I said it last time, and I’ll say it again:
The Tom Stranger stories are the best comedies I have read since Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
#1 in Customer Service: The Complete Adventures of Tom Stranger includes the previous Tom Stranger stories, three new tales
- A short story, “Doughnut Run,”
- A new full-length story, Apocalypse Cow
- and another short story, “The Custies”
Of these new stories, my favorite is “Doughnut Run.” It is told largely from the perspective of an arrogant manatee visiting Tom Stranger’s office. The way we are re-introduced to familiar friends from a comically villainous perspective is terrific. Manatees make such arrogant antagonists.
The tropes are always the same, and always delightful. Jimmy the Intern is a hapless fool who is well intentioned but makes the situation worse. Tom Stranger is comically flawless. Manatees are tough and often rude. Villains are both topical (like FBI Director Robert Mueller) and hilarious. Instead of a Douglas Adam’s ultimately gloomy atheist galaxy, Larry Correai presents a libertarian multiverse where anyone who MSNBC praises on this earth is at risk of ridicule in these pages.
Now that I’ve read five Tom Stranger stories, it seems fair to compare the entire work to the five Douglas Adams books. But — the Tom Stranger stories are likely to live in. Douglas Adams’ work began with the destruction of earth, proceeded to the end of the universe, and then by way of a galactic genocide went through the loss of wildlife and the death of our main characters. But Tom Stranger is there specifically to avoid these bad outcomes. An insurance agent against for cross-dimensional skulduggery, Stranger would never let his clients come to harm (provided they had the right policies).
I strongly recommend all Tom Stranger stories, and I can’t wait until the next one.
I read #1 in Customer Service: The Complete Adventures of Tom Stranger in the Audible edition.