Beaverton, OR, United States
Listening to the first hour of so of "Redshirts" I was sure it was just another funny story, full of sly humor and sassy one liners that make me laugh the way "Fuzzy Nation" and "Agent to the Aliens" did. When I heard about the book on Scalzis blog and read the beginning paragraphs I was sure thats where it would go-and I'm fine with that. I love his fun novels. Everyone needs a laugh at one time or another. Except for the head banging "He Said", "She said" dialogue that Scalzi writes (which seems to drive we audiobook listeners bonkers), the start of Wil Wheatons reading of Scalzi's new novel led me to believe I'd laugh the evening away.
Then it got a bit serious. Funny, still, but serious with a strange twist that had me totally amazed at the concept. I had to rewind a chapter here and there because I was sure I'd missed something. I wasn't getting it all. As the novel got deeper into the left hand turn the plot had made, it didn't lose it's fun jauntiness but it did gather even more unexpected sober, tough thinking adding plenty of "I never thought about that before" to the plot .
Character development is ...well..odd because Scalzi has developed his main protagonists along a couple of different lines. Pathways I had never considered in many years as an SF reader and viewer (and listener even). It's good character development...we know the protagonists- we have known them for years, even decades of Star Trek and they never seem to change..but these characters are sharper, more developed and very clever when they analyze their situation aboard the Universal Union Capital Ship "Intrepid", flag ship of the galaxy. They have a captain who is completely J.T. Kirkian in attitude and language, a ships engineer, doctor...in fact all the standard characters we have gotten used to seeing-including new ensigns wearing red shirts. The ones who die on away missions.
I don't write spoilers so all this sounds vague but I want to encourage listeners to stick with the book through the irritating dialogue then listen carefully to the next few hours.
As for the Codas,I think they add to the book. I don't know how else Scalzi would have added the information..it wouldn't have fit into the body of the novel. And though it isn't really vital information it is lore that adds to the novel and incases our knowledge of the characters. Some reviewers on the Amazon site discounted the codas entirely. I think they are part of the book and it's an interesting way to insert this data into the book.
This is a book for SF lovers, Star Wars/Star Trek fans, ComicCon goers and generally those of us who grew up with Heinlein and Roddenberry, with Ray Bradbury (who passed away today at age 91) and Rod Serling, with Neil Gaiman and Isaac Asimov.
Scalzi fits in with all these guys, especially the early Robert Heinlein YA books, though theres nothing YA about "Redshirts".
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Though Holter Graham isn't the Winslow narrator I'm accustomed t hearing narrate Winslows excellent novels, he did a very good job with Gentlemens Hour.
I think it was helpful that I'd listened to several other Winslow surfing novels and had become familiar with the cast of characters, though this isn't part of the series, it does connect tangentially with them and gives a bit of conclusion to the series that isn't introduced directly in that group of novels.
Recommended for west coasters, those who are surfing wanna-bees or actual former surfers like myself though it's been 40years since I've been on a board...not much surfing off the Oregon part of the Pacific Ocean, those interested in the history of the lifestyle or just good mysteries/romances with excellent writing.
I first listened to a Don Winslow audible book about a month ago and since then I've become totally hooked on the surfing scene he writes so wonderfully of..a scene I grew up with in the late 1950's and 1960's, first surfing at Ventrura County Line in 1958 when my family was camping on the beach for a month..something my folks loved to do...set up an old canvas army tent right on the sand and live at the beach for free..long before pay to camp parks with all the luxuries (like out houses).
Makes me long to go back when I hear the dialogue in The Dawn Patrol...it was a wonderful time and this is one wonderful book.
Well worth the listen-there is a lot more to the plot than riding waves and it really drew me in
Enjoy this series..I sure am!
Don Winslow and Joe Barrett are a great pair...Winslows writing is enhanced by Barrett's narrating..reading reviews of this series I see I'm not the only one who appreciates this duo.
Carey is a PI who seems to get into a lot of trouble, no matter where he is he finds something or someone who causes him problems..with fixes that I haven't guessed yet..I like that in a mystery!
If you haven't read Don Winslow's books, I encourage you to give them a try..
My second Don Winslow novel but first narrated by Joe Barrett is a truly compulsive listening experience.
Though I very much enjoyed the plot with it's plot of Neil and all the back story with the senator, Alli, and the other various characters from a Senator hoping to be Vice President to the pimp that push Alli into the streets, I really connected with Joe Barrets narration. He's great!
I loved this book and am looking forward to other Neil Carry stories in this series. and I'll be also looking for more narrated by Joe Barrett!
Well wrath a credit...but only if you want to purchase the other novels in this series..they are addicting!
I imagine everyone has had periods of unawareness or forgetfulness, of getting tongue twisted, forgetting names of friends or even appliances-I once asked my eldest son to mow the living room carpet and vacuum the yard for me...he would have done it just to be mean if I didn't stop him.
In any case, Still Alice made me so aware of what can be in store for any of us--and not necessarily just when we age.
I found the reading to be less than ideal though and think the author could have served herself better by using a professional narrator instead of narrating it herself.
However, the material itself is so compelling I can almost excuse the poor narration..Encourage listening or reading this novel..well worth your time.
Montalvan writes very compassionately about his bonding with service dog "Tuesday" and how they come to learn about and understand each other.
A dog lovers dream of a novel, I recommend it to anyone who has a friend who relative who has been thru the Middle East wars or even Viet Nam.
Of course I had a few tears towards the end of the book, but I do love animals and have a friend who uses a service dog herself.
Well worth a credit and your time
I don't know how I've missed author Don Winslow and his So Cal Surf Scene novels but I'm glad I found him. This rather strangely plotted book tells the story of a retired mafia hit man known as Frankie Machine who would rather stay retired from his hit man job and focus on early morning surfing, his bait shop on the pier and as fish supplier to 4&5 star restaurants.
Unfortunately Frankies Boss man has other ideas.
If you haven't read Don Winslow, I think this is a good book to start in with. I found Frankie to be a basic nice guy who is shoved into situation he'd rather avoid.
Worth the credit and your time.
Though not the type of book I might normally buy, "Code Name Verity" surprised me by its captivating, real life look at UK women aviatrix and their striving to be allowed to fly combat type missions instead of just being the ferry pilots.
Elizabeth Wein has authored a real tension filed novel that is beautifully narrated by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell as code name "Verity" and "KittyHawk"-Verity/Julie is captured and tortured while KittyHawk searches for her in war torn France and bemoans the fear she has of the loss of her pilots license.
Well worth the listen and credit.
I very much enjoyed listening to this narration of a great mystery. This was one of those books that seem written to be narrated for an audio book and the narrator was the perfect choice for it.
Highly recommended for those who enjoy mysteries
Book 2 in the Alli Reynolds series kept my interest as well as the first book. I can tell I'm going to enjoy this series, based in Sedona, AZ, though much of 'Web of Evil' takes place in Los Angeles.
The trials and tribulations of Ms Reynolds do get a bit dramatic but anyone who has dealt with the LAPD knows that "Innocent until proven guilty" doesn't hold much sway there.
Enjoyable, exciting and with an occasionally confusing story arc, I did enjoy listening to this novel and intend to purchase the 3rd and 4th in the series.
If you like dramatic storytelling this is a good series to start on a cold winters night!
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