Matt's Reviews > Redshirts

Redshirts by John Scalzi
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's review
Sep 15, 13

liked it
Read from July 28 to 30, 2012

So this book has left me torn: It started off as kind of a clever, just-slightly-too-obvious parody of the sci-fi TV genre, from the point of view of the eponymous redshirts who figure out just enough to lance the goofiest cliches and laziest plots. The middle gets meta by exploiting the lazy writing of the book's universe, almost literally since at the end of one chapter a plan is set into motion and by the next -- as if there had been a commercial break -- the plan is successful, having skipped the real action in a page turn.

What left me scratching my head was the final chapter of the main narrative and the first of the three "codas," labeled First Person, Second Person and Third Person. Between them, they add another layer or two of meta to everything : was I reading a book about TV characters realizing they're TV characters; a book about book characters who think they are TV characters realizing they're TV characters; or a book about a writer who wrote the book about book characters who think they're TV characters et cetera? And if the rabbit hole gets deeper, does that make the book any better, or just more navel-gazing?

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