Teri's Reviews > Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

Redshirts by John Scalzi
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's review
Jun 06, 12

bookshelves: 2012-favorites, owned-audiobook, science-fiction, wil-wheaton, 2012, favorites
Read on June 06, 2012

A philosophy-fillled, meta-packed, sci-fi fun fest!

NOTE: This review is for the Audible.com audio edition narrated by Wil Wheaton.

I love Scalzi's take on the cliched disposable 'Red Shirt' ensign phenomenon. As even the casual Star Trek viewer will tell you, you NEVER volunteer for an away mission if you're not a main character. On the UU's flagship, the Intrepid, the ensigns and other secondary crew members have learned this as well. While the premise is based on the perils of the 'redshirt effect' other popular scifi tropes are addressed as well, such as Trek philosophy, time travel 'rules', actors, Comic Cons, 'scifi science' and alien silliness (Ice Sharks? Really!?!) And, while Redshirts never takes itself too seriously, it still manages to present thought provoking dilemmas for it's intrepid heroes. Frequently batting his story up against the 'fourth wall' (though never fully breaking through it) Scalzi takes meta to interesting new levels.

I have listened to several Wheaton-narrated performances by Cline, Scalzi and Wheaton, and this is another solid listen. Wil Wheaton is absolutely the most appropriate reader for this book, given the subject matter. He did a great job. The only thing that I found distracting was the use of, "he said," "she said," "Dahl said," etc, after almost every spoken line. While not Wheaton's fault, it was terribly distracting and even a bit irritating after time. I hope Mr. Scalzi invests in a thesaurus for his next book. The word "said" ends in a hard stop that is quite noticeable when repeated several times in a short time-frame. It really kills the flow of the dialog.

Was Redshirts worth the listening time? Absolutely. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of scifi, especially Star Trek geeks like myself. I think that it was very cleverly done and will be sure to make any Trek fan roll with laughter and will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Warren Everything you said about the writing style I agree with entirely. I didn't get the narrated version, just the ebook. I would probably have liked hearing it read by Wil Wheaton a hell of a lot more than I liked slogging through a morass of nouns and description that didn't need to be included.

Stuart Mackey I agree completely about the "said" on every line. I wonder if Wil notices because he seemed to really say those words softer. Scalzi needs to look for a better editor.

Teri I would imagine Wil noticed, it was very grating after awhile. Fortunately Wil's a good friend of Scalzi, so I'm crossing my fingers that he mentioned it. I really enjoy the audiobooks they do together.

message 4: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne I have a long drive in a couple of weeks and was looking for something entertaining to listen to in between Brazillian Portuguese courses. This sounds like it might fill the bill! Last time I made this 9 hour drive, I tried to listen to The Night Circus, which is a really bad choice for something to listen to whilst driving! The book, however, is an enchanting read, just takes more concentration than one can devote to it and drive at the same time!

The  SciFi Chick Muses I listened to the Wheaton narration too. Like the book well enough and Wheaton is fantastic! But, as you said, the "he said", "she said" drove me bonkers!!!!

Jared W I love any book Wil reads, and I've listened to quite a few already.

The  SciFi Chick Muses I listened to Ready Player One and of course Red Shirts. I really enjoy his narration. What other Wil Wheaton audiobooks to you recommend?

Jared W Android's Dream by John Scalzi, read by Wil Wheaton. Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi, read by Wil Wheaton. Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi, read by Wil Wheaton

Jessica I totally agree with your assessment of the "he said," "she said," "Dahl said" thing. That was the worst part of the book.

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