Fuzzy Nation Hardcover – Apr 21 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Between his wife Katherine's diagnosis of glioblastoma and her quiet death less than three years later, Mee (The Call of DIY), his siblings and his mother bought a bedraggled zoo, complete with decaying buildings, a ragtag group of animals, an eclectic staff and a reputation that had been quickly going to the wolves. In this occasionally charming (to his children: Quiet. Daddy's trying to buy a zoo) but overly wordy book, Mee writes about caring for his dying wife and their two young children, dealing with Code Red emergencies (when a dangerous animal escapes its confines), hiring staff, learning about his new two- and four-footed charges and setting his sights on refurbishing his zoo into a sanctuary for breeding and raising endangered animals. Mee tends to meander with too-long explanations for one-sentence points, and the awe he feels about each individual animal is repetitive. Coupled with Britishisms that are never explained and a curious lack of varied wild animal stories, this book that was obviously meant to make animal lovers roar with pleasure will only make them whine with frustration. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Scalzi is not just recycling classic Heinlein. He’s working out new twists, variations that startle even as they satisfy.” ―Publishers Weekly , starred review, on Old Man’s War
“If Stephen King were to try his hand at science fiction, he'd be lucky to be half as entertaining as John Scalzi.” ―Dallas Morning News on The Ghost Brigades
“Scalzi's captivating blend of offworld adventure and political intrigue remains consistently engaging.” ―Booklist on The Last ColonySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In fairness to the other reviewers, who all seem to bring up the same point regarding how this book pisses all over the original content; I haven't read the H. Beam Piper story. So I cannot comment on whether or not it does justice to the source material. I came at this having never read it, or anything by Scalzi either. If you are in that boat with me then you might enjoy this book too.
As for the story and characters, I generally liked how the author portrayed them. Like I said above, it is a short book, less than 400 pages in paper back, so there is not a lot of time to get too deep in characterization. The story plays out from the pov of just one person, Jack Halloway, who is neither a reliable narrator nor a paragon of right and wrong. But he is enjoyable to follow, the fuzzy's are portryed wonderfully, as is the supporting cast.
If you are looking for a deep, thick, mind bending novel, then look somewhere else. But if you want a fast paced, entertaining read that is great for vacations, or summer time dock lounging, then I would highly recommend this one.
The central problem is that he has "re-imagined" Holloway and the "Fuzzy Sapiens" in a less than stellar manner. Those who read and loved the Fuzzy series by H. Beam Piper, like myself, may find themselves horrified by Scalzi's twisting of Holloway's character into someone who is quite simply lacking in the human attributes that made the story work for Piper. The new and degraded Holloway is a gutted shell of the man that Piper created, shallow and lacking in the central kindness that was found in an otherwise gruff frontiersman.
The elimination of the martini and cigarette/pipe culture may be an appropriate modernization, but not when you leave out any cultural waterholes for the characters to gather around. We end up with sad and career motivated drones doing their thing without quite knowing why.
The Fuzzys themselves are observed but never does Scalzi get properly inside their heads. The close of the book is unfeasible given apparent cultural levels.
If Scalzi had written another story inside the Fuzzy universe it may have gone very well, but this re-imagination was a mistake.
Most recent customer reviews
I've been listening to Fuzzy Nation because I loved the original. The audible book starts off with an Author's note about how happy and pleased he is that his good friend, Wil... Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2012 by Jessica
Review of Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
Jack Holloway is a fantastic (if modern and pragmatic) character. Read more
This is a very interesting re-imagining of Piper's work.
It may be more pragmatic than the original but the fantastic
twists and turns along with the best "OMG" moments... Read more