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.
Conversation of lawyer are great. It is really applicable in today's industry and shows how ridiculous some stuff are.
Rating: 4 paws
One quote from the book that I particularly cared for: "More like 'involuntary assisted suicide.'"
Summary of the book in one sentence: What happens when aliens decide humanity has the best possible music and bankrupts the universe because of copywrite laws.
First paw consists of the writing style - basically, this is the technical aspect of the book. This book is going for two genres: sci-fi and humor. The humor is coming off every page, but even then, he doesn't get slapstick or gimmicky, which I very much approve of. He also doesn't have puerile fart jokes or other gross "humor." He does have some very topical and date specific jokes in it, so the humor might not be as relevant in ten years, but that isn't the majority of the humor, so I won't hold that against him. As for the sci-fi, it's about *aliens* and has alien technology in it. You don't get much more sci-fi. But wait! Where some sci-fi humorists overlook trying to do what more serious sci-fi writers do and explain their technology, HE ACTUALLY DOES explain some. I was actually really impressed with that. He very much met this category.
The second paw is "emotional connection" - basically, was I *interested* in what I was reading? I don't think there was one instant of reading this that I *wasn't* interested in what he was writing. I loved the characters, I was engaged in the plot, I enjoyed his word choices. The connection was strong for this one.
Third paw is plot - akin to writing style, but purely about The Story. In a lot of sci-fi stories, you get deus ex machina solutions, which can get quite irritating after reading the umpteenth novel with such. Reid apparently shares my frustration with that cliche of writing, as every possible DEM solution the characters try, it either fizzles before working or actually makes the situation worse. While it could be argued that the ending was a big DEM solution, *I* was entertained enough by it that I found it satisfying even knowing that it was one. While I can't say that I found the plot to be at all twisty, and the characters didn't really have much development, it was still a satisfying story. This isn't a strong paw, but he does have it.
The last paw is "Other Stuff," which is pretty much anything that doesn't go into another category but is still note-worthy. I have a confession to make: when I read Douglas Adams, I don't end up laughing out loud very often. I find his books delightfully funny, but not bursting-a-gut laughing funny. It's the same with Monty Python. Or with Ernst Cline's Ready Player One. All of these are great fun, but none really get me rolling over laughing. It's the same with this book. Reid is funny and often witty (which are vastly different things, in case you didn't know,) but he didn't inspire any great guffaws of laughter from me. And, you know what? That's okay. He was going for humor, and he achieved it. So, for those critics wondering how this book could possibly be compared to Douglas Adams? Have you READ The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul? This is very much in that vein of humor. Having said that, I give this paw to the book, purely for reminding me of one of my favorite authors, while still being completely unique and having it's own voice.
Excellent narration by John Hodgeman, a well-written, funny story that moves right along! If you are looking for an entertaining, well-paced audiobook, you'll love this one! Many laugh-out-loud moments!
This book is hilarious.
This book has a winding plot that will keep you on your toes but us still coherent. There are no "surprise butlers" at the end to clean up a messy plot.
When introducing a new subject, item, character, development; Rob Reid will use colorful allusions to describe it that always end in a punchline. Even though it can be indirect at times, you will not be left wondering "What just happened?"
This book is hilarious. I had to be careful where I listen to it because it will blindside you with wit and force you into laughter.
I have gifted many people Audible credits and told them to seriously consider this book.