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. :-)
At first I was engaged by the total scifi story. When it got weird I questioned whether to continue and luckily I did. The payoff was heartwarming and totally imaginative.
Great story, fresh and imaginative. Narration was good too, but I missed a little gender differentiation in the tone of voice.
seriously good. I really liked the Old Man's War but this is something different completely. It takes alot of unexpected turns but still another John Scalzi great.
This is my first Scalzi book, and I thought his dialog was atrocious - a crime against literature. This is a huge problem since it's a very dialog-heavy story. He really needed a strong editor to tell him, "No, you cannot end every single line of dialog in the entire book with 'he/she said'."
I can't really discuss the story without spoiling it, but it had a strong hook and twist. Good concept executed well, terrible dialog notwithstanding. Likeable protagonist and supporting characters.
The least interesting aspect was the three codas that followed the main story. I just didn't care.
Wheaton did not provide a performance, he provided a reading. His clipped monotone was not engaging.
I had hoped this would be my gateway into a new author, but this audiobook experience was so tedious I don't think there's any chance I'll be reading any more Scalzi. I was not being hyperbolic above, he ends literally every line of dialog with "so-and-so said." Every. Single. Time. I noticed it about 3 minutes into the book, and it grated on me like nails on a chalkboard for the rest of the book. Combined with Wheaton's zero-effort narration, it took me about 3 months to make it through this 13-ish hour audiobook. I'm not really sure how or why I finished at all, honestly.
The story takes a while to take shape. But some chapters in it becomes amazingly novel. Let me say too, that the "bad story elements" used during the "redshirt encounters" are not accidental -- all will fit together nicely in the end.
The epilogue and coda are also excellent.
Wil's performance is ok. He should impersonate drunks more often:-). I miss different voices for different characters.
I have a few books by Scalzi, and a few more read by Wheaton, but this is probably the best of the best of the bunch. The story is full of tongue in cheek jabs at various SciFi shows, while still managing to be an engaging story in itself.
At the same time, Wheaton's performance is fitting both for his voice talent and his previous acting experience. The last three chapters especially, were particularly moving.
I highly suggest this book to anyone who's even ever heard of Star Trek.