The story was great! it was clear what the angle is by the name, but it went the way I wanted it to go as a reader. The only bad thing was the epilog.
Will was great, he is always great.
laugh my head off
If not for the epilog this would be a perfect book
The dilemma here is that the "story" was great. I laughed. I cried. What more can you ask from a book?
The writing, however, was painful. In the dialog (of which there is a lot) every sentence ends with "(character name) said".
Unfortunately, the performance needs all of these "said"s since Will Weaton does not use different voices for each character. Without the continued explanation of who is talking, there is no way to know.
It was so painful that I was going to ask for a refund after the first chapter, but I was driving and by the time I got to my destination, I was hooked on the story.
This story reads like a book written by a screenwriter. Unable to deal with the fact that in a book, you don't put the character's name at the start of each line, the author just tacked "said" to the end (unless the character whispered, exclaimed, cried out et cetera).
Maybe I am spoiled by Christian Rummel's performance of the Lost Fleet series, an epic story with dozens of characters, each with a unique voice, but this book was painful.
Now for the surprise ending...
If you can get past the writing style and the performance, the STORY is worth it!
Oho yes. I even bought this book for my friend for Christmas. Yes yes yes.
The most meta part of the book: when they went back into time and all the stuff happened. Oh my freaking god.
Wil Wheaton is fantastic. I probably would have enjoyed this book without him, but it made it so much better.
I laughed constantly. Even if it was actually 'funny,' the craziness of what was happening made me chuckle.
I can't even explain how amazing it was. Buy this book omg.
I didn't know what I was in for. Sure, the title promised a humorous look at the life of a Star Trek-style "redshirt," and it delivered on that account.
But REDSHIRTS is also a wonderful look at the tropes of genre TV production. It's easy to get snarky in metafiction like this, but REDSHIRTS maintains its affectionate tone throughout.
Most surprising was how much heart the book had. With such an overtly funny title and premise, the emotional weight of the book snuck up on me.
And the choice of Wil Wheaton as narrator added another level of meta to the production!
It's an enjoyable listen, especially if you're a Star Trek fan. It gradually dawns on you why this is funny and interesting to Trekkies. I didn't find it really engaging though.
Once I figured out what the plot was really about, I was interested to see how Scalzi could make the premise work, however, I thought the characters were even more one-dimensional than he intended them to be.
None stand out more than any other. Wil has a good speaking voice, but he does not do a lot with the individual characters.
Possibly, certainly if it was downloadable on Hulu or Netflix.
John Scalzi's work gets better over time, but he's not a major author like Heinlein, Clarke or Bradbury. His work is fun and enjoyable, but not terribly memorable.
The initial premise was fantastic and engaging. I was laughing and intrigued through the first coda.
I have enjoyed John Scalzi and give anything he wrote a try.mHe has a way of presenting the story in a way that you want to know more but he keeps you guessing as you move along with the story.
This is my third Wil Wheaton/John Scalzi pairing and I have enjoyed each and every one. I would consider Wil as a narrator, he has a Tim Allen like delivery.
The premise of this book, in all of it meta splendor tickled me greatly. I think the first story is a riot and couldn't stop giggling my way through it. The following two codes were schmaltzy and overwrought.
This title had great potential but the finish made it only O.K.
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.