this is my 2nd scalzi and my last. Redshirts was spoiled when he tried to get cute at the end and make it into something literary of which he's incapable. after the first sentence of Android I knew I was in for some simple minded stuff. this book is easily twice as long as it should be and by the end I kept checking to see how much was left as it seemed to drag on interminably.
I think my tolerance for scattershot plotting and stories full of sound and fury that ultimately signify nothing has grown paper thin.
I have begun to categorize novels/audios like Graham Greene originally did his novels, entertainments and literature. I can enjoy the entertainments if they are well written and many entertainments have elements by which they can at least aspire to greater things.
Alas, this one grew increasingly boring. It had a few moments of interest, but not enough to save it. I thought it would be a little more of a spin on PKDs Do Androids/Bladerunner but other than the title and a nod in the text, it has nothing to do with it. Which is fine, if it did something worth while.
This becomes the cliche race against time chase movie fight and blow something up type of story, with a little too much deus ex machina.
The current convention of bouncing around between numerous characters and places and times is getting overdone, and when you get into what I call "back shadowing" as opposed to foreshadowing wherein you're with a character for an event, then you switch to another character and have events from their perspective recounted bringing you back up in time to where you were, and then do it again with a third set of characters, or a fourth etc., adds little or nothing except filler to pad out a thin novel into a large one. there is no suspense when you already know that event's outcome.
I could go on, but what's the point? It would just be filler. this is one for the MTV quick cut generation. I cared little or not at all about any of the characters as I knew nothing horrible was going to happen to any of the major players and so I had nothing invested in any of them. Like the Avengers, ultimately what's it about? Nothing, just a lot of flash and misdirection. This trick left me empty.
at least wil wheaton reads briskly, though there is little or no differentiation in voices and so all characters blend together and he mispronounces a few words which is irritating
The story itself was great and it took many unexpected turns.
The way the author was able to combine humor, sarcasm, just a bit of geekiness, and develop a story that was both complex and yet not terribly difficult to follow. It was a great audio book, fun to listen to while driving. The author manages to carefully skewer politics, diplomacy, religion, the law, and professional sports in ways that are zany, thoughtful and entertaining.
Never listened to the narrator before. He was great.
No. But it was the first audio book I ever listened to that I wanted to hear again immediately after it was finished. It was that good!
The only negative was the discussion of how flatulence caused a major interplanetary diplomatic disaster at the beginning of the story. Yeah, it's funny for the first 5 minutes or so but after a while it gets kind of stale and it almost made me want to open the windows in the car which would have been uncomfortable since it was in the winter. Fortunately the flatulence discussion eventually dissipated and what was left was a terrific story with memorable characters. If you can make it through the first 30 minutes it will be well worth it!
Book has potentially good story but John tried to tell it in very Douglas Adams way and failed. If it was told in a different style it could be really good one.
Write it in his own style.
Wil Wheaton is great, perhaps the best thing about this book if I may dare to say. He is consistently good and pleasant to listen to, good work Wil.
This book is strikingly similar to Douglas Adams style of writing so to anyone who has ever read anything from Douglas Adams I suggest to steer clear from this book as it will be constant reminder that it's not quite there. And as for anyone who haven't read Douglas Adams you could potentially enjoy this book but after this one really go right away and take Douglas Adams as next and you will never look back to this one so in a way you can jump right over this one and go straight to Adams.
This being said, I've listened to most of John's Old Man's series and they are much better than The Android's Dream and really worth the listen I just think this style does not suit him so don't give up on him based on this book.
This book often made me late for work as I sat in my car listening just a little bit more. Mr. Wheaton is a great narrator. I'm happy to see that he has narrated quite a few other books.
The book itself, is fantastic! It's so entertaining, that I've made it my mission to recommend it to anyone who will listen.
I read this book years ago and enjoyed it a lot. The reading by Wheaton was excellent, not just a reading but a performance.
I read speculative fiction, YA, mysteries, entertaining nonfiction, & occasionally, heavier literature. I want it well written & literate.
What delightful silliness. Douglas Adams would have enjoyed it, or think Carl Hiassen-like science fiction. Sends up venal politicians and diplomats, with a jab at Scientology to boot, all in an exciting, well written, delightful romp.
Just a listener.
The Story is interesting but the writing is terrible. It is nearly impossible to keep track of which character is which. There is zero character and alien description and the characters are not different enough to distinguish otherwise. Scalzi frequently starts sentences with the same word; this can be maddening at times.
What do the aliens look like? I understand leaving some room for the imagination but this guy gives us nothing.
I have listened to several of Wheaton's performances, great as always.
This could probably be made into something. Anyone could play these characters, there's nothing there.
I wanted a bit more out of this title. I will see if any of Scalzi's other books are better.