What a great story line: extra-terrestrials become addicted to Earth rock and roll. However, it should have been a short story. The story line becomes a one trick pony and becomes very boring half way through. The author stretches for more and more far fetched subplots to keep it going but he lost me. Couldn't finish the book. Maybe some day when I have nothing else to listen to.
This book is interesting. Not great. Not even good. And certainly not like Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy. It was unique with an original storyline but it didn't pass muster to rank above 3 stars.
Final confession of the trespassing alien at the end of book.
Ought to be required reading for 1st year law students. Should dispell any notions of the law being a pursuit of truth and justice.
Molecular biologist. Musician. Lover of science. Lover of music. Dreamer of magic. Thinker of thoughts. ||| "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke ||| As a scientist, science fiction and fantasy inspire me to push the line of discovery forward, beyond conventional imagination, beyond conventional wisdom.
Absolutely, if not for Hodgman's performance alone. As others have said, those who are a huge fan of music from the 70s and 80s will REALLY appreciate a lot of the subtle and not-so-subtle references made to the era. I am NOT a big fan of said music, but I still found the story quite entertaining and thought provoking.
The book also gives a pretty good, although cynical, overview of copyright laws, but does so in a way that is informative, relevant to the story, and interesting all at the same time.This book will also be enjoyed by anyone who has even the slightest interest in human-extraterrestrial relations. It holds its own as a humorous science fiction adventure. Fans of Douglas Adams will feel nostalgic for the Hitch Hikers series due to the pacing and style of this book, but I feel the story was lacking some of the mojo found throughout the HHGTTG series.
John Hodgman does an incredible job in this audiobook. I had absolutely no problem picturing Hodgman himself as the main protagonist (which actually made the story a bit more entertaining in my eyes). I was surprised at how much diversity Hodgman was able to bring to the voices of the other characters and felt that his delivery for each character was appropriate and life-giving. I really hope we get to see Hodgman doing many more audiobooks in the future.
There is a bit of Mac vs PC war going on in the book, but it ties somewhat humorously into the plot. This was a little bit annoying and almost unnecessary, but the comedic aspect ALMOST completely makes up for it.
I've never read the print version so can't compare. Generally I try not to overlap between print, eBook and audio book.
For shame Audible!! As River Song would say, "Spoilers!!" :-)
His delivery. I think most people are familiar with him as PC, from the old Mac vs PC commercials. He's funny when he's supposed to be the front man, and that humorous inflection in his voice makes it a lot easier to listen to, than having to make it up in your mind.
The first time in the underground train station, when they mob the Earth girl.
Nope. Not really.
This is a fun little book with a great concept. I would highly advise the audio book, read by John Hodgeman - his narration really adds to the humour and absurdity. Overall, it was very satisfying and fun.
I tried to get everyone I could to read of listen to this novel. It's wonderfully refreshing to encounter comedy that's also intelligent, and I mostly only find that balance in books and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Add to that a great voice in John Hodgman, and incredibly creative thinking born in Rob Reid, and suddenly you have this amazing piece of work.
Audiobook Addict... owner of 200+ and counting.
Year Zero starts off with a decent premise:
The rest of the universe is wildly infatuated with our music after it was discovered in 1970 and then redistributed the music The catch is:. Aliens who reach a certain point in technology are part of a multi-stellar conglomerate of civilized worlds. Due to the level of technology required to be a civilized world, the creatures in the civilized worlds dedicate their lives to the pursuit of art and consume the art in the way that honors the culture that created it.
Earth's intellectual property laws around music are unique. The copyright laws mean that the civilized worlds have been pirating our music, every song in existence for 40 years. Due to our overly egregious copyright laws (up to $150,000 USD per song) and the civilized world's deep commitment to the arts, the infractions threatened to bankrupt the entire universe.
Its a good start, humorous in theory.... except it isn't. The power of earth music is so great that it caused massed die-offs in civilized worlds but because, y'know, because classic rock is that good... to all sentient life. The main character, a low level lawyer with name that is similar to a once famous pop-star (cue the laughs), is the point of contact with two very human aliens who immediately accepts the story presented by the aliens at face value.
While its commentary on the cynicism of our IP laws in the world are entertaining and mild side-steps into pop culture and tech are clever, the story isn't so much. It's a bit of let down. The potential is there, but rarely capitalized on or explored. I'm not familiar with Rob Reid but this felt like a rookie novel as characters are pretty vanilla.
John Hodgman does a decent job with the material, although occasionally an alien voice or two are slightly grating (but are described as such) and even kicks out a half-sung rendition of a boy-band ballad, which in the wrong hands, could have been abysmal.
To be fair, I bought this audio book based on the publishers statement that this story was in the tradition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is why I gave it a 3 and not a 2, can't blame a book for being what it claims to be.
Hodgman's performance was good with the exception of a single character that had me turning down the volume and waiting for the scene to end.. which unfortunately went on far too long.
Overall this is an OK book to listen to if you are in between books in a series or just looking to listen to something new. If you are a BIG fan of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy you may want to listen to something else though.
Not sure I would buy the next Prequel/Sequel that I'm sure is on its way, I look forward to listening to most books on my drive to work, but there was never a point in this story that made me look forward to the next time I would listen to it.
If you aim for Douglas Adams, you are going to miss, but not necessarily land in a bad place. In this case Rob Reid landed in John Scalzi's backyard, the obscure genre of "science fiction legal comedy". For the most part it all kinda works. There are quite a few loose threads and dead ends which don't fold back into the narrative as they might in more practiced hands, but as a first science fiction effort it is quite clever and enjoyable. The only glaring miss-step was the epilogue section's lengthy interview with one of the nine undocumented aliens hiding on earth. This equestrian necro-fu is so tone-deaf that it taints the otherwise good energy and good will of the actual conclusion.