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The Callahan Touch (Mary's Place, #1:Callahan's Series, #6)
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The Callahan Touch (Callahan's #6)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,049 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Opening Night at Mary's Place is the hottest ticket in the galaxy - a brand-new bar with some old familiar faces. Jake's back, along with Doc, Fast Eddie, and the rest of the Callahan's gang. And just when things couldn't get crazier, guess who shows up in the Nick of Time to make sure they do...
Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Ace (first published 1993)
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Spider Robinson is the only author whose short stories I like better than his longer works. This book is unfortunately a short novel (I'm not clear on the official novellete/novella/novel distinction), but it's not composed of multiple vignettes like the earlier, much better, Callahan universe works. There's some plot and some exposition to cover events since the momentous end of the last main Callahan's short story, and then basically it's one loooooong scene at the bar (extended through time w ...more
David Caldwell
This is a reread with many years in-between the readings. It is the first in the Mary's Place series and the sixth in the Callahan's Place series.

It has been about a dozen years since Callahan's Place was nuked out of existence and Jake Stonebender has finally opened Mary's Place. The old gang is there with some new faces thrown into the crowd. Their plan is to become collectively telepathic while drinking, making music, and telling jokes(mainly puns).

The first books in the Callahan seies were t
I nabbed this because I couldn't remember the exact order of the series but wanted to re-read some Callahan books, and the library had scant choice. Unfortunately, this one, in my view, is really only good for die-hard fans, reading it in order.

There were lots of good moments... but not so much a plot. There were (too) many puns and folk-song jams, and there was some people-fixing... but mostly this had all the least interesting features of a sequel. And/or a prequel.

That said, I'm going to seek
This is a re-read, as I read all the Callahan books a decade ago (right after high school). I… have no idea how I did that. Saw a few of the later books in a used bookstore and thought I’d pick them up for a light summer revisit. I think the other ones will be going back.
Grossly self-indulgent and self-congratulatory (especially the back-patting, faux-progressive stuff on race and gender – yuck!). Not to mention the lengthy monologues out of various characters that seem to come straight from the
Fun, but I put it down about halfway through, and don't think I'll pick it back up anytime soon. If I ever happen to walk by it on my way to the local grocer at noon on a Saturday, I may grab it and slip it into my back pocket for the inevitable line. But I don't think I'll go out of my way for it.

Spider's books definitely have their place in my heart, and they are great for the pun wars. But other than that, they're just candy, and I really don't have time for that right now. If I'm gonna read,
Sari Lynn
Jul 05, 2010 Sari Lynn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: fantasy-sf
Another utopian science fantasy, set in a fictional bar on Long Island, which can only be found if you really *need* to... This one is "Mary's Place" opened by Jake Stonebender after Callahan's is nuked. Most of the regulars are there - Doc Webster, Fast Eddie, Long Drink McGonnigal. Pyotr the vampire, Ralph Von Wau Wau the talking dog, and those who aren't are discusses fondly. Plus there are several new characters - Ernie (aka 'the Lucky Duck'), a sentient Macintosh Computer, and a cluricaune ...more
I'm still liking the idea of the Callahan series, but I feel sometimes it can get lost in its own feeling of self-satisfaction. There's never any serious conflict, and the characters are insanely lucky, so any speeches they give on how we should all chill and get along instead of having differing opinions can tend to grate (not everyone can manage to rope a leprechaun and his pots of gold into sorting their worries about their bartending expenses).

But, it still has horrible, horrible puns and an
Jay Daze
Mary's Place, the setting of The Callahan Touch is really a closed bar, where only like minded people can go -- and that pretty much sums up how I feel about the novel. It is filled with like minded people where the odd stranger comes in and is then converted into a regular. While the book has a ton of interesting ideas it feels strangely drained of dramatic tension for the most part. While the bar would be a great place to hang out in, and its inhabitants the most humane of folk, much like its ...more
Apr 13, 2010 Don rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
Not nearly as much fun as The Callahan Chronicles. It seemed like the theme was basically "let's see what other weird characters can we stick in." You have to go with the flow for a while unless you're up to speed on Irish folklore, but Spider does a good job of filling in the details.

