No. Not sure it is good enough to recommend.
Probably not. I have tried 2 and didn't love either.
This is the second book I have heard from him (the other Ready Player One). He is super entertaining to listen to. I loved his take on Joshua the alien. Very funny.
The first half of the book was quite good, the premise interesting and clever, and the dialoge and insider hollywood stuff was snappy. It falls apart in the second half where everything feels very contrived and artificial. The pieces all fall in place waaaay to perfectly and unbelievable. Even in sci-fi/comedy like this I like a sense of plausibility which was present in the first half but destroyed in the second half.Will Wheaton is one of my favorite narrators. He is great and saves this book from being a "did not finish". Nails the fast talking agent banter and alien voices/personas.
I read a lot and I'm pretty open-minded about what I read. That means that I often read things that are flawed. There are two flaws that are almost universal. One is that I can perceive the author's overall outline for the book. I can imagine that the current passage was responding to "Build suspense by having hero get trapped." I prefer that the story follow its own logic. The other flaw is verbosity. Whether it's extraneous action or endless site descriptions or deep diving into the character's internal dialog, I'll be reading (or driving along listening) and think, "Good god! Get on with it!"
I explain these ideas to make clear exactly what is NOT wrong with John Scalzi and this book especially. The guy has an exquisitely organic sense of story telling. I've read several of his books (I'm inclined toward science fiction) and I can't really ever think of an occasion where something happened merely to serve the writing. Even better, when he says stuff, it counts. In this book, when I gave a thought to the writing, per se, it was to remark to myself that this prose was wonderfully bright and lucid.
I love absurdity and comedy. I love references that are 'au courant' for the culture. Sadly, authors that have the kind of awareness to write that sort of thing are very, very often glib. The references are gratuitous and superficial. I feel like they are showing off.
Again, Scalzi does NOT have this problem either. This book is written for the moment. It revels in the modern entertainment culture. But, the things that are said, as with the jokes, absurdities and goofy plot twists seem natural and they serve the story. Instead of seeming like decorations added to beef up appeal, with Scalzi these things create a sense of place and make sense in context. If you removed them, the story would fall apart.
The last detail I would like to note is that this guy knows how to form a sentence. I could tell that Wheaton had no problem interpreting the sentences as he read them. They come naturally to the tongue, even when its not dialog.
(Especially so, considering Scalzi's one flaw, the use of "said" to carry dialog. It used to be the good thing but, in a world where books are often read aloud, toss in a few "she replied" or "he answered". The use of "he said" and "she said" and "Miranda said" and "Tom said" was, well, it was the only detail I can criticize.)
Wil Wheaton is getting better. I've heard him a bunch of times and, though he's never been bad, he does a good job here. He captures the attitude of the characters without being too 'actor-y'. (If I want someone to crowd out my imagination, I'll watch television.) He is easily understandable. The characters are distinctive and likable. He does better job than some men with female voices. Probably has some development to do with accents but they are not annoying.
Agent to the Stars is also poignant. I was delighted as I realized that, along with really pleasant entertainment, that Scalzi was actually *saying* something. I'm no english major but, I am confident that this would stand up to a bunch of solid book club discussion of its themes and values. It was interesting and, as it came to a conclusion, I was charmed by the way he brought his idea to fruition.
Agent to the Stars is a fun listen. I didn't love it, but it kept me entertained and was worth a credit. Wheaton does a good job with the characters and is definitely a worthwhile addition.
I had no expectations going in but if I had, I'm certain they wouldn't have even come close. The narration was wonderful and hit every note just right. I would say the story was abzolutely so over-the-top unbelievable but, hey, the story does take place in hollywood....So why not?!
Witty, ascerbic, charming at times, but the big pay-off was that the agent gets to do and say all the things we would all like to do and say to all those annoying clients, customers or even family and "friends" if we thought we could get away with it.
Yes, the ending does come together nicely (Remember this is set in Hollywood, after all), but it's still a great ride.
They all involve the come-uppance of some character that is way too full of himself (or herself) and you find yourself thinking it's good to be a fly on the wall of this story.
Joshua--hands-down! The flat delivery of sarcasm with an alien twist, even in a moral conundrum, makes Joshua the perfect straight man.
Wheaton is so adept at narrating this story that every character is uniquely their own. There is no hesitation for the listener to immediately identify which character is speaking,
Yes! --And I did. Good thing my kids like pizza delivery. (Imagine this said in a flat and sarcastic alien tenor.)
I'm so glad I acted on a whim.
The ONE thing I wish is that the language was toned down and completely without the dropping of F-bombs. I would have loved to share it with my kids.
In sales and on the road a lot. Love SciFi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional Non-Fiction. Funny. Opinionated.
You know what? Just maybe. As someone who doesn't reread books (exception: Ender's Game) that would normally be a straight no. As the title says though, the book was fun.
Scalzi has his own style, which is a solid plus. Wheaton narrating is another plus. I've read two more collaborations between them since and I'd recommend them to any nerd/geek out there.
Wheaton is solid. I'd have to say he's one of my top 2 or 3 narrators. Digging deeper into that, maybe it's confidence or comfort? The stories he reads go down smooth like Guinness and leave you wanting one after another.
It would be indy and low budget with unknown or small time actors. Can't think of a good tagline though.
I travel quite a bit for work and pleasure. Audible has become my escape from the daily grind and I look forward to turning on my latest adventure every day!!
Wil Wheaton does a phenomenal job narrating - his tone and delivery are one of a kind and ideally matched for John Scalzi's story.
A one of a kind - light hearted - but truly entertaining story. The unwinding of the plot was a little hard to swallow at first, but was well worth the read. The characters are believable - and handle a science fiction plot with aplomb and dignity!
This is a mishmash of a book that doesn't know what it wants to be. It starts by suggesting that it's going to be science fiction, but then caroms into satire, social commentary, ethics, and morality, with the Holocaust thrown in just to muddy the waters further. I found that the book could never decide what it was going to be and as a result none of the forays was particularly satisfying.
Let me be clear. It isn't science fiction, at least in the good old sense of treating issues about humanity and science that are hard to deal with in more traditional fiction. It also doesn't convey much of a sense of what the aliens are about or about alien culture.
And just when you think the book is going to be about public relations and selling the concept of the aliens to humanity it veers off in another direction. Throw in one-dimensional characters and you have a book that I found to be unsatisfying.
That said, the author can write. He knows how to move a plot along and uses humor well. However, just when you think it's going to be a comedy (unsuccessfully in my view) it moves into drama (or maybe even melodrama). If the characters were more than one-dimensional you might care more, but they aren't.
The performance was good and Wheaton kept the characters separate using his voice well, except for one character whose accent can most charitably be described as unfortunate.
Ultimately the book is a time-waster, but there are better books to waste my time with.
I listen to books on my long commute.
Fun, light story with good characters. Wil Wheaton as the narrator really adds life to the characters. The plot moves along quickly and doesn't really bog down until just before the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the book!
It was a fun romp in the first contact genre. Slightly predictable, always enjoyable, with a twist at the end talking about the humanity of all intelligent life.
Wil Wheaton has his own style and does a good job narrating the book. However, he is not accomplished enough of a voice actor to strongly differentiate his characters. But for such a light read he's a great choice.
I love the mixture of Scifi and humor
John Scalzi does it again, funny and well written with characters you really come to care about