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Callahan's Con (The Place #2, Callahan's Series #9)
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Callahan's Con (Callahan's #9)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,100 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
The discreet little bar that Jake Stonebender established a few blocks below Duval Street was named simply The Place. There, Fast Eddie Costigan learned to curse back at parrots as he played the house piano; the Reverend Tom Hauptman learned to tend bar bare-chested (without blushing), Long-Drink McGonnigle discovered the margarita and several señoritas, and all the other
Paperback, 286 pages
Published June 14th 2004 by Tor Books (first published 2003)
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Dec 21, 2007 Tracey rated it it was ok
Shelves: libraryread
Saw Callahan's Con on the New Arrivals table during my last library trip & had to give it a try, hoping for something better than Callahan's Key or Callahan's Touch - both of which I've read, but can't remember which is which (or much else about them, other than a general feeling of disappointment, for that matter).

Bad news - the swearing parrot is back. Worse news - there's now a talking Key Deer as well :rolleyes: As you may know, the group of misfits from NY state is now in Key West, and
Jul 01, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
I like all the Callahan books so that I also liked this one was not surprise. Robinson writes like a cross between Douglass Adams and Robert Heinlein. Very quick, entertaining, easy reads that are pure entertainment. (I've always wished I could pun; its one of the reasons I like these books...came as a complete surprise that some people are annoyed by it).
Jan 01, 2009 Kallierose rated it liked it
These short stories, all tied together with a common place/cast, make you feel like maybe human beings aren't such cruel animals after all. Opening the first several Callahan books feels like a refreshing visit with old friends. You know them, and their quirks, and that if they're involved with a situation they will do whatever they can to make it better. These are good people. The in last couple of books the formula gets a little bit stale, but they are still enjoyable.
Mar 01, 2009 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-read
A ridiculous but charming plot with the usual suspects and a few new ones. "Shared pain is lessened. Shared Joy is increased. Thus we refute entropy." -- Spider Robinson

All of the stories touch on that motto/principle which is a key factor in their appeal for me. Robinson weaves multiple literary references with awful puns together with an odd ball assortment of incredible characters who exemplify diversity and community. The deus ex machina of most stories and the novels is the establishment of
Jul 08, 2009 pophyn rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I've seen a few reviews that note this is more of the same of the Callahan books, but I've only read one before now, a collection of very early short stories, maybe the first of the Cross-Time Saloon stories, and that was several years ago. So this was all new to me. I was able to follow it all, even though I've obviously missed a lot of the history of the characters. It was a fun read for me, though sometimes I felt like an outsider looking in, wondering about the books I've missed. This isn't ...more
Sep 07, 2009 Travis rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
There is no such thing as a bad Callahan's book, but this one was less fun than the others.
Spider just isn't very good at writing bad guys, so whenever he introduces a villain into a story it always tends to drag the story down.
Then you add in the fact that whenever he forces the Callahan's crew to go out and interact with the real world they tend to come across as way out of their depth and a bit feeble.
The constant mentions of if anyone knew what really happened at Callahans they'd all be dra
Nov 01, 2009 Nytetyger rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-challenge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin Connery
Feb 11, 2010 Kevin Connery rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
There's a decent short story in this, but it's padded with lots and lots of filler and side-references to older stories that seriously detract. It's reminiscent of a Heinlein novel--unfortunately that novel is The Number of the Beast, and bears the same self-indulgent flavor. Not recommended to anyone other than a Callahan's completist.
Ruth Temple
Nov 01, 2010 Ruth Temple rated it it was ok
Shelves: science, fiction, fantasy
There are those who wonder why Spidey keeps writing the same thing over and over until it descends from a parody of itself unto mere drivel. [return]But we keep buying and reading them, cos the first ones were so good!
Jeff Yoak
Wow, this was an excellent ending to the Callahan's series. (At least among available audio.) It was at least as strong as the first. It was the perfect culmination of the Florida move with the excellent nod to Lawrence Shames. The characters finally feel completely developed. The wit was first rate. I just loved it!

2015: On a re-read, the Callahan novels are still delightful, but are starting to feel formulaic.
Personally, this was the funniest book of the series. I so rarely laugh out loud when reading, but this one had me giggling like mad!

Hop on the bus folks, time to save the universe . . . again. As well as keep a 13 year old home and not taken away by a suspicious government.

It sounds like an outlandish story, but believe me, Spider Robinson makes it work and seem believable.

Beware of the puns though.

