It started out well: the premise was interesting, and I laughed out loud at the prologue and first chapter. However, after that, it just didn't do anything interesting. I purchased this book because of the comparison to Douglas Adams,. Unfortunately for Rob Reid, that's a heckuva yardstick to have to measure up, and he fails. It was mediocre, at best.
Rob Reid is a PC-hating, Apple-loving fanboy, and his obsession shows throughout the novel. If you too are an Apple fan, then by all means, get on the gravy train. Otherwise, Reid's obsession will rapidly become tiresome.
The epilogue, with the final interview with one of the 7 aliens living on earth. I was so irritated that I almost abandoned the book, but with 12 minutes left to the entire audio program, I figured "what the heck - just finish it". I should have gone with my first impulse.
I enjoyed this book as much as any in years, but was prepared to give it 4 stars on the theory that you had to be a certain kind of reader to fully enjoy it. But then i realized, this is my review, so if you are a tech nerd, understand the music industry problems, a science fiction and Douglas Adams fan, then you are in for a custom made treat. (If you are old enough to remember music from the 70's in its first pass, bonus points.) If not, then read this as 4 stars, and weep for your loss.... Reid's humor is not as joke dense as Adams, but is much more wry and meta, which makes the choice of Hodgman as a narrator perfect. He does things with the reading that no other narrator I have heard could have pulled off. He delivers the many gems in this book so perfectly you would swear he wrote the book.
I will be looking at any book Reid writes, and any book Hodgman reads, but any more that they do together will definitely get my credits.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
John Hodgman was the reason we bought this and he did not disappoint. Perfect show.
The main one, because I kept thinking he was John Hodgman.
This was a very funny story, although I suspect if you are not a New Yorker familiar with corporate/legal workplaces and the absurdity of last year's 'it' bars, it might not be as funny. Hodgman was a great narrator, better than I expected - you forget it's Hodgman, it's just a very solid and funny narration. Great subway listening.
Rob Reid writes a witty and clever novel with Year Zero which is well performed by John Hodgman. This book caused me laugh out loud moments, lots of smiles, and an eagerness to get in my car and make the drive to work. It was also quite insightful, in that, after finishing the book, I'm pretty sure it's a true and accurate factual depiction of at least Microsoft* and lawyers :) If you're looking for something light-hearted and enjoyable that still retains great writing, a plot, characters with some depth (and some shallowness), and a lot of witty banter, take a listen. You won't be disappointed!
*Note: Word crashed on me while I was 5 minutes from project completion the day I finished this book. Listen and you'll understand why this was AMAZING, proves this book to be entirely factual, yet was nonetheless hairpullingly frustrating.
Loved the idea and enjoyed the first chapter but the plot was stale and the language wearisome.
Hodgman did a great job!
Just a bit more realistic not a dumb pun at every turn
too self-congratulatory, became a vehical for dropping rock-star names for effect
The ratings must be from friends. I was so looking forward this book and decided to listen to it instead of reading it. HUGE mistake. I can't rate the story because I couldn't listen to it. It is completely flat. A wasted opportunity for the right narrator. I've listened to at least a 100 books and this was the worst. Such a waste of money. Whoever made the decision to use this narrator should find a new line of work.
Avid audiobook addict!
I suspect, though, that most severely normal people would find this book silly and all the computer/music/science/pop culture/sci fi references barely interesting instead of hilarious. It's extremely up-to-date, and John Hodgman is an excellent choice as a narrator as the humour in this book fits in exactly with his other writing/comedy performances. I really enjoyed it--I definitely recommend it if you're in the target audience.