Although it was published after Callahan's Lady and Lady Slings the Booze, you don't have to have read those to follow this one. It picks up with the grand opening of Mary's Place after Callahan's... well, read the
May 20, 2012 Hobbes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Hobbes by: devin murphy
I do so love this world. This book continues a few years after the last Callahan book and after the bar was destroyed. In this one, Jake has bought a bar and created a new place, called Mary's, but is recreating the same atmosphere. A place where people can get together and be the best that they can, a caring, loving environment. And as it predecessor did, Mary's draws in an unusual crowd, and the people who need it most. And with a bit 'o irish luck, Mike Callahan returns for a few more good ti ...more
Possibly Mister Robinson should have halted this series the book before this one. It has it moments, sure: some very funny lines and a neat story about a Lucky Duck; but there are also some real groaners and eye-rolling moments in here, too. While I like the character of Jake Stonebender, in this book he goes from Slightly-Contrived to All-Out-Mary-Sue. And that hurts me, because I love the first half of this series a great deal.

Not so bad, but I beg that you read the other books first.
The plot is essentially a string of tall-tales about a bar that could best be described as "paranormal Cheers," its regulars, and the outlandish things they experience which are mostly drawn from Irish mythology (not at all the space-opera style sci-fi the cover implies).

As a send-up of tall tales, the plot is occasionally humorous. The author's intentional humor fares worse, ranging from eye-rolling to lewd (and often both). I smiled a couple of times, but will pass on another round.
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.
With the 'Mick of time' gone, the Callahan's crowd has to set up a new bar. Can it ever live up to the old joint? Yeah, as weird things start happening on opening night and don't let up.
This series is magic and even at its weakest is better than 99% of the sci-fi out there.

Great setting, fun cast, lots of clever ideas and humor. Makes me wish it was a real place, and I don't even drink.

Bob Folker
I always love Spider's writing, and this is another excellent Callahan book. Not exactly timeless; which is to say it is set after computers, but before cell phones. I like the mythological stuff that gets worked in. Not a fan of how he dealt with AI here, but he did a good job, and it isn't a major part of the book.
It is very rare that I can't finish a book. Like 1 in 100 rare. However, I'm on pg 70 of this pretty short and easy read and I have no idea why it's in my hand. Is there a word for predictable, cliche, simplistic and boring? I'm just going to go with ick. Really. That's as verbose a descriptor as this needed. Ick.
Have you read any of these books anywhere? GET THEM, READ THEM, and keep a light in your heart that somewhere out there the Place exists, and that you will find it.
The weakest of the Callahan books. It seemed very self-congratulatory and full of name dropping. Too bad. I otherwise like the series.
Re-read the whole series 7/2012. All are feel-good light reading. Series goes gradually downhill, but all are enjoyable.
Reading this book was like hanging out with old friends. It just worked. If you have ever read Spider then you know what I mean.
EJD Dignan
The Callahan series, while punctuated with the occasional bon mot, is mostly a scifi inside joke and send up.
Matt Shively
Mary's place is not callahan's, but it is trying. I give it points for effort.
Scott wachter
some weird people show up. then they make friends with a computer.
Shedlon Wortlebucket
Shedlon Wortlebucket marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2014
David marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2014
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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
More about Spider Robinson...
Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (Callahan's, #1) Callahan's Lady (Lady Sally's, #1:Callahan's Series, #4) Time Travellers Strictly Cash (Callahan's Series, #2) Lady Slings the Booze (Lady Sally's, #2: Callahan's Series, #5) The Callahan Chronicals (Callahan's Place Trilogy, #1-3) (Callahan's Series, #1-3)

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