Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No place like it in the world

This is it, the missing piece: Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson. Do you ever have the feeling that there was something you were supposed to have discovered long ago, a movie or book you should have found at age 16 that would have been with you ever since? Me neither, but here it is, the one I missed. The funny thing is that this is not among the best novels I've read recently, as quality of writing goes. I can see the flaws, and I would be more comfortable writing a snarky put-down of its sentimentalism, (it wouldn't be difficult at all), but that wouldn't be honest. The honest, ugly truth is that Callahan's Crosstime Saloon sucker-punched me. I didn't know you could do these things in a way that didn't come off as fake. Now before you ask me what the plot is, I'll review books the way I want to, thank you very much, and in any case this isn't a book review, this is a "welcome to my library Spider Robinson, make yourself at home". If you must have a TV executive's summary, it's Cheers meets Neil Gaiman's Worlds' End. Genrewise it's science fiction in the same way that its politics are hippie-libertarian: Laid-back and very, very casual about it. And it's full of groan-inducing puns. Is that a recommendation? Maybe, kind of, but that's not really the point. Good or not, this one is mine.



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