I put into my head?   She really knows what I like. Sometimes I think she knows my taste better than I do.

image of the Bored to Death series with Ted Danson, Jason Schwartzman, and Zach Galifianakis

That’s why I started watching the cancelled TV series, Bored to Death, and why I picked up this eBook, Bored to Death: A Noir-otic Story. I was really hesitant on this one, because I dislike a lot of “guy comedy,” but I’m so glad I watched the series. It was HILARIOUS; I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at Ten Danson.

cover of short story Bored to Death by Jonathan Ames

The book wasn’t as funny, but I can see how it inspired the television show.

Book Description

Bored to Death is a Raymond Chandleresque tale of a struggling Brooklyn writer—curiously named Jonathan Ames—who, in a moment of odd whimsy and boredom, becomes a private detective after spontaneously posting an ad on craigslist.

As a rank amateur who just thinks he can help, this Ames alter ego quickly becomes embroiled in the search for a missing NYU coed. He moves from one scrape to the next, all while trying to escape a life of periodic alcoholism, dead-end relationships, writer’s block, and hours of Internet backgammon.

My Rating

I was worried that Bored to Death: A Noir-otic Story would be a play-by-play of the first episode of the series, which is what it sounded like from the get-go. Not to say that the first episode wasn’t good; in fact, it had so much potential that I kept watching, and ended up watching all three seasons with my wife in very short order.

But the book differs in a number of key ways (the ending being a major one), which gave it just enough spice to keep me reading. It was fast-paced, easy reading. I don’t know if I’ll be picking up any more books by Jonathan Ames, but I won’t write him off just yet.

This story gets three of five stars for an interesting story, an easy read, and having one of the funniest spin-off television series I’ve ever seen.

This is book #11 on my quest to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.


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