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Publisher's Summary

Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn't think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly.

In Seinfeldia, acclaimed TV historian and entertainment writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon. She brings listeners behind the scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying, "No soup for you!", Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity, Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sights from the show, and fans dress up in Jerry's famous puffy shirt, dance like Elaine, and imagine plotlines for Seinfeld if it were still on TV.

©2016 Jennifer Armstrong (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