Not really. The author's writing style doesn't translate well into audiobook format. He ends most dialog with "______ said." On paper, one's mind can skip over this. While listening, it becomes glaringly annoying. The author needs to break out a thesaurus or something and try to use some different terms instead almost always using "said" (eg asked, reported, growled, grunted, shouted, queried, exclaimed etc).
Read the following out loud to see what I mean about the "____ said."
"How was the book?" John said
"It was so-so." Bill said
"Why do you say that?" John said
"It started off strong, but then started to involve time travel and meta-reality." Bill said
"What else didn't you like?" John said
"The author's use of [blank] said." Bill said
"What about it?" John said
"It's annoying to hear after every sentence." Bill said
Most: The idea of the lowly red-shirt coming to realize their plight
Least: Making it all involve some meta-reality that required time travel to a different reality to fix.
Wheaton is clear and easy to understand, but all of his characters sound identical.
My wife says she can read me like an open book. Though she regrets not being able to shut me up the same way. :)
I stuck with this to the end. Mainly because many other reviews cautioned about needing to do so. I'm glad I did; you should too if you buy this book.
The story was good enough. However, I think my main issue is that I had been first exposed to John Scalzi's work via the Old Man's War series. THAT was a great sci-fi gig with lots of creative science to back up the creative fiction I was asked to consume. And, it was a fun ride.
In Red Shirts, however, I came in expecting one thing, but ended up getting another and felt a bit like all the supporting rationale was conveniently ignored. Add to that the fact that I struggled with narrator Wil Wheaton's performance. No character voice diversity whatsoever: ALL the characters -- male, female, elder, youngers, -- everybody! sounded like Wil Wheaton. So I really felt like I had to work to keep up with whom was saying what in the dialog.
An unfortunate byproduct of having to really work hard to keep up with the shifting characters, is that I consequently zero'd-in on the "he said," "John said," "she said," "...said...said...said" interjections in the narrative that I didn't notice before until after I read other reviews -- and listening to the narration in this book.
Bottom line: Not my favorite. But it WASN'T a wasted credit. Buy it if you've liked Scalzi's other works. But, go in expecting a creative writing experiment by the author, while not expecting a lot of diversity in character voices.
Takes the cultural meme of the Redshirts and goes behind the scenes.
Imaginative way to bring some affection to these types of characters.
Wheaton does an amazing job narrating - this is not the first work of his I've listened to and I've sought out this one as a result. Check Ready Player One for another great story he reads with particular affection.
The codas kinda threw me off. Gotta be ready for one story, and then three short ones.
I don't think I have ever read a more self-aware book. I laughed so much during this book. A lot of the time, I was laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the story. I loved the way Scalzi brought in just about every science fiction trope that I can think of and worked it into the story. I loved the silliness in the story. I thought it was hilarious (as in private joke hilarious) that Wil Wheaton was reading this story. Really, I just loved this book. It's not this amazing work of fiction that will go down in history as the greatest story ever. But it is tons of fun. I have never watched the Star Trek series but I have watched science fiction and thought this was so much fun. I have a feeling if I was a Star Trek fan, I would have had even more fun with the story. If you're a sci-fi fan, I recommend you check this book out.
If you are a Star Trek fan you will like this book. It puts a good story on the red shirts that always die on away mission.
Wil does a very good job.
The voice acting was amazing! I also really enjoyed the story.
I can't really say I have a favorite. They were all performed very well and each had their own distinct personality.
Stop reading after the main plot line resolves! The epilogue flounders, at best, and appears to go on forever.
I almost didn’t listen to this one. The reviews aren’t quite as glowing as they are for some of Scalzi’s other books. That would have been a tragedy, as this book is my favorite by Scalzi. There seem to be two camps of Scalzi readers: those who got into his work through Old Man’s War, and those who got into him through Agent to the Stars, Fuzzy Nation, or The Androids Dream. If you, like me, fall into the later camp (and found Old Man’s War underwhelming, and love quirky sci-fi), please don’t skip Redshirts.
