Josh's Reviews > Redshirts

Redshirts by John Scalzi
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's review
Apr 05, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: science-fiction, hugo-award-winners
Read from March 22 to 30, 2013

Scalzi is his usual readable, fast-paced, and cheerful self here, but all in all, Redshirts whiffs. It wants to delve into some interesting metafictional territory, only it would much rather serve up a corny joke or bland pop culture reference instead. When it tries to get serious, it feels underdeveloped and out of place. Generally feels like hastily-written delightful internet candy. It's fun and self-serving, but leaves no lasting impression.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Kerry Thank you. I thought this book was so terrible I couldn't even muster up the energy to write a review. I agree with everything you said except for the "fun" part.

Josh This review does a better job hitting on what I thought were the real problems with this book, and where Scalzi goes wrong sometimes. In his weaker books the characters are just too much alike, and they're all Scalzi's snarky blogger persona. True here, topped off with a whole bit literally written AS snarky blogger persona. Why should we care about the all these "real" people when you can't resist throwing one more joke about them getting eviscerated by badgers?

I've read a lot of his stuff and generally like him fine, but this one was just broken/unfinished/rushed/something else.

Kerry Haha, yeah, I had already "liked" that review.

Wil Wheaton was also pretty terrible.

This has scared me off of any other Scalzi. Should I attempt anything else, do you think? Old Man's War?

Josh Wow, awesome. I bet an audiobook of this is horrendous. The one thing it does do well is fast banter, which would get destroyed reading aloud.

Well, as much as you hated Redshirts, there may be no hope for you...but, I thought the Old Man's War series was pretty good. I've actually been meaning to re-read them because admittedly I don't remember them terribly well. But I'd consider them well-plotted and generally entertaining. They have a bit more serious tone, so the humor is supplementary and effective, rather than a focus. (And with way less snark.) They're fast enough reads that it's worth at least trying the first one.

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