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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 (8464 )
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4.6 (7647 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jean 06-10-16
    Jean 06-10-16 Member Since 2016
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    9
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    chuckagain 06-09-16
    chuckagain 06-09-16 Member Since 2014
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    "on part with hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy"

    was fun from beginning to end mainly because it's so true would say more but don't want to give more away than the summary does I'll just say I absolutely loved it and the narrator was perfect and have loved him in other audible book I've listen to

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JC. Sanders 06-09-16
    JC. Sanders 06-09-16 Member Since 2015

    Reading and listening to books is a way of life for me I love to get out of my world and immerse myself in something new

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    "Laughed outloud over this one"

    Thoroughly entertaining and creative listen. I encourage you to take a chance and just enjoy this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ancient Techie 06-08-16 Member Since 2016
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    663
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    "Hilarious!"

    If you like Carl Hiaasen's "Bad Monkey," this book is for you. If you also like John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" series then put "Agent to the Stars" at the top of your must-read list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Constance 06-08-16
    Constance 06-08-16
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    "Unexpectedly one of my favorit listens in years!"
    Any additional comments?

    This is not usually the genre that I read so I took a chance based on previous reviews and was pleasantly surprised! One of my favourite reads in many years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Berkley Washington, DC 04-04-16
    Berkley Washington, DC 04-04-16 Member Since 2013

    Avid reader. Even more avid listener. I enjoy thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction .... just about everything.

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    "Funny, brilliant, perfect for Scalzi fans"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely.

    Scalzi's writing is geared toward long-time readers of science fiction, so there are quite a few meta in-jokes and references; but even with that said, I think even the most casual of SF readers will enjoy this story of an alien race using a Hollywood talent agent as their "mouthpiece" for humanity.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The humor and the easy flow of the narrative.


    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wheaton is the perfect choice to read all of Scalzi's work. He's a nerd's nerd and his love of the subject matter shines through in his performance.


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

    Yes, but it's a little long to do so.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a space opera, Star Wars-style action novel. It's intelligent, funny, sometimes moving story set in contemporary Los Angeles (just with aliens).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elise 04-03-16
    Elise 04-03-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Fun easy listening"

    Loved this book. Loved the performance. The story had enough depth to be interesting as well as not boring. Good listen for long car rides.

    The story involves aliens trying to integrate with humans. In a sense it's a little comic booky.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shay Bella 03-27-16
    Shay Bella 03-27-16

    Favorite Genres: Urban/Preternatural Fantasy, Science Fiction, Knitting Favorite Story Components: character development, under-dog success stories

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    "well worth full price"

    This was a truly enjoyable listen, an experience more than the sum of its parts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sassy666 Oregon, USA 03-26-16
    Sassy666 Oregon, USA 03-26-16 Member Since 2014

    I rate 5 (Loved it!) 4 (Really liked it!) 3 (Liked it!) 2 (Didn't really like it!) 1 (Hated it!) I never rate a book before I finish it!

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    "Awesome book!!"

    I honestly laughed out loud at least 8 times!! The story was great and there is no better narrater than Wil Wheaton. Thank you for the wonderful experience!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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