Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

Length: 4 hrs and 51 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (211 ratings)

Audible Plus

$7.95 a month

Try our newest plan – unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
$7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $29.95

Buy for $29.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

"A funny and moving story of immigrants, beautifully written, at a time when it's needed the most." -Jon Ronson

Funny, sad and brilliantly human, this timely original series follows five friends – lovable but sometimes infuriating - as they make a life for themselves in New York City. The tie that binds them? They are all immigrants, struggling to find their place in an increasingly hostile America. 

Sadie, fresh from her small hometown in Ireland tries out for the elusive O1 visa – meaning she has three months to prove she is an ‘alien of extraordinary ability.’ She joins a collective called ‘Nature Fans’, whose members are also on a clock, all trying to figure out how to stay in the country. Together they alternately fight and work the system, growing close in the process. 

Brother and sister Rodrigo and Erika are from a mixed status family and have wonderful and busy lives in NYC. Rodrigo, desperate not to go back to Mexico but sick of living in the shadows, gets politically active. Tam is smart, handsome and Haitian, when he finds out he’s about to lose his legal status, he uses his charm to find a marriage to save him. Mazen, the loveliest Lyft driver you’re likely to meet, awaits his asylum interview and tries to forget about his life back in Syria, only to discover that he needs to stay connected or his heart will break. 

The stakes couldn’t be higher – an adventure story, a love story, a story of borders and the people who cross them - can they stay in this country they call home?

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

Go Behind the Scenes of Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

0:00

Our favorite moments from Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

"Oh my god. I love your accent."
-0.00
"It was truly beautiful that day."
-0.00
Learning about flotsam and jetsam.
-0.00

  • Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
  • "Oh my god. I love your accent."
  • Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
  • "It was truly beautiful that day."
  • Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
  • Learning about flotsam and jetsam.

About the Creator and Performer

Maeve Higgins is a contributing writer for The New York Times and the host of the hit podcast Maeve in America: Immigration IRL. She is a comedian who has performed all over the world, and co-hosts Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk, and has appeared on 2 Dope Queens and Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me. Her critically acclaimed essay collection Maeve in America has been featured in People, Good Housekeeping, Refinery29, and more. Maeve co-hosts the climate justice podcast Mothers of Invention with Mary Robinson.

About the Creator

Shaina Feinberg is a filmmaker from New York City. Her six-part series, Dinette, was produced by BRIC Arts Media and premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. It has played queer festivals around the world and was shouted out by Pulitzer Prize-winning TV writer Emily Nussbaum in The New Yorker. Shaina’s second feature—the award-winning film, Senior Escort Service, blends nonfiction and fiction and is a comedic meditation on grief. In June 2019, Shaina was named 1 of 25 filmmakers on the rise by Indiewire.

About the Performer

Cristela Alonzo made history in 2014 when she became the first Latina to create, produce, and star in her own network sitcom, Cristela, for ABC. During that same year, she split her time between LA and NYC to serve as one of ABC’s favorite guest hosts on their hit daytime talk show, The View. In 2017, Cristela made history again when she became the first Latina lead in a Disney Pixar film when she voiced the part of Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3. Her first stand-up special, Lower Classy, is available on Netflix. Cristela’s memoir, Music to My Years, will be released by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

About the Performer

Award-winning actress and producer Alysia Reiner is best known as Natalie "Fig" Figueroa on Netflix’s series Orange Is The New Black, for which she won an ensemble Screen Actor Guilds award. Reiner joined the cast of HBO’s The Deuce in season 2 and has a reoccurring. You can see her in all 3 seasons of FX’s critically acclaimed Peabody Award-winning Better Things. Her motherhood dark-comedic feature, Egg, which she produced and stars in with Christina Hendricks and Anna Camp premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

About the Performer

Cole Escola, a comedian, actor, and writer, was named one of the 2014 OUT100 and Time Out New York's Top Ten Downtown Cabaret Performers. Cole played Matthew on Hulu’s Difficult People, where he also served as a writer. He played Chris on Man Seeking Woman on FXX, and recurred on the Netflix series Girl Boss, Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle and the truTV series At Home With Amy Sedaris, for which he is also a staff writer. Cole wrote on the Broadway Video series The Other Two for Comedy Central. He was also the co-creator, writer, and star of the lo-fi cult-hit television show, Jeffrey and Cole Casserole. Other TV appearances include Nurse Jackie, Law & Order, and Smash. He originated the role of Bridget Everett's fetus in Rock Bottom for The Public Theater in a performance Variety referred to as "heroic." His sketch comedy show, The First Gay President sold out every performance and generated buzz and praise from the likes of Paper Magazine and Lena Dunham. Cole most recently ran his wildly popular solo show, Quick! Pretend I’m Asleep!, across the country.

