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Agent to the Stars Audiobook

Agent to the Stars

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Audible Editor Reviews

Wil Wheaton, a Star Trek: The Next Generation alum, is a canny choice for narrator of this intersection of science fiction and Elmore Leonard-esque Hollywood farce. In addition to being a rather prominent footnote in sci-fi history, Wheaton’s also got a great voice — sonorous, with an inflection similar to a late-night radio DJ who’s bemusedly sharing an anecdote on air between tracks. His voice also carries a hint of that lilt peculiar to many native Angelenos, which comes in handy when he exaggerates it to Valley Girl-proportions to portray starlet Michelle Beck, former cheerleader and current box office draw.

Hollywood agent Tom Stein is the book’s hero, and when the story begins, Michelle is his most important client. That is, until Tom meets Joshua, an extraterrestrial whose alien race hires Tom and his boss, superagent Carl Lupo, to represent them. The Yherajk have decided their best hope for a peaceful first contact between their race and all of humanity is to out themselves via the movies, and they know if they want to make it in Hollywood, they need good representation.

Wheaton’s voicing of Joshua, who has traveled to Earth as the Yherajk’s representative, is another highlight. Joshua, like his kinsmen, looks like a gelatinous blob, gives off a noxious odor, and slithers around amorphously. He’s also incredibly educated when it comes to human pop culture, having logged countless hours watching sitcoms. Wheaton delivers Joshua’s line, “We look like snot. And we smell like dead fish,” in a nasally deadpan that suits a one-liner-delivering alien to a T.

Even when Scalzi veers into semi-philosophical territory — as when he explores why an alien race would choose a Hollywood debut over staging their premiere in Washington — Wheaton keeps the narration moving with his just-right character voices. Look out for the both silly and spot-on sounding Quebecois accent he uses to portray Roland Lanois, an art-house film director with a critical role in the novel, and for his Buddha-like turn as Gwedif, a Yherajk storyteller. —Maggie Frank

Publisher's Summary

The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents. But although Stein may have just concluded the biggest deal of his career, it's quite another thing to negotiate for an entire alien race. To earn his percentage this time, he's going to need all the smarts, skills, and wits he can muster.

©2005 John Scalzi (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Narrator Wil Wheaton animates the slapstick text with a tone that is appropriate for the story of a young Tinsel Town agent whose other clients are either equally deranged or aren't making him much money.” (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (8451 )
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  •  
    Sandra HOUSTON, TX, United States 06-13-16
    Sandra HOUSTON, TX, United States 06-13-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Wow!"

    First time ever reading this genre. I'm glad I started here, this is intelligent, funny writing and great narrating. So glad I found you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 06-12-16
    Linda 06-12-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent"

    Wow. Great story. Great performance. Just wow. Will be looking for more books by this author and performer

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. H. H. 06-12-16
    D. H. H. 06-12-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great fun!"

    Fast paced fun story presented by the perfect match of a narrator. Loved the witty dialogues and the characters. Listen to this when you feel down. It will pick you up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Super-duper Amazing Silver Golem 06-12-16

    I love a good chaotic adventure with creativity, heart and lots of laughs.

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    "90% Semi-humorous Flippant Sarcasm"
    What did you like best about Agent to the Stars? What did you like least?

    It feels a lot like other John Scalzi audio books narrated by Wil Wheaton. It's inventive and funny, a story about a Hollywood agent trying to figure out how to make aliens make a good first impression is bond to be, but most of the characters are sarcastically bickering in every single conversation to the point where the general emotion of any given situation within the story seems to have the same tone.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story was okay. It even had some touching moments mixed into the sarcastic humor. What might have improved the story would have be more moments of Stein trying to adjust to Joshua's presence.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Wil Wheaton has a bizarre effect on this story. He can be a good narrator, but his character voices all seem to sound the same; snide and intense. When combined with Scalzi's writing style for this story, every character suddenly starts to sound like they all have the same personality. When the characters converse, this gets a bit confusing if the discussion involves more than two characters.


    Any additional comments?

    John Scalzi writes a lot of interesting and fun stuff. However "Agent to the Stars" seems to be an average sample of his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tommy Lillington, NC, United States 06-11-16
    Tommy Lillington, NC, United States 06-11-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Fun Listen"
    Would you listen to Agent to the Stars again? Why?

    Probably not again as seldom listen to all but classics twice. Not sure I would gain anymore on a second listen


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Joshua


    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes-excellent


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not sure, but it would make a darn good movie if the producer got a good agency to cast it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William R. Toddmancillas Chico, California United States 06-11-16
    William R. Toddmancillas Chico, California United States 06-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Out of this World"
    What did you love best about Agent to the Stars?

    The humor is inimitable. The author is very, very clever. Wonderfully original plot and inside jokes right and left make this a delightful read (listen).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Joshua. His wry wit is captivating. Tom is a close second.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Miranda walks in on Joshua doing his thing with Michelle. What a heck of a funny scene that would be in a movie.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I listened to it in two sittings. It was tough to tear myself away from the listen.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope Scalzi's other books are nearly as original and entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Lyons Specht Walnut Creek, CA, US 06-11-16
    Diana Lyons Specht Walnut Creek, CA, US 06-11-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Funny, Moving and just Awesome!!!"

    This is about a low-level Hollywood Agent who is given a unique and challenging opportunity to introduce an intelligent and peaceful alien civilization to the people of earth. It's very funny and is narrated perfectly by Will Wheaten. Heading now to find other masterpieces from this awesome duo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dena 06-10-16
    Dena 06-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Silly but fun"

    Not my type of book but it was fun and light and a great summer read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean 06-10-16
    Jean 06-10-16 Member Since 2016
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    "So good and entertaining!! "

    I wish it finished as the real first introduction of aliens to humans. SO GOOD!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CaseyT 06-10-16
    CaseyT 06-10-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Love Scalzi"

    His stories are never boring. I can always count on him for some very creative sci-fi.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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