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Beth | 41 comments I watched the hangout after you posted it. Nicely done, guys! I share a few of your sentiments, but you didn't comment on a couple of things that I noticed when I read Redshirts.

When I picked up the book I did not expect to laugh out loud throughout. I thought the perspective of the redshirts would be fun. What I found as I turned the pages was not what I expected. I think this happened to others, but unlike those in the hangout, I was not entirely disappointed. Instead, I marvelled at the philosophy of existence questions that were raised. Not only were the redshirts controlled by the Narrative, but all of the characters were under the influence of the Author. So what is life really and how much control do we have over our actions?

Also, in case you missed it the codas are written in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person.

The deaths of redshirts are absurd and ridiculous and mockingly fun. But the book is not and should not be categorized as humour. I think you could comfortably shelve it with your philosophy books.


message 2: by Ez, The God of Catan (new) - rated it 1 star

Ez (thevapidwench) | 287 comments Mod
In terms of its existential plotline, Redshirts reminded me very much of a book called 'Sophie's World' - my gateway into philosophy (in fact it's almost a 'Philosophy for Dummies' disguised as a novel) and quite revelatory at the time. There fact that there were so many comparable points between the two (despite their disparate subject matter), was one of the reasons I felt so strongly about Redshirts.

message 3: by Lara (new) - rated it 1 star

Lara E Brown (larasaurus) It's an interesting point. But personally, I didn't feel very philosophical while reading Redshirts. However, I'm not a very philosophical person, so that may be why. I studied it for a while. The lecturer looked too much like Timmy Mallett for me to take it seriously.

Anyway. In my opinion, I think it was definitely meant to be a scifi, humour novel, with some thought-provoking moments in it. Unfortunately, it wasn't my cup of tea.

Jonathon Dez-la-lour (jd2607) Like a lot of Scalzi, there's plenty of stuff that you can dig into in Redshirts if you want to. but, it's also just as easy to take it as a straight-up sci-fi comedy novel. I've found it with all of the other Scalzi stuff I've read, he writes fun novels that are quick and easy to read but he layers it with stuff that can pose some quite deep philosophical thought if you feel so inclined.

Personally, I enjoyed Redshirts. I devoured it in a trip home from Liverpool and my one major complaint is the constant "he said/she said" during conversations, but there are some readers and authors who prefer that so I'll put it down to different stylistic preferences.

message 5: by Lara (new) - rated it 1 star

Lara E Brown (larasaurus) OH GOD, the 'he said/she said' drove me mad!

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