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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 (8108 )
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Performance
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  •  
    lucky dog greenville, SC 01-13-16
    lucky dog greenville, SC 01-13-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I laughed, I cried, and the narration is terrific!"

    Agent to the Stars is funny and sweet, full of likable characters, and age-old questions: what IS life?...what does it mean to be human?...what exactly makes us human?...how much STINK can the human olfactory system tolerate?

    I really enjoyed the basic 'goodness' of the characters, the story was clever and we'll written, and Wil Wheaton's narration was spot on!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P Morris 01-13-16
    P Morris 01-13-16
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    "One of my simple favorites..."

    ...by which I don't mean to denigrate the story or Mr Wheaton's performance. Instead, I mean that this audiobook was a fun, pleasurable romp through a modern sci-fi story from a modern master mix maker of the genre with a narration that was an excellent performance. This was a great time and I highly recommend it to anyone who has discovered similar books (Divine Misfortune, Emperor Mollusk, etc. )

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke Loewenstein 01-12-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Entourage meets Hitchhiker's Guide"

    A great Scalzi--quirky story, lovable characters, slimy aliens.... Enjoyed Wheaton's narration. Thought the ending was predictable but I enjoyed getting there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John F Alberta Canada 01-11-16
    John F Alberta Canada 01-11-16 Member Since 2015

    Photographer, Traveler, Ponderer, Philosopher, Blogger

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    "Recommended"

    Not a very heavy book, it was lighthearted and whimsical, with laughs mixed in at the right moments. Kind of Jerry Maguire meets Space Aliens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred L. 01-10-16
    Fred L. 01-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Oh, it's getting good... Oh it's over."

    I was having a hard time getting into this one. Once the story and characters were becoming interesting, they wrap up the book in about 20 minutes. It seemed like the author got in a rush at the end and slam dunked it with a headline montage covering a years time. Wil Wheaton was great as per the usual.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Thoughtful Reader 01-09-16 Listener Since 2010
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    "Not recommended"

    Wil Wheaton made this bearable, but there is nothing unique or interesting in the story. I kept listening hoping it would get better, but sadly it did not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marion S. 01-06-16
    Marion S. 01-06-16 Member Since 2016

    Voracious reader who loves fiction -- mostly SciFi, crime novels, mystery and suspense.

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    "Fun concept, great narration, predictable story"
    What made the experience of listening to Agent to the Stars the most enjoyable?

    The narrator, Wil Wheaton. I actually chose this book because of him! He always makes the characters come alive so well.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    Wil has a real talent for conveying snide comments and sarcasm in a way that highlights the humor the author is going for. He simply IS the protagonist. And the alien. And the diva. AND, AND, AND. He's delightful.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a fun book, and an enjoyable escape. Because of it's predictability and meandering in spots, I wouldn't say it's great literature ... but then again, it's Scalzi's first novel and one shouldn't expect "Ready, Player One".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erica G. 12-30-15
    Erica G. 12-30-15
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    "Funny and enjoyable"
    Any additional comments?

    I only got this book because Wil Wheaton was the narrator and I'm a big fan. His performance did not disappoint. The plot summary looked pretty stupid to me, but I'm so glad I listened. I'll definitely be reading more Scalzi books. He had me laughing at loud at points. This is one book where the writing and characters really make the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy J. 12-18-15
    Timothy J. 12-18-15 Member Since 2014

    pyrofenix

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    "Entertaining story that fell off at the end"
    Would you listen to Agent to the Stars again? Why?

    The combination of John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton seem to always make for a book that I will listen to more than once.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Leicester, MA, United States 12-12-15
    Michael Leicester, MA, United States 12-12-15 Member Since 2008
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    "one of the most entertaining audio books I've hear"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Agent to the Stars to be better than the print version?

    Wil Wheaton is a fantastic narrator. He captured the full intent of the story.


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

    NO I had not listen to other performances by Wil Wheaton. But I will in the future.
    I loved his presentation. I was totally absorbed in the book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Oh yes, I laughed and in some parts it brought a tear to my eye. I cant say enough about the book of AGENT TO THE STARS. John Scalzi really nailed the story, and the background of Hollywood agents. FANTASTIC LISTENING PLEASURE. THANK YOU JOHN AND WIL.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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