Friday, January 2, 2009
Spider Robinson: The Callahan Touch
A Callahan’s bar fix up novel. The original Callahan’s place was destroyed in a nuclear explosion, but the “I” character of the stories establishes a new bar for the same gang to hang on. For some reason this is a bar that tends to attract very strange visitors, including, but not limited to, time travelers and characters out of Irish folklore. This book is based for a most part on short stories published earlier, but some of the material has been substantially rewritten. And that was really, really, bad idea. The original stories were tight, nice, good entertaining stories, but in this book there are a lot of totally unnecessary padding. All action stops in the middle part for very long time, where absolutely nothing happens. There are ever literally two pages long list of names of people visiting Callahan’s and what instruments they are supposed to be playing. This has about same amount of entertainment value as reading a phone book. The glorification of alcoholism was also a bit disturbing, and it also was at its' worst in the middle part of the book. The book would have been better if the author had left the stories as there were, and wouldn’t have expanded them with unneeded fluff.