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Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille by Steven…
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Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille (1990)

by Steven Brust

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7841417,938 (3.42)10

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As it turns out, this book has a somewhat-interesting plot involving time travel and the deliberate destruction of Earth and other human-inhabited planets.

However, I doubt many readers will make it through the first hundred or so pages where nothing happens. Well, the characters hang out in the bar and grill, drink, smoke, play Irish music, and obsess about their love lives. The dour first person narration by “Billy” does nothing to develop the characters; they are just a list of names and whiskey preferences.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
I owned this book way back in the 90's when it first came out, the cover is amazing and I've never fully forgotten it even though I don't remember what happened to my original copy. I found it at a used book sellers recently and bought it again to reread. Oddly though, once I got past the first few chapters nothing seemed familiar about this book. A few more chapters in I realized that was because I never finished it. This book has a fascinating concept, somewhat interesting universe that it is set in and is boring as hell with some of the most uninteresting, fairly stupid characters I've read in a long time. It was a struggle to get through it and I normally don't continue reading books I don't like but I really wanted to see how this one ended. It wasn't worth it.

The main character, the narrator, was uninteresting and not really likable and while important stuff was going on in the background we instead followed him as he looked for an apartment, had a date with an even more unlikable character, didn't want to talk about important things, did stupid things. Everything but deal with the main storyline and all the interesting things that were going on somewhere else. None of the characters acted all that intelligently, not even the super duper bad guys who couldn't seem to kill characters that weren't even trying to be safe.

The ending was a serious let down with a twist that felt more like a cheat than any I've read in a long time and made the story make even less sense than it already had.

Such a waste of an excellent concept. The cover art is still cool, I'll probably keep the book just for that. In fact, one of the stars I'm giving this book is for the concept and one is for the cover art. ( )
  Kellswitch | Jan 22, 2015 |
I enjoyed this books about musicians in a traveling restaurant. I liked the character interactions, especially between Billy and Libby. ( )
  krin5292 | May 26, 2013 |
This was not your typical Stephen Brust novel. In fact, I've never read anything quite like this.

It's told in first person (with a few Intermezzos of third person to fill in the blanks) of a banjo player in a folk band named Billy. We meet Billy in Cowboy Feng's as he listens to his band mates tuning up for the evening gig. The gig is cut short by a nuclear explosion which catapults the bar through time and space to another planet. They were on Mars, prior to that on Venus, prior to that a lunar colony and original in London on Old Earth.

Eventually, we learn there is a war being fought between two factions of humanity. One faction is a society based on fear and ignorance, using a fatal disease (called Hag's disease) as a catalyst. This society uses the disease as an excuse to quarantine itself and destroy the rest of humanity to prevent the spread of infection. The small group of employees at Feng's bar and the band members who were accidentally (perhaps) sucked into the rebel cause, are trying to discover how to stop the extermination of billions of humans by the enemy.

The story was engaging, sometimes funny, sometimes violent and eventually reached a conclusion that was sacrificial but successful. It was an interesting read, but I'm not sure I would re-read it. ( )
  mossjon | Mar 31, 2013 |
I am a big fan of Stephen Brust, but this was my first outing outside of his Taltos world. I struggled early on because he used, I beleive on purpose, a stumbling writing style, which built into the confusion the characters were feeling. He jumped from character to character with few clean references to who was who. I was deep into the story by the time I finally became comfortable with the cast. After that, I really became hooked by the mystery of the events and who was this enemy unseen. I was pleased with the ending. ( )
  Gkarlives | Sep 11, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044111816X, Mass Market Paperback)

Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille is a great place to visit, but it tends to move around a bit. From Earth to the Moon to Mars to another solar system, it is always just one step ahead of whatever mysterious conspiracy is reducing whole worlds to radioactive ash. And Cowboy Feng's may be humanity's last hope for survival. Original.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille serves the best matzoh ball soup in the Galaxy, and hires some of the best musicians you'll ever hear. It's a great place to visit, but it tends to move around-just one step ahead of whatever mysterious conspiracy is reducing whole worlds to radioactive ash. And Cowboy Feng's may be humanity's last hope for survival.… (more)

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