MixedWinnipeg Free Press (CAN)It’s advertised as \'a darkly hilarious satire,\' a billing that it only partially satisfies. At times it’s dark. It’s only sporadically hilarious (but often amusing). And its satire is scattershot and unsure. The Swells begins brilliantly ... The \'ship of fools\' story is also undernourished. The Emerald Tranquility never seems full, nor the caricatures fully fleshed out. Characters and opportunities are slighted. The Swells is amusing but schematic, more like an enhanced outline rather than a full-bodied satiric novel. Sadly, in The Swells it never feels like Aitken has been on a real luxury cruise, which could have helped make the book a richer and funnier experience.