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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)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,264 Ratings  ·  33 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 Mick of Time to make sure they do...
Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Ace (first published 1993)
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Apr 24, 2016 Raj rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, humour
So Mike Callahan is gone, back to his own time and place, and Callahan's Place was blown up in a nuclear explosion. Is that going to stop the regulars? Of course not. Several years later, Jake Stonebender, our narrator through the series, opens his own bar, Mary's Place, and the old Callahan's regulars flock back. Hilarity (or at least puns), as they say, ensue.

This was an enjoyable book to read, but, for me, it misses the magic of the original trilogy. The core theme there was to help those who
Feb 22, 2014 Steven rated it liked it
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
James Adams
Mar 05, 2016 James Adams rated it really liked it
Shelves: d-j-popsugar
Some books are old friends, and the Callahan's books are some of my dearest. If you haven't read them, go grab The Callahan Chronicals (Callahan's Place Trilogy, #1-3) and catch up. The series is the literary equivalent of the perfect Irish coffee imbibed in the company of your fifty closest friends. Avoid at all costs if you suffer a pun allergy.
First, let's address the obvious. This is not Callahan's, but it's daughter, Mary's. This statement is true of both the novel and the bar at it's cente
Jun 11, 2014 Colleen rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-humor
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
Jul 30, 2014 Jackie rated it did not like it
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
Oct 10, 2014 Space rated it liked it
Shelves: abandoned
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 really liked it
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
May 09, 2016 Denise marked it as to-read
Shelves: self-chosen
A character says, "Librarians are the secret masters of the universe. They control information. Never piss one off."
Apr 25, 2012 Sean rated it liked it
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
Apr 23, 2009 Jay Daze rated it it was ok
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 liked it
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 it was amazing
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
Sep 06, 2009 Jen3n rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy, humor
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.
May 19, 2013 Vince rated it it was ok
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.
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.
Timothy Boyd
Very funny collection of SiFi short stories. Recommended
Megan Huffman
Jun 04, 2016 Megan Huffman rated it really liked it
Really liked this one. Was nice to see Jake and the gang reunited years later at the new bar.
Dec 01, 2009 Travis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, sf-fantasy
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
Jul 07, 2012 Bob Folker rated it liked it
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.
Apr 06, 2012 Simone rated it did not like it
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.
Nov 01, 2009 Nytetyger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009-challenge
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.
Sep 25, 2011 Rusty rated it it was ok
The weakest of the Callahan books. It seemed very self-congratulatory and full of name dropping. Too bad. I otherwise like the series.
Bob McMichael
Mar 25, 2016 Bob McMichael added it
Shelves: humor, scifi
Fantastic! It's been a couple of years since I finished it - about time to read it again (something I do with very few books).
Jul 20, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Re-read the whole series 7/2012. All are feel-good light reading. Series goes gradually downhill, but all are enjoyable.
Jun 27, 2013 Keith rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 21, 2015 C.L. rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fantasy
I love Spider, but this was a hard read. Maybe I'm too used to the short stories. I just couldn't get into this.
EJD Dignan
Jun 06, 2009 EJD Dignan rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
The Callahan series, while punctuated with the occasional bon mot, is mostly a scifi inside joke and send up.
Matt Shively
Oct 16, 2011 Matt Shively rated it really liked it
Mary's place is not callahan's, but it is trying. I give it points for effort.
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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 Series, #2)
  • Callahan's Secret (Callahan's Series, #3)
  • Callahan's Lady (Lady Sally's, #1:Callahan's Series, #4)
  • Lady Slings the Booze (Lady Sally's, #2: Callahan's Series, #5)
  • Callahan's Legacy (Mary's Place, #2) (Callahan's Series, #7)
  • Callahan's Key (The Place, #1) (Callahan's Series, #8)
  • Callahan's Con (The Place, #2) (Callahan's Series, #9)

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