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
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.
“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)
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
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
Thoroughly entertaining and creative listen. I encourage you to take a chance and just enjoy this story.
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.
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.
Avid reader. Even more avid listener. I enjoy thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction .... just about everything.
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.
The humor and the easy flow of the narrative.
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.
Yes, but it's a little long to do so.
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).
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.
Favorite Genres: Urban/Preternatural Fantasy, Science Fiction, Knitting Favorite Story Components: character development, under-dog success stories
This was a truly enjoyable listen, an experience more than the sum of its parts.
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!
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!!
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