About the Performer

Karim Nematt is an Arab-American actor based in New York. He graduated from Pace University School of Performing Arts in 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. He has appeared in such films as Mossad, Gap Year, and The Jar.

About the Performer

Carlos Ibarra is an actor, writer, director, and producer. He has appeared in various film, television, national commercials, and theater productions. Selected television credits include The Good Cop, Adam Ruins Everything, and Dora the Explorer. Carlos holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University's Tisch School of Arts. He is an avid runner and successfully ran across America in 2015, making him the first Latino to complete this feat.

About the Performer

A scion of Haitian musical royalty, Paul has spent his life living to the beat. Son of the Grammy-nominated band Boukman Eksperyans, his earliest memories are of rhythm and sound. Moving to New York as a youth, he was inspired by his heritage to begin crafting a sound all his own. Constantly aware of his roots, the struggle of an immigrant and the drive of New York life, Paul began to create a path where music, activism, and history meet. Paul has played alongside some of the world's best artists including Ms. Lauryn Hill, Maxwell, Arcade Fire, Jackson Browne, and Bob Weir.

About the Performer

Anton Obeid is a multilingual New York-based theater and film actor, known for his TV roles in shows such as Law & Order: SVU and Blue Bloods and big screen appearances in films such as The Dictator with Sacha Baron Cohen and Beirut with Jon Hamm. He is a graduate of Columbia University with masters degrees in computer science and chemistry. Anton also studied at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City. Other film credits include Last Night, 36 Saints, The Lobby Writer, Front of House, Good Days Bad Days, and Happiness. His recent theatre credits include Le Problème. After a 20-year career in investment banking in New York, London, and Hong Kong, Anton decided nine years ago to pursue a career in acting. He is passionate about his new career, which he believes is an honest means of creative expression. When not acting, Anton enjoys fencing, tennis, swimming, sailing, and skiing. Accomplishments include skiing the French, Austrian, and Italian Alps, sailing the Magellan Strait in Patagonia/Tierra del Fuego, hiking the Arctic Circle, and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. He also survived a civil war in his home country of Lebanon. Anton is proficient in English, Arabic, and French.

What listeners say about Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    119
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    131
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An honest look at immigration, emotional, funny

An honest, in depth look at immigration to the U.S. As it is today with some harsh truths thrown in for good measure. The work is well written with a compelling cast of fictional characters that are unique and flawed in very human ways. While the work is excellent it IS to some extent very liberal. I would enjoy more audible works along these lines dealing with the other side to the debate as well. Still an excellent production that will make you pause and reconsider.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous listen

Not only was this acted/read with incredible authenticity, the content brought to life the immigrant in America experience without a too-heavy hand. It was one of those books, although really a play, that made me want to get back in the car for my commute.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Aliens with exceptional skills

Great audio book. Outstanding character accents & environment sound effects compliment a great story on a contemporary story.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Title Story Mismatch

As someone who works in this field, I found the performance completely divorced from the title. It's a story about illegal aliens trying to become legal, but none of them are truly trying for O visas, let alone H1B's. The characters are designed to tug at the heart, but tell nothing of the people involved. It's like the surface of a pond where you can't even see an inch downward. There is so much to tell about going through the visa process. I had hoped the performance would be about that. Instead it was a poor mishmash.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected but that’s good...

I wasn’t expecting the live action narration of the book and initially wasn’t sure I’d like it. However, I did. It made the story more authentic. The story was believable and a reflection of the inhuman way people of color and immigrants of color are treated in the U.S.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well done!

The only reason I gave it four stars was the musical interludes were too long.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Relevant today

The story line about immigrants is very relevant in the ongoing discussion of DACA and racial disparity in this country and is well presented by actors. The lengthy musical interludes are however irrelevant and distracted from the presentation of the story and subject matter.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Cast Fantastic, Production Difficult to Follow

This was an audio drama about immigrant lives in New York. The cast was excellent, but the production needed to be improved. A narrator would’ve made a big difference. I couldn’t tell who was who for the first half and it was difficult to find out what was going on. The annoying music went on far too long. A disjointed mess of a production. The cast was the saving grace.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good topic, good story but unnecessary elevator music.

The story is interesting but I found the elevator music between chapters annoying because it plays for too long. It played for 2-3 minutes. It feels like they’re just trying to fill up time and it detracts from the story. Otherwise, the performance was great. One character can be particularly clueless and that is on the verge of being annoying.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

It doesn’t even have an ending.

Like most fictitious stories it has surreal situations with no solutions. Did Rodrigo ever try to get a visa, green card? Mazan? Was his name? He got a card. But Sadie is bad anyways. Cause yeah she’s an immigrant but she’s white. I’m brown. Raised in Central America. I picked the fields in Utah. Please. This story is the continuance of playing victim. Moral of the story is DONT DRINK ON THE SIDEWALK 🤣🤣

1 person found this helpful