The universe is in desperate peril. Due to a cluster of freakish phenomena, the United States' own defense system has become a doomsday machine, threatening the entire universe. Only one man can save everything-as-we-know-it from annihilation. Unfortunately, he's not available. So the job falls instead to bar owner Jake Stonebender, his wife Zoey, and their superintelligent toddler, Erin, not to mention two dozen busloads of ex-hippies and freaks, Robert Heinlein's wandering cat, a whorehouse parrot, and misunderstood genius-inventor, Nikola Tesla, who is in fact alive and well.
©2000 Spider Robinson; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Fans and the uninitiated alike will devour this intoxicating blend of character comedy and hard sci-fi, for [Spider] Robinson's writing remains as potentially addictive and as full of earthy delight as [Jake] Stonebender's famed Irish coffee." (Publishers Weekly)
"[Spider] Robinson resembles [Robert] Heinlein in his mild anarchism; oft-cited, never described sex; and characters that think they're smarter than the rest of us, and are." (Booklist)
"I'd nominate Spider Robinson as the new Robert Heinlein." (The New York Times)
I really enjoyed this book, but would suggest to anyone to purchase Callahan's Chronicles first, without that you miss out on a lot of background, as well as some of the spirit of the novel. This one doesn't have the heart of the Callahan's Place, but, none the less, it still holds its own, with a great fun story that keeps you wrapped up. Audible - More Spider Please!!
"Shared pain is diminished, shared joy is increased." That was the motto of "Callahan's Chronicles," the first of the Spider Robinson's Callahan books available via Audible. That first audio book (actually a compilation of three Callahan story collections) dealt with crazy, wild, innovative personal problems of individuals and the crazy, wild, and innovative solutions they found.
All of that is lost by the time we get to "Callahan's Key." I listened for 1 1/2 chapters, then I couldn't stand it anymore: It was just plot, plot, plot. The layers of super-powers, special abilities, and strange circumstances established in the earlier books were just feeding off each other. Where was the shared joy? Where was the diminshed pain? I heard none of that.
It doesn't help that apparently there are two intervening books between "Callahan's Chronicles" and "Callahan's Key": "Callagan's Legacy" and "Callahan's Touch." These are not available from Audible at the time I write this review. Plot elements from these earlier books are constantly refered to in "Key"; it makes things hard to follow.
About the only good thing I can say about this one is that the reader, Barret Whitener, is still excellent. But he can't turn dross into gold.
If you loved the characters from "Callahans Chronicles," you'll get more of them here. But if you listened to the stories for that central motto, "Shared pain is diminished, shared joy is increased," you'll be disappointed in "Callahans Key."
A great book and the narrator is wonderful, but this book is one of many by Robinson about Callahan. It might be hard to jump into if you haven't read _Time Travelers Strictly Cash_ and _Callahan's Secret_. (There are more Callahan books, but those two are most important to understanding _Callahan's Key_.)
Not my first Spider Robinson experience, and even better than I expected. The story is saturated with colorful characters in one amusing situation after another. Never a dull moment.
I had no idea this title is one of the latest in a "Callahan" series, it is a complete and independent story. I would recommend starting at the beginning, which is where I'll be going next, but it isn't necessary.
I think it's worth mentioning that the author is not subtle in his tribute to Robert A. Heinlein, as well as John D. MacDonald and possibly Robert Asprin. Which is a good thing!
I'm a huge Douglas Adams fan. I just happened upon Callahan's Key durring a search and it sounded a bit like a Douglas Adams book. I couldn't have been more on the money. Spider is like the American Version of Douglas and I can give no higher priase then that. Barrett Whitener is a great narator! Listening to this book was like going on a great vacation with good friends. Audible, PLEASE GET US MORE SPIDER ROBINSON BOOKS NARRATED BY BARRETT WHITENER! I'll buy them all!
This is a great story . . . and Callahan's gang travels to Florida to start a new life. Along the way, Spider Robinson writes one of the best descriptions of someone watching a Space Shuttle launch I've ever heard. The mental imagery brought tears to my eyes.
It is a great book, especially if you want to hear some great puns and good story line.
Out of all of the Callahan books that I have listened to thus far this was the most entertaining one yet. The story was light and enjoyable. The decriptions of the Florida Keys is true to my own memories, and the puns were repugnant as usual. The only word of warning is that you can't start the series by listening to this book. It is obvious that you'd have to listen to the first two books first. But that's all right because those are almost as enjoyable as this one was. I can't wait to listen to the next one and see how the gang saves the universe again. happy listening.
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