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Publisher's Summary

This omnibus edition contains the trio of books that introduced the world to Mike Callahan, Jake Stonebender, Doc Webster, Mickey Finn, Fast Eddie Costigan, Long-Drink McGonnigle, Ralph Von Wau Wau, and the rest of the regulars of Callahan's Place, in the stories that helped Spider Robinson to win both a John W. Campbell Award and a legion of fans.

Callahan's Crosstime Saloon is the neighborhood tavern to all of time and space, where the regulars are anything but. These time travelers, talking dogs, alcoholic vampires, and cybernetic aliens really, truly care about each other. It's the rare kind of place where bad puns are as appreciated as good conversation.

Time Travelers Strictly Cash is their policy. Lay your money on the bar, name your poison, step up to the line drawn on the barroom floor, and after drinking make a toast and throw the glass into the fireplace. It's an odd tradition but one that's led to some interesting stories.

Callahan's Secret may be something even the regulars would never guess. Then again, it may be as simple as listening to those post-toast stories. After all, like Callahan says, shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased, a simple concept that could, after a few drinks, lead to saving the world.

©1997 Spider Robinson (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Robinson is the hottest writer to hit science fiction since Ellison, and he can match the master's frenetic energy and emotional intensity, arm-break for gut-wrench." (Los Angeles Times)
"Tall tales....fine and funny....A significant achievement for light humor!" (Houston Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    413
  • 4 Stars
    205
  • 3 Stars
    97
  • 2 Stars
    57
  • 1 Stars
    38

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    53
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    9

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    16
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charles
  • St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • 02-29-04

Great listen

Having read all of Robinson's Callahan books from this one through Callahan's Key (available here on Audible), it was a pleasure to revisit these stories where the Callahan legend begins. New readers should not beleive Robinson when he says in the Forward (or "Backward" as he calls it) that there will be no more Callahan stories. He went on to write a number of other Callahan books between this one and "Key". They are all just as fun.

My only beef is with the narrator. The book is made up not so much of chapters as with interrelated short stories, yet the narrator makes the transition from the end of one into the beginning of the next without so much as a pause for a breath.

With luck, Robinson and Audible will see fit to add all the intervening books that fall between this one and Callahans Key.

If you are a fan of Science Fiction, Mysteries, puns, riddles, tall tales and just plain good story telling, I highly recommend this book.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marjatta
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 03-20-04

Not what I expected

If you've read these books before jump right in, I'm sure you'll enjoy them. the stories were good, and well written- but had more of a serious moral overtone to them than I expected from the other reviews. I got this book primarily because the reviews gave me the impression it would be a tounge-in-cheek Douglas Adams type farce and in that I was dissapointed. If you're looking for something to cheer you up and make you laugh aloud this doesn't really fit the bill.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

New regular to Callahan's

I was totally unfamiliar with Spider and Callahan's place. I selected this book based on its rating and its length. One of the BEST decisions I ever made. I can't wait to listen to more of the Callahan saga.

You gotta get this one!!

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Probably a better read than listen

A friend who loves puns suggested this book to me. Since I rarely find time to read I figured I would give the audiobook a try. Probably not the best idea...

The narrator is extremely dry with not much emotion put into the characters. He kinda drones on and on. Also the book is a collection of shorter stories that take place at different times and about different people and the narrator doesn't even pause for a breath between the chapters. It really needed longer pauses and maybe a chapter title announced so you know when they happen. One minute a guy is talking about his army days and then the next there is an alien saying he is about to destroy Earth and you have no idea when this transition took place. I found myself scratching my head often and rewinding it unsure if I missed something.

Overall the stories seem decent. I am about halfway through it and I would say I was gripped by about half of stories so far. They have a lot to do with morality, reconciliation, and forgiveness. I was going through a tough fallout with a friend at the time of reading this and it helped me to realize that forgiveness is not always deserved if the other person doesn't put forth the effort to make things right.

If you like punny humor you would probably get a kick out of this book. I found it to be fun but again it would probably be better to read because often the punchlines would go over my head and they might not have if I was able to read it instead.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not my cup of tea.

Got thru 3 and a half hours and had to give it up. Nothing funny or entertaining for me there. My one and will be my only listen to Spider Robinson.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Uggg....

Any additional comments?

Peter is a great story teller, and I can't say that for one or two of these stories I was not totally engrossed, but this got tedious quickly and I found myself dreading my commute and having to listen to more, so I quit. I can see why these are not widely known.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Dann
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 08-28-14

I'm sorry but this just kept losing me ...

Not being a BAR type person I couldn't get into the whole bar scene no matter how 'alien' it got. And the pun material just left me dry. There's very few puns that do anything for me but just make me want to walk away.

I know this has a cult following, mainly people who think the bar actually exists and this should have been a clue for me. Unfortunately the mainstream story lines don't really do it for me. Give me sci fi with deep thought.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Punday Night comes to life

If you're already a Callahan's regular you don't need any encouragement. If "The Place" is new to you, come on in, we've been waiting for you. What took you so long?

Barrett Whitener's reading does Spider's creations proud. Audible, thanks for finally getting the right strings pulled to bring Spider's books into the fold - MORE, MORE!

And, yes, as Spider once told Ben Bova - "apparently it is supposed to hit the fan"

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Terri
  • Emmitsburg, MD, USA
  • 03-31-04

The Callahan Chronicals

I had never heard of Callahan's place. I downloaded it out of curiosity. Oh the puns, such groaners, but oh how I grew to love those mutants and misfits. I miss them already. I am going to listen to the next Callahan book, and then go back and listen to this one again and again.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I was skeptical....

I had never heard of Callahan's Place, mostly I bought this based on others reviews, and due to the legnth because I had a long road trip ahead of me. Listening to the first short story, I wondered if I had made the right decision, by the end of the first story (The Man with the Eyes) I was in love with Callahan's Place! I found myself sitting in my car just to hear the rest of the chapter. I also purchased the other one Spider Robbinson book that Audible has (Callahan's Key) and have listened to all 12 hours of that in record time as well. The characters are very loveable, and I found part of myself in each one. "Shared pain is lessened;
Shared joy is increased"

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Diane
  • 03-22-17

Heart-warming

It's maybe not the best book to read (listen too) straight through. One should really spend more time at Callahan's. Nevertheless, it's a wonderful book. The stories gain more and more SF elements so don't be put off by the first story if you expect a lot of SF. But that is not the best part of it. The characters are real (and the narrator is fabulous at delineating each character's voice and sings well too) and so kind. Not without foibles, but kind and decent. And Callahan's Place is a place where everybody knows your name.