All three codas were wonderful. In fact, for me, the actual novel just felt like a set up for the codas, where all the really interesting questions about reality and meaning and purpose were actually raised.
Wil Wheaton is a phenomenal narrator, as usual. I really like the sound of his voice (and honestly would not have noticed all the “he saids” if I hadn’t read the reviews here first. And if you think about it, having Wil Wheaton narrate the novel adds a whole other level of meta.
It actually did both. Laughter I was expecting, having read Scalzi’s other books, but this was the first one that choked me up a bit. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say the ending was very touching.
The only thing that bothered me about this book was the title! I really wish he hadn’t called it Redshirts. The joke about redshirts is pretty common in geeky circles, so I knew exactly what was “wrong” on the Intrepid from the beginning. With a different title, I would have been able to enjoy that first surprise. Fortunately that twist is not really the main one of the novel—the more interesting parts involve how Scalzi really fully explores the meaning and repercussions of this type of scenario.
This book was on my wish list for quite a while. I was fascinated by the concept, but am not a Wil Wheaton fan at all based on his Star Trek persona. But I finished the "Old Man's War" series and I needed a new fix of Scalzi, so decided to buy "Redshirts". And am glad I did.
The concept of the story plays off the original Star Trek episodes where semi-anonymous Ensigns, wearing red shirts, were killed off while on away missions. I won't go into details so I don't ruin the surprises, but Scalzi does a great job translating this idea to an universe where this is a fact of life for a group of junior officers on a space vessel. I did wonder if he would be able to sustain the premise for an entire book and am happy to report that he could.
I also noticed that the author included three codas to the end of the books. At first, I feared they would be "alternate endings" but turned out to be enhancements to the main story.
And as much as I didn't like Wil Wheaton as Ensign Crusher (the character should have been given a red shirt and sent on a away mission early in the series), I have to admit he did a great job. Based on this performance, I went on to also purchase "Fuzzy Nation" by the same performer/author.
My hearing will surely go out early in life due to all the audiobooks I listen to!
Wikipedia? IMDb? and what are the redshirts? Well think of Star Trek. A fictional character that has a semi-useful part in the story and is expendable, gets labeled by said shirts colored red and eventually gets killed off. But that's just a show right? The story John Scalzi has here has been one of my favorite listens. The plot twist is so crazy its just too impossible to imagine and I promise it will hit you like a ton of bricks. It has everything you need: Time and space travel, advanced weapons, mysterious creatures from different planets impaling/clawing/mutilating its victims, etc. etc.
I literally laughed out loud at some of the moments in this audiobook and its replay value is worth more than what I paid. Also Scalzi gives you more than you bargained for! The end of the book comes with 3 CODAS. Think of them as...mini stories. They give the reader/listener closure, and the stories are chock full of emotion, personal enlightenment and happy endings.
Wil Wheaton narrates this story perfectly and not in giving different characters different voices, but giving them different tones that gives you a good idea of their personalities. That being said this IS my first Scalzi novel and I will definitely be getting more in the near future. For fans of...well anything, this book is for you. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
In sales and on the road a lot. Love SciFi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional Non-Fiction. Funny. Opinionated.
Obvious homeage to old-school Star Trek hooked me (as you apparently) and got me to buy the book. Past experience with Scalzi/Wheaton in Agent to the Stars left me expecting decent, but fun, writing and top-notch narration. That was basically what I got. You'll see that there are some cool formatting things that Scalzi does to break up the story and show various perspectives and not just once you'll think "Oh, there's more?" It's fun but does slow down at times and never has you at the edge of your seat. Worth reading to say you read it; you won't regret spending the credit.
Ready Player One comes to mind because it too takes it's material from nerd history/culture. This is not Ready Player One however and could not hold a candle to that marvel of modern nerd writing. Seriously, if you are reading THIS and have not read THAT just stop right now and go check it out.
OK, still with me? Cool. Now go ahead and read Redshirts and forget that I ever compared the two. You're welcome.
That's a tough one. I will say that undoubtedly I enjoyed him reading from the Blog-rant section the most. That was good satire.