Review: Shave the Whales

Shave the Whales (Dilbert, #4)Shave the Whales
by Scott Adams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shave the Whales / 0836217403

"Shave the Whales" is what I consider to be the third "real" Dilbert collection, i.e. containing only cartoons that haven't appeared in any other published Dilbert collection and not one of the "re-collections" or "theme collections" that Adams is so fond of releasing, although of course my counting may be a touch off.

This collection contains strips from fairly early in Adams' career, and though several of them are quite funny, I'm not sure how well they hold up over time. There's a strong reliance on puns (as if the title "SHAVE the Whales" didn't clue you in on that), and a lot of Russian and/or Gorbachev jokes that seem very dated on rereading these strips. Some of Dilbert's adventures on blind dates, too, don't hold up as well as the more recent strips, and it's probably a good thing that Adams' moved away from his "one defining characteristic" shtick with the female characters in the strip and decided to let them become a little more nuanced.

I love the Dilbert strips in general and if you're really interested in collecting them all, this volume is a must for a home library, but if you're really just a fan of the office strips and the established characters, you may consider giving this early volume a pass.

~ Ana Mardoll

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