***Dave Hill
Oct 13, 2011 ***Dave Hill rated it it was ok
Shelves: text
Entertaining, overly-self-indulgent, quick-reading tale of the Key West Callahan crew. Plots come and go; tragedy strikes, but sticks (mostly) only once. Too lazily deus ex machina, but better than last time. Not for first-timers. Decent re-readability. Heinlein — on a bad day.
May 14, 2013 Hobbes rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Hobbes by: Devin Murphy
Another adventure at The Place, Jake's bar in Key West, Florida. In this one organized crime finds Jake and the crew and tries to run a protection racket. Poor Tony Donuts Jr., aka Little Nuts, he thinks it is as simple as walking into the bar and telling them he wants their money. In trying to extort them he 'kidnaps' Erin until her parents pay up. Jake of course goes to the rescue of his daughter, but clever Erin had a plan the entire time. A plan that involves a lot of time travel and suppose ...more
Aug 15, 2012 Lea rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This book spent a lot of time explaining what has happened in previous books in the series, which is good, I suppose, as it's the first one I've picked up to read. However, the explanations of past adventures were boring, and left me with little desire to read the rest-- the characters were OK- almost realistic, relate-able and funny (but not quite). I'll probably give this series another chance... maybe.
Sep 24, 2012 Sean rated it really liked it
Now that's more like it! After the...kind of preachy Callahans's Key, to find the Spider still had some wacky, twisted, non-judgment fun left in him was a treat.
Jan 21, 2013 Jean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the strangest books I have ever read in my life. Key West the perfect place (setting) for this story! As this book says it is a trip and a half!
Jun 29, 2014 Dragondreamsjen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
One of the most poignant books of the series...Maybe more so because my own firstborn is also named Erin... But this one always makes me laugh and cry...
Feb 06, 2013 Brian rated it really liked it
Not my favourite of the series, but for me one of the better ones. Really fun, and occasionally poignant.
Feb 26, 2013 Space rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books
I had pretty good fun with this one. It's a big story, all over the place. I really enjoyed the bits with Tony Donuts. I wasn't completely impressed with the interactions with Erin when she was two years old, because that leads to temporal gaps that can't easily be explained. For instance, if she's gone back in time to two years old, that means she was unsupervised for at least that much time back when she was two. This doesn't seem realistic. Then, a merman who lives at the bottom of the pool d ...more
Jul 12, 2013 Keith rated it liked it
I would have to say this was probably my least favorite of the Callahan series. It seemed to lack some of the charm that the other books had. It was still good but not my favorite. I debated between 3 & 4 stars but I don't think it had enough of what I love about the Callahan series for it to get a 4. 3.5 if I could I guess. I only wish Spider would decide to write more Callahan books but at this point I kind of doubt that he will.
Feb 22, 2014 Steven rated it did not like it
The Callahan series continues to get less and less interesting. The book is not bad, per se, but I no longer feel like the Callahan crew is a group that I want to hang out with (some of whom are kind of out of the mainstream); rather it seems like a group of weirdoes who we are supposed to revere as superheroes, but whose actions no longer merit reverence. Many of the characters introduced in this book are flatly disrespectful to folks with speech problems: they're stooges for Spider Robinson to ...more
Aug 18, 2014 Doug rated it it was ok
Shelves: weird-fantasy
Started and finished this on my drive to and from GenCon 2014. This one had at least one major plot hole in it, involving their daughter... without giving anything away, it appears she knew where to go before she had ever been there before. Overall, like the previous one (Callahan's Key), if you are a fan of the series, you will want to read it for completeness (especially the sad ending), but new readers will be lost, and probably will not enjoy it.
Sep 23, 2014 Roberta rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This book is really more like only 2 1/2 stars. Anyone who is just starting to read this series should start with Callahan's Crosstime Saloon and ride the series downhill like the rest of us did. Hoped for better especially considering that it is the last book in the series.

Stuff that felt new at the beginning of the series has gotten old. The talking parrot was funny, the talking dog was entertaining, the talking deer is boring.

The product placement has also become irritating. The story is se
Oct 08, 2014 Stef rated it it was ok
not very impressed with this one. only OK. Readable but not as good as the previous books. The author has used very similar plot devices used in the previous book.
Apr 13, 2015 Rabbitambulance rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
The biggest reason I almost didn't like this book is entirely the publisher's fault: Nowhere on the cover or the introduction there's any indication to be found that there's bloody ten books with these characters before this one.

And, therefore, the way all the characters are so madly in love with each other just annoyed the piss out of me; Maybe if I'd read the books before, and seen these relationships develop, and learned to love the characters myself as they love each other, I would have felt
I've had this on the shelf for a while and finally decided to read it when I needed something lighter to read. It's been a long time since I read any Callahan's stories, and I quite enjoyed the return to that universe.

Maybe not the best Callahan's story, but it was a fun read.
Jul 10, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
This was another Callahan novel, more cohesive than the early novels I have read previously. And quite melancholy. It's about someone dying. Sort of. And I think it does a good job of handling that in a somewhat humorous/satirical matter without making fun of it or being disrespectful.
Sep 27, 2015 Alan rated it liked it
Shelves: all-fiction
A nice ending to a fine SF series. Longer review here:
May 07, 2016 Marfita rated it it was ok
I don't know where to start with this. It seems to be a mash-up of more than one genre. There's the Crazy Florida Genre that is currently championed by Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey, the Crazy Ass Mystery Genre I associate with Donald Westlake, the Poorly Thought-Out Time Travel Genre (all tv time-travel stories), and the Pointless Fantasy with Bad Puns that seems to be the bailiwick of Piers Anthony. It was all I could do to finish this so I could write about it.

Well, it did get a bit better towa
Dan Hyer
Jun 28, 2016 Dan Hyer rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
6/28/16: I was a big fan of some of the author's earlier books. I haven't read any of his books in 20 years. I don't know if this one isn't as good as some of his earlier stuff or if I no longer care for his style.
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Spider Robinson is an American-born Canadian Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author. He was born in the USA, but chose to live in Canada, and gained citizenship in his adopted country in 2002.

Robinson's writing career began in 1972 with a sale to Analog Science Fiction magazine of a story entitled, The Guy With The Eyes. His writing proved popular, and his first novel saw print in 1
More about Spider Robinson...

Other Books in the Series

Callahan's (9 books)
  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (Callahan's #1)
  • Time Travellers Strictly Cash (Callahan's #2)
  • Callahan's Secret (Callahan's #3)
  • Callahan's Lady (Lady Sally's #1, Callahan's #4)
  • Lady Slings the Booze (Lady Sally's #2, Callahan's #5)
  • The Callahan Touch (Mary's Place #1, Callahan's #6)
  • Callahan's Legacy (Mary's Place #2, Callahan's #7)
  • Callahan's Key (The Place #1, Callahan's Series #8)

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