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Summary

This omnibus edition contains the trio of books that introduced the world to Mike Callahan, Jake Stonebender, Doc Webster, Mickey Finn, Fast Eddie Costigan, Long-Drink McGonnigle, Ralph Von Wau Wau, and the rest of the regulars of Callahan's Place, in the stories that helped Spider Robinson to win both a John W. Campbell Award and a legion of fans.

Callahan's Crosstime Saloon is the neighborhood tavern to all of time and space, where the regulars are anything but. These time travelers, talking dogs, alcoholic vampires, and cybernetic aliens really, truly care about each other. It's the rare kind of place where bad puns are as appreciated as good conversation.

Time Travelers Strictly Cash is their policy. Lay your money on the bar, name your poison, step up to the line drawn on the barroom floor, and after drinking make a toast and throw the glass into the fireplace. It's an odd tradition but one that's led to some interesting stories.

Callahan's Secret may be something even the regulars would never guess. Then again, it may be as simple as listening to those post-toast stories. After all, like Callahan says, shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased, a simple concept that could, after a few drinks, lead to saving the world.

©1997 Spider Robinson (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Robinson is the hottest writer to hit science fiction since Ellison, and he can match the master's frenetic energy and emotional intensity, arm-break for gut-wrench." ( Los Angeles Times)
"Tall tales....fine and funny....A significant achievement for light humor!" ( Houston Post)

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Heart-warming

It's maybe not the best book to read (listen too) straight through. One should really spend more time at Callahan's. Nevertheless, it's a wonderful book. The stories gain more and more SF elements so don't be put off by the first story if you expect a lot of SF. But that is not the best part of it. The characters are real (and the narrator is fabulous at delineating each character's voice and sings well too) and so kind. Not without foibles, but kind and decent. And Callahan's Place is a place where everybody knows your name.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Shark Likes
  • 30-10-16

Uggg....

Any additional comments?

Peter is a great story teller, and I can't say that for one or two of these stories I was not totally engrossed, but this got tedious quickly and I found myself dreading my commute and having to listen to more, so I quit. I can see why these are not widely known.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Moondog
  • 27-02-17

Not my cup of tea.

Got thru 3 and a half hours and had to give it up. Nothing funny or entertaining for me there. My one and will be my only listen to Spider Robinson.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Grumpy
  • 15-12-07

Boring!

I too was looking forward to this book after all the hype. This is one of the few books that I actually stopped listening to. It's the same story over and over and over... you get the idea. After 2 stories I had enough touchy feely to last for years.
I really wouldn't characterize this as SF. I always get the feeling that Robinson throws in some SF element so he could get the thing published.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Kaufman
  • 14-03-04

A bit too sickly sweet for me

I really enjoyed these books when they first came out, but that was a long time ago. I tried to listen to them now, and I gave up after an hour or two. Everybody loves everybody, and everyone takes care of everyone. The author never lets a real storyline get in the way of the general lovefest. I finally stopped listening, because I was afraid I was going to get diabetes from all of the sugar.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dann
  • 28-08-14

I'm sorry but this just kept losing me ...

Not being a BAR type person I couldn't get into the whole bar scene no matter how 'alien' it got. And the pun material just left me dry. There's very few puns that do anything for me but just make me want to walk away.

I know this has a cult following, mainly people who think the bar actually exists and this should have been a clue for me. Unfortunately the mainstream story lines don't really do it for me. Give me sci fi with deep thought.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Zach
  • 11-06-08

How did this get so much hype?

What a waste of a credit. Extremely repetative. Some stories fall completely flat and make no sense. Perhaps you have listen to 30 of them before you get some of the references but if you can't enjoy them after 3 or 4 what is the point?

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Frederick
  • 04-04-06

I had hoped for better

I enjoyed reading them as when they first published and always wished to have them collected. Listening to them all at one time is tedious. They were written as short stories and maybe that is how they should remain.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Irenehope
  • 30-04-06

Bad Surprise

I was looking forward to this audio book, it had such good reviews. Then I started listening, and it was the same story over & over again. Stranger walks into bar, stranger tells story, moment of enlightenment, compassion or bonding, over & over again. And the introduction is also repeated over & over again. Maybe, a few more hours in, something changes, and maybe not.
I no longer care.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Luv2Read
  • 14-10-04

Dissappointing

I thought I was really goig to like this one. It is not really Science Fiction. The first few stories were interesting because they were different. But I soon tired of them.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Leif S. Kirschenbaum
  • 24-02-12

*NOT* SF

"Science Fiction" requires a strong element of *science* which Mr. Robinson failed to include in any of the short stories which have been compiled to create this novel.
Almost all of his allusions to classic science fiction plot elements: time travel, alien species, etc. completely lack the scientific backing which makes those plot elements plausible.
Mr. Robinson's work should be classified as *fantasy*, not SF.

I will avoid Mr. Robinson's work in the future and would listen to a C-SPAN audio broadcast of congressional hearings about cow flatulence research before listening to more about Callahan's place.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful