The dialog is written out very poorly and in combination with Wil's narration it gets dry after a few dozen he said, she said, he said, he said in a row.
I love Wil Wheaton, and most of what he does but his narration is lacking any substance. It's impossible to tell which characters are speaking most of the time.
this novel is like a spinning top that slowly winds down. great fun crazy action, then increasingly slow tedious slide toward a cliche ending coda to try to give it "gravitas". had I turned it off before the codas, i'd still be smiling.
1st the Good: let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed the opening 1/3-half of the novel, the actual novel, not the Codas. I would even go so far as to say that I liked the whole thing up to about the 5:30 mark, which is, give or take, the end of the actual novel. The premise is very funny: the redshirt extra characters of a Star Trek-ian show who get killed willy-nilly as part of the away team, figure out that they are just that, expendable characters and thus try to survive long enough to figure out how to stay alive. The spoofing of Trek cliché’s is well done and funny and has been noted by every fan of the show. Then we get into some alternate reality stuff that still works fine towards explaining and resolving the issue.
2nd the Bad: I’m sorry but all of the Codas are a waste. Not only do they detract from the actual humorous enjoyment of the Redshirt story, but they are by turns irritating, not as funny as Scalzi thinks they are, boring, and predictable. He thinks that this meta-fictional addendum/continuation raises the literary level of the novel into higher planes. Sorry. Not only has it been done before in various guises, some of which he mentions, some he doesn’t (Hubbard’s Typewriter in the Sky, the only good thing he ever did; John Candy’s Delirious; and many others) but for a professional job try the master, Vladimir Nabokov’s Invitation and/or Bend Sinister and others.
3rd the Poor: I’m sorry but writing 101 should stipulate “do not give major characters names that are so similar they confuse the reader as to who is who”, which itself is compounded by Will Wheaton’s uniform narration which differentiates no voices, not even female/male and thus Dahl & Duvall are easily mixed up, except for when…
4th The Ugly: incessant use of the attribution of dialogue in the “he said, she said, he said, she said"…ad infinitum…ad nauseum. This is plain and simple, UGLY writing . This smacks of laziness; of a lack of talent; of a poor editor; of a lack of respect for the reader.
So, all in all, I’d say that the first 5 & ½ hours are fun for Trek fans and the satire and for the premise itself, and then shut it off. 2 friends hit the kill switch at that point, one because the story was over, and the other who tried a little of the 1st coda and called it quits. I, unfortunately, kept going and it spoiled my enjoyment of the actual novel.
So I'd give the actual Redshirt novel 4 stars for being fun, I give the Codas 1 star though I'm sure Scalzi thinks they're precious, and I give Wheaton 2 stars as he lacks any type of vocal alterations for characters. I know some out there are going to say I'm being harsh, but there are excellent narrators out there, (Jim Dale who did Harry Potter has an amazing array of voices, Frank Muller's Moby is great, John Lee is very good, and recently the Bergmann Stand on Zanzibar was excellent) and Wheaton is at least at this point, not one of them.
Its a fun story that parodies what fans of Star Trek TOS know about the Redshirts. I was not a fan of the ending but its still worth the time for a fun ride.
It uses what you know about the Trek universe to just give you a view that you've thought about on your own, to have a few laughs at their expense.
Everything but the conclusion was very enjoyable.
I would recommend this book for Scalzi's sense of humor and especially to addicted Trekkers
The narration almost spoils the story in that there's no attempt to differentiate the characters and the "he said" after every line almost led me to rip the ear buds out of my head
Read the hardback, I said. Scalzi is clever and has a warped sense of humor, I said
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
Another great work by John Scalzi. He makes his adventures so much fun and his characters are very liable and ‘Redshirts’ are no exception. Well written and entertaining with enough adventure and wackiness to keep you interested throughout. Highly recommended for the sci-fi lover.
Story line was well written and kept me interested in what was next. Many twists and turns to the main line and after all said I did not want to put it down
Wil Weaton kept interest in the next step in solving what was happening to everyone and allowed the story to keep pace with events
He was the story and the ending
You never know what stage we are playing on in our real lives
The reader should try and figure out what is happening in next chapter before listening to it. Surprises abound in this audio book
I am a fiber artist and teacher. I love moderate action, plot twists, diverse characters and much romance.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of this fun little sci-fi/California Dreaming novel, especially as I had to laugh at myself for taking so long to "get it." The ending has a typical sci-fi "but that's not possible/that just isn't how it would work" kind of ending that sent my husband and I into typical sci-fi circular argument land: "But that's the whole point of the book!" "But it wouldn't work that way!" The Codas seemed to drag on a bit windily in my opinion, and I liked the narrator of Scalzi's Human Division better, though this one was fine. It surely passed the time on the drive to Seattle, but I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had been a bit more sparing in the Codas.
What did I like best? What was there not to like is more of an accurate question. To be honest, I don't know that I had a favorite part once it started getting into the meat of the story, but if I was forced to pick, I'd say when... how to say this without spoilers... They had a plan to fix things and they went to go do it. That was probably the most fun.
I love the narration. He's got a fabulous voice for narration and he reads in an entertaining way. I can't tell you how many audio books I've listened to have been ruined by the wrong narrator.
This book touched me in a way not a lot of books do. I don't know how or why, but for me it was an experience I'll remember fondly.
Not much sauce in this. It was so flimsy that I quit half way through. It initially appears a Star Trek knock off and gets much worse as the book progresses. I like Star Trek, but I'll not bother with another book by this author.
Wonderful depiction of an insightful peek into the"reality " behind the scenes of the happenings on a starship. Makes perfect sense to a long time fan. Wheaton's performance is incredible adding to the pleasure of this story. Laugh out loud funny with twists and turns that delight.