Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn't think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly.
In Seinfeldia, acclaimed TV historian and entertainment writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon. She brings listeners behind the scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying, "No soup for you!", Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity, Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sights from the show, and fans dress up in Jerry's famous puffy shirt, dance like Elaine, and imagine plotlines for Seinfeld if it were still on TV.
©2016 Jennifer Armstrong (P)2016 Tantor
"Armstrong offers a masterly look at one of the greatest shows." (Library Journal)
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
A few times I’ve started an Audible book review with the following formula: You have to like ‘X’ to like this book, and this formula applies again here: I think you would probably have to like Seinfeld to enjoy this book.
It’s the (mostly) interesting story of how a ‘show about nothing’ evolved from being a culty, avant-garde minority comedy into an absolute blockbuster, breaking records for viewing figures and the number of reruns.
Initially it seemed unlikely that this quirky comedy, in which four unlovable, selfish, petty people spend entire episodes bickering about little things that have annoyed them, would enter the mainstream. “Who wants to watch Jewish people running around being neurotic in New York?” was one early evaluation of its prospects.
But something about this show hooked people - and it became phenomenally successful. The characters may be petty and selfish but they are brilliantly funny and the shows were superbly written. It became so successful that the storylines were somehow allowed to cross way over the boundaries of propriety (in one episode there is a competition to see who can resist masturbating for the longest time, and in another they discuss parking in a disabled parking space in a very politically insensitive manner).
This book tells the story, and apart from the odd bit of meandering off into mundane digressions, it's a good listen. If you like Seinfeld.
More about Seinfeld and Larry David, less about the bit players. And redo the narration!
Some fun, interesting nuggets for the faithful.
Terrible narrator! Overly dramatic, even when there was nothing dramatic going on. Emphasized words for no apparent reason. Too slow. Like she was reading to a group of six year olds.
They only thing worse than the narrator of this book is the actual Seinfeld series finale.
Yes, buy the book and ready it to yourself.
Awful! A mime would have done a better job.
The only thing worse than the narrator of this book is the Seinfeld series Finale!
Did I mention that the narrator of this book is the worst one I have listened to in over a decade of listening to Audible audiobooks. To be fair, she is probably OK for other types of books, just not a biopic on Seinfeld.
Loved the guts of the book. It's Senfield it would be hard for me to dislike it, but the narrator is not good. A better reader and this is a 5 star book across the board.
I was expecting some insider information about my favorite TV series of all time. While the book did occasionally deliver and provided some trivia and tidbits about the show that I wouldn't have otherwise known, far too much of the book was devoted to much less interesting topics; life stories of writers who wrote a single episode, the story of a station manager in Lubbock, TX who purchased some Seinfeld episodes in syndication. Just a lot of very boring anecdotes.
Shortened the book and focused on the interesting elements of the Seinfeld creation story. Far too much of the book felt like filler and was very disorganized.
Christina had a very smooth and sexy voice (this was most apparent when she read the tagline to the fictional Seinfeld movie "Rochel, Rochel") but it did not lend itself to this book. Most of the main players are men (Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards) with the lone exception being Julie Louis Dreyfus. Not that a woman can't do male voices, but some of her half-impressions of these people were pretty rough.
As I said, some of the earlier chapters that detailed the lives of Seinfeld and David before the show blew up were interesting, as were the chapters that featured the early seasons and the struggles the show went through. After that, it was pretty boring stuff.
Before buying this audiobook I read the reviews and noticed a lot of negative comments about the narration. So as I began listening, I was scratching my head trying to work out what people could be so annoyed by as the narration seemed fine to me. It wasn't until the narrator begins to quote people or, even worse re-enact scenes from Seinfeld that I got the full force of some very bad narration. Every male voice by this female narrator comes across as a fat neanderthal buffoon, while her impersonation of Julia Louis Dreyfus / Elaine is cringeworthy.
If you can get past this, there is some interesting trivia about the creation of the show, the writers, and of course the actors (major and minor) and Seinfeld and Larry David. Probably a little too much importance is attached to some bizarre Seinfeld related crazes that have sprung up in the years since the show ended, including a completely unnecessary and boring account of a few faux Seinfeld twitter accounts that I doubt anyone has ever heard of. The last half an hour or so of the audiobook can be skipped and you won't miss anything except for a brief mention of the Jerry / George Super Bowl ad right in the final few minutes of the audiobook.
If you really liked Seinfeld and are interested in a peek behind the scenes, this is a mostly interesting book and has a few nice moments of reminiscence, and for that its worth the listen - if you can get past the terrible narration.
What a great take on this comedy phenomenon! Seinfeldia has shown how impactful this hit comedy show of the 90s has had on American culture and around the world. Almost 20 years later, generations of fans just cannot get enough Seinfeld fixes as part of their daily lives. Thanks you, creators, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Elain, George, Jerry and Kramer will live on for generations to come. Five big yada, yada, yadas for this audio book. It brought back great memories, while watching reruns of Seinfeld. A true Festivus for the rest of us. Perfect listening while eating a black and white cookie or a piece of warm, buttered marble rye with soup Nazi crab bisque.
I didn't think I had a preconceived notion about this book yet it was not what I expected. It took me a while to get into it. Once I did, it is an in depth look at all things Seinfeld. An unusual walk down memory lane.
it was so awesome to go back to the good old days remembering all of the funny funny episodes. I learned a lot about what was going on behind the scenes. Very intetesting!
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