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The Road to Roswell

by Connie Willis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3043086,264 (3.66)36
Fiction. Romance. Science Fiction. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:A delightful novel about alien invasions, conspiracies, and the incredibly silly things people are willing to believe‚??some of which may actually be true‚??from the Nebula and Hugo award-winning author of Blackout and All Clear
‚??An absolute blast with abundant humor, copious references to old westerns, and . . . a delightful, intergalactic twist on the romantic comedy.‚?Ě‚??Publishers Weekly (starred review)
When level-headed Francie arrives in Roswell, New Mexico, for her college roommate‚??s UFO-themed wedding‚??complete with a true-believer bridegroom‚??she can‚??t help but roll her eyes at all the wide-eyed talk of aliens, which obviously don‚??t exist. Imagine her surprise, then, when she is abducted by one.
Odder still, her abductor is far from what the popular media have led her to expect, with a body like a tumbleweed and a mass of lightning-fast tentacles. Nor is Francie the only victim of the alien‚??s abduction spree. Before long, he has acquired a charming con man named Wade, a sweet little old lady with a casino addiction, a retiree with a huge RV and a love for old Westerns, and a UFO-chasing nutjob who is thoroughly convinced the alien intends to probe them and/or take over the planet.
But the more Francie gets to know the alien, the more convinced she becomes that he‚??s not an invader. That he‚??s in trouble and she has to help him. Only she doesn‚??t know how‚??or even what the trouble is. 
Part alien-abduction adventure, part road trip saga, part romantic comedy, The Road to Roswell is packed full of Men in Black, Elvis impersonators, tourist traps, rattlesnakes, chemtrails, and Close Encounters of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth kind. Can Francie, stuck in a neon green bridesmaid‚??s dress, save the
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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
IMO, a potentially cute concept that fell short in execution. Maybe it could have made screwball sci-fi romance, but at 400+ pages, it was at least 200 pages too many.

The main character (Francine?) is as boring, vanilla, and devoid of personality as they come. She's dropped into this kooky annual Roswell alien convention when she flies in for a college friend's wedding. An alien abduction and manic roadtrip ensue during which several stereotypical locals become inadvertent ridealongs. Somewhere along the way, the alien is named "Indy," and an ET plot line develops in which "Indy" needs help getting home (or something?) and they careen around the desert in search of a destination to reveal itself.

This didn't work for me as a buddy comedy, an adventure of misfits, or a romance/meet-cute, but YMMV. Heard about it on a podcast and am generally down with a weird book especially a witty one. The reality was just okay.

Tom Robbins this was not.

My recommendation borrowed and tweaked from someone else: if you try it, give it 100 pages less your age and if you're not loving it, bag it and tag it. ( )
  angiestahl | Mar 11, 2024 |
Francie, unlike everyone else headed to Roswell on the weekend she travels there for a friend's wedding, definitely doesn't believe in UFOs or aliens. Right up until she's abducted by an alien. Then she finds herself trying to understand her new abductor and help him achieve his goal. Along the way, they'll pick up several other people, all with their own secrets but all equally invested in helping this strange alien on his quest.

I've yet to find a Connie Willis novel I didn't enjoy and her newest novel is no exception. The cast of characters is a delight and the vaguely Quixotic journey they go on as they try to assist their alien abductor is fun and funny. A good time for readers who enjoy their sci fi, light on the sci and high on the humour. ( )
  MickyFine | Feb 2, 2024 |
Every screwball comedy needs a believable, attractive protagonist. But after four hundred dialogue-filled pages with our heroine, Francie, all we know about her is that she's scatterbrained, inclined to jump to conclusions, loyal, and heterosexual. Career? Family background? Unique quirks? Not present or not described. And she's not too bright. Your patience may be repeatedly tested as you spend page after page trapped with her short-sighted internal ruminations. The other characters are similarly cardboard, most of them more so. We've got the bone-stupid UFO conspiracy theorist, the little granny who gambles, and the RV owner who speaks in 1940s movie-cowboy dialect like a waiter at a theme restaurant. Oh, and the con man Who May Not Be Who He Seems. Not a real person in the bunch, though the con man comes closest, as the multiple layers of persona hint at the complexity of a living human being.

These characters are thrown together over a period of days as they ramble around the highways of the Southwest, guided by a cute alien being like a basketball-sized Flying Spaghetti Monster. Those hoping for a convincing portrayal of aliens and alien technology will be disappointed: this one's main ability is to turn an internal combustion engine into a perpetual motion machine in minutes without so much as a single spare part or drop of lubricant. This helps keep the show on the road without stopping for gas, which would get in the way of the plot.

Although set in the modern day, characters use their cell phones only to make calls; when they can't, they oddly complain that they've got no "coverage." No one seems to know about texting or apps.

What's good? The author's choice to favor dialogue over exposition, although somewhat exhausting, does help give the book the air of the 1940s movie farce it's obviously aiming for. The increasingly affectionate relationship between the alien ‚ÄĒ a kind of fugitive, as it turns out ‚ÄĒ and its victims-turned-protectors is touching at times. But as the plot holes and logical inconsistencies pile up, the screwball thing wears thin, and the book ends, confusingly, in mid-conversation and mid-scene, a bit like the infamous (and much darker) ending of The Sopranos. I actually reported it as a defect in my ebook before a number of reviews convinced me that what I'd read was the author's intent. ( )
  john.cooper | Jan 24, 2024 |
An enjoyable romp. ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Jan 23, 2024 |
It started out like a madcap romp, but I was worn down by the stupendous amount of repetitive dialogue. The author's grasp of current technology was a bit loose; none of the characters who use cellphones seem to be aware of text messaging. ( )
  EZLivin | Jan 7, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connie Willisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vilinsky, JesseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. --Bill Watterson
Be hospitable to strangers. --The Code of the West
"Let me ask you something. If you were an alien--you can go anywhere in the world--would you pick Roswell?" --Roswell
Dedication
To Eleanor Cameron, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham, Damon Knight, and all the other fiction authors who first sparked my interest in aliens.

And to Jack Williamson and Frederik Pohl, who took one look at the Roswell crash and said, "It's a weather balloon."
First words
Serena wasn't in the airport waiting area when Francie got off the plane in Albuquerque, but a man carrying a sign reading FIRST CONTACT COMMITTEE--WELCOME TO THE UFO FESTIVAL was.
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Fiction. Romance. Science Fiction. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:A delightful novel about alien invasions, conspiracies, and the incredibly silly things people are willing to believe‚??some of which may actually be true‚??from the Nebula and Hugo award-winning author of Blackout and All Clear
‚??An absolute blast with abundant humor, copious references to old westerns, and . . . a delightful, intergalactic twist on the romantic comedy.‚?Ě‚??Publishers Weekly (starred review)
When level-headed Francie arrives in Roswell, New Mexico, for her college roommate‚??s UFO-themed wedding‚??complete with a true-believer bridegroom‚??she can‚??t help but roll her eyes at all the wide-eyed talk of aliens, which obviously don‚??t exist. Imagine her surprise, then, when she is abducted by one.
Odder still, her abductor is far from what the popular media have led her to expect, with a body like a tumbleweed and a mass of lightning-fast tentacles. Nor is Francie the only victim of the alien‚??s abduction spree. Before long, he has acquired a charming con man named Wade, a sweet little old lady with a casino addiction, a retiree with a huge RV and a love for old Westerns, and a UFO-chasing nutjob who is thoroughly convinced the alien intends to probe them and/or take over the planet.
But the more Francie gets to know the alien, the more convinced she becomes that he‚??s not an invader. That he‚??s in trouble and she has to help him. Only she doesn‚??t know how‚??or even what the trouble is. 
Part alien-abduction adventure, part road trip saga, part romantic comedy, The Road to Roswell is packed full of Men in Black, Elvis impersonators, tourist traps, rattlesnakes, chemtrails, and Close Encounters of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth kind. Can Francie, stuck in a neon green bridesmaid‚??s dress, save the

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