Off the Wall at Callahan's

Spider Robinson, Author Tor Books $9.95 (158p) ISBN 978-0-312-85661-8
The merciful thing about this book is that no one makes it a secret that it's being done for the money. And that's where the pity ends, as Spider Robinson (yes, he legally changed his name to Spider) takes epigrams and aphorisms rent from their natural environments--generally from his enormously successful club stories about Callahan's Place--and leaves them to stand (or fall) on their own, with the help of some quaint Phil Foglio illustrations. Those who didn't long ago tire of stories about Callahan's Place may glory in this self-indulgence, which Robinson modestly compares favorably to Robert A. Heinlein's The Notebooks of Lazarus Long , Heinlein at least had the integrity to include only quotes from his own works. Robinson, apparently unable to fill a book with the wit and wisdom of Callahan's Place (although the introduction cagily implies that there will be a second volume), includes quotes from varous other sources, including Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Chip Delany, Tom Waits and The Rockford Files . There are two sections of puns, all excerpted from the short stories, and some songs (sans music or even chord sequences) with lyrics such as ``My love is like horniness, in that it never quits, / But I'd love you if you didn't have those tits.'' Several of the epigrams are similarly well-conceived, and a few--unlike The Notebooks of Lazarus Long --are outright mean-spirited. It is difficult to dislike a book by someone who enjoys cunnilingus and Ed McCurdy, but Robinson ( Lady Slings the Booze ) does his damnedest to make this book unappealing. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/1994
Release date: 02/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-7653-1046-0
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