First off this is a great book. I am also a big fan of Will Wheaton. However I can now say I am not a huge fan of him reading books. He speaks clearly and the quality is good but I have become used to readers who vary their voices for characters. -1 star on performance for that. (5 stars for me are for multi cast ones ).
A good book for late night discourses on ontology, existentialism, and the meaning of life. Imagine Kierkegaard as a crewman on Star Trek or, better yet, head writer. Not your usual science fiction and delightfully perverse in its twists, Redshirts is worth reading and discussing.
Full disclosure: I'm easy to please. That being said, I have liked both John Scalzi books, this being the second, that I have "read" via audiobook. I actually quite enjoyed this story, which is full of funny tounge-in-cheek characters and circumstances, but some how the repetition of the word "said" before or after every character line became irritating as there was much dialogue. Also, I like Wil Wheaton well enough but I was surprised that, especially as he is an actor, he did not give the characters their own voices. I've heard some narrators do vocal acrobatics in order to portray the characters, and that can be distracting or the voice may not match my perception of the character, but Wil used his own unaltered voice for all the characters which I think detracted from the point of an audio book being a performance of the written story. In my head, when I read a book, the characters become unique and, if the story is written well enough, have their own voices. It makes sense to me that a narrator would try to vocalize the characters dialogue's idiosyncratically. If you like campy, star-trekish, space based, quasi futuristic stuff: you may want to check this one out.
I loved Lock In and Fuzzy Nation, if you've not listened to (or read) them, they're worth every moment and Wil Wheaton does an outstanding job.
Redshirts was quite enjoyable too, though I thought the writing lacked some of the depth that the other two had. For me at least. The story was almost a bit too kitsch.
Still going to listen to others by Scalzi though, I think he's terrific.
I really enjoyed this book. While I agree, there were an awful lot of "said"s in the beginning, they evened out as the book went along. It was only a little annoying because it is an audiobook, otherwise you'd never have really noticed it. All in all, it was a great story, interesting premise, with well done characters and dry humor.
Wil did a great job narrating the book, and it just added a little extra to the story that it was someone from Star Trek reading it. I am actually hopeful that someone makes this into a movie with Wil in the starring role - that would be awesome.
Fantastic book. Gets surprisingly meta at times. Really makes you think. Startlingly long epilogue, too. The dialogue takes some getting used to, though. There's a whole lot of "X said, Y said, X said" over and over. Still great, though!
Most of the negative replies to this audio book are based on the he said she said redundancy. Please know, hopefully without spoilers, that this is a part of the narrative, and instead of detracting from the book it adds to the narrative. There is a reason for it. And if you do not pick that up then you are not listening or did not listen to the book to its completion. Wil Wheaton does an excellent job and tugs at the heartstrings at times. If you look e star trek and want to break down the expected walls of narration this is for you.
Scalzi has demonstrated his broad range of talent for entertaining the reader with the wit and satire of an enlisted sailor on a 18 month cruise, the pulling the reader in with the emotional compulsion of mother or father having witnessed suffering of their only child.
I had listened to this (Redshirts) with the hope of escaping the daily commute via a satirically adult version of Galaxy Quest... I was not disappointed... But to my surprise, the story was remarkably rewarding in its range. It twisted and turned down paths both emotionally and spiritually thoughtful, the method of punctuating the transitions between these styles (I don't know the proper term, sorry) was interesting and well done... And the way he brings it to a close did a great job of tying all those styles/methods and themes together.
I did not intend to write a long winded review (or any review, for that matter), but afterward, it just seemed a shame not to.
For those who have read or listened to the first few chapters and closed the book... I highly recommend you pop it back into your chosen listening device and let it take shape a bit more, you will not be disappointed. :-)