Eclectic is a verb
I listened to this book while working out, and would occasionally bust out laughing at some of the better jokes in there, causing people to glace sideways at me, but I didn't care. This is a geeky story written by a geek, for geeks, and it's very well done. Wheaton does passable narration, and the story itself has not only some excellent ideas in it, but it even critiques itself in the appendix. There were some rough spots.. the writing is short and clipped sometimes, and the repetitive "he said, he said, she said" cadence comes across distractingly often. But if you have ever pondered the misery of being a Red Shirt, this is the book for you.
Pretty high up. It was engaging and made me want to take the long way home from work to listen to more. That is a testament to an engaging story.
Not sure ... have not listened to many in this genre. It is unique.
He was the narrator ... he covered them all very well.
If I had infinite time available ... sure, but there are a lot of other things I would rather do if I had that massive luxury of free time.
Overall very good and nice twist on the obvious overdramatic "narrative" of the sci-fi shows. One request Mr Scalzi ... invest in a thesaurus. Please realize that XXXX . XXXX .X XXXX can easily be expressed as "name withheld" and "he or she said" could be phased 1,532 different ways. It is tedious and Will must have wanted to hang himself after the reading. If you want to do an audiobook, be sensitive to the different delivery mediums of your work.
Writing style is not good for audio. I slept to this on a plane.
former nuclear scientist
I listen to most books at 1.5 speed, so I was able to listen to this book in two days (with a long commute each day). It went quickly, as it should, being a spoof of Star Trek. The dialogue is the best part: funny, fast, and not overly full of exposition. Dialogue is where Wil Wheaton does his best work. I only gave him three stars, however, for the rest of the narration. I know that the book is filled with purposely absurd situations, but I found his tone of voice when reading too flippant. Not to mention a few areas where I thought his inflection changed the meaning of the sentence. For example, I think the line was likely:
"This is ridiculous," he breathed. Then died.
Wheaton read the line like this:
"This is ridiculous." He breathed, then died.
The book is mainly dialogue, so we are spared too much deconvolution of Wheaton's narration. While it doesn't rise to the form of great comedy, it is consistent comedy which leads to a constant stream of chuckles at the absurd situation, and fun exploration of unanswerable questions.
I still don't quite understand the point of the last chapter, but I found the codas touching in a way that made me realize that the book was good enough to make me care about its characters. Even the minor ones. Even the redshirts.
Couldn;t get past the first chapter. If I had to listen to "he said then she said" one more time I was going to pull my hair out. Who writes like that?
Wil is great, listening to Will is what allowed me to finish this story. Normally I really enjoy John Scalzi's books., but this one it as if he started doing drugs and then threw up a story and we are to be impress with the comic value or something. – I missed the boat on this one.
In this book it starts out great, but then it takes a weird turn - a BAD turn. I won't tell you what he does, but I remember reading a book by Robert A. Heinlein, where the characters take the same turn. I did not like it in the Heinlein book and again not here. Even the ending, it's supposed to be funny/cute but it just comes off bad. Really just a terrible ending – not funny.
I like to immerse myself in the universe created by the author. It's almost as if John Scalzi forgets that. You can’t do that with this book – impossible. Read if your board, as I said Wil Wheaton makes this palatable - or wait for something better from Scalzi is IMHO
I stopped 2/3 of the way through because it simply made sense. The writing was a bit hacked together (take a shot every time you hear the word "said"), but the story took a pleasant turn from what you'd expect.
I was told this book was funny, but don't get it if you're expecting a laugh. Treat it like a thought experiment.
I read, I listen, I backpack, I game. When I'm not at work, of course! (At least not the backpacking...)
I haven't gotten around to reading/listening to anything else by Scalzi yet...not because I don't think I'll enjoy it, but because I can't imagine enjoying it more than I enjoyed this one. Even with Wil Wheaton narrarating some of Scalzi's other works, this story was brilliant.
I bought in to it simply from the title. Redshirts. I'm not a raving Trekkie, but I was raised looking forward to family night watching ST:TNG (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and am familiar with what being a 'Redshirt' means. I'm also a bit of a card/boardgame nut and StarMunchkin (if you have to ask....best not) with it's tongue-in-cheek Redshirt hireling had me primed to listen to this book. I do love a good parody/satire/sendup.
What transpired between the 'covers' of this audiobook was everything I was hoping for and more. What I wanted was an irreverent laugh out loud page turner with lots of tropes and stereotypes offered up for the fodder of comedy....and I did get that, to be sure...but by the end Scalzi had somehow managed to twist the story I was reading into a poignant, and - how can I put this - well an amazing finale. Nothing like what I thought I was going to get - but in hindsight I couldn't have possibly asked for a better end. I've listened through it a few times now and it's definitely one of my favorite audio titles to date.
Big Sci fi and fantasy fan. Love dragons (nice ones), elves, werewolves, and BEMs. I love listening to books - saves me walking into pole
Fans of Star Trek understand what a Redshirt is... Well imagine you are destined to be a redshirt, and know it...
This is a fun book for anyone who's watched star trek and galaxy quest. And the added bonus of it being read by Wil Wheaton - awesome selection for narrator.
I just embarrassed myself by catching the train and walking down the street giggling to myself. Yes, this book turned me into a crazy person... just not with the tin foil hat.
Fun, light story that answers the question (more or less) about the mysterious death rate of redshirts.
Yes, but with the caveat that you will probably be driven crazy by the word 'said'. I know I started to grind my teeth after a while when the dialogue would come fast and furious (and funny, don't forget funny), but with the word 'said' punctuating each and every line. Painful.
WIl Wheaton is the true gem in this story. I've listened to other stories he's read, and while he always does a good job, in this book he elevates the material to a joyous, riotous farce that will tickle the heart of any Trekker.
I'm tempted to get more books by the author, but only if someone can assure me he uses something (anything!) else but the word 'said' in his dialogue writing.