The Callahan Touch; Callahan's Legacy; Callahan's Key
by Spider Robinson
Review by Matt Urick

I decided it was time I caught up with what has been happening with the gang from Callahan's Place. It had been a while since I had read the last two published novelettes that have been woven into The Callahan Touch, and two more novels had been published since then.

Those novelettes had told of the opening of Mary's Place, a bar started by Jake Stonebender some time after a controlled nuclear explosion had destroyed Callahan's Place. The stories showed the gang still needed to gather somewhere to share good times, meet new and unique people, and help them solve some incredible problems. The novel continues this as more characters that play key (sorry) roles are introduced in what soon turns into a crazy week-long celebration of the new place.

The last day of Mary's Place turns out to be just as hectic and is chronicled in Callahan's Legacy. Cataclysmic danger threatens again. What else can the game do but try to once again form a group mind to cope with the problem? Strong drink and shared emotions are the order of the day.

Jake finally comes to terms with the fact that two of the finest gathering spots in the universe no longer exist in Long Island. He and the gang collectively decide to find greener pastures elsewhere and head for the Florida Keys. Callahan's Key is half travelogue in detailing the journey. But all is not fun and games as when the trip is done, the business of saving the universe yet again must be taken up.

I tried to be vague in describing these books because if you are a fan of the series you would not want all the surprises spoiled for you. And if you are not familiar with Callahan's -- well, it would just take too long to explain properly.

I will tell you that Spider Robinson writes in a way that makes you feel like you are more of an old friend enjoying a recounting of great parties you had to miss. I will also warn you that Spider's libertarian views will not go down well with everybody. I definitely can tell you these books are filled with more punny groaners and wicked wordplay just like the earlier books in the series.

But in my opinion this series has definitely jumped the shark before these books. These books had their enjoyable moments but it's the early ones I will remember the fondest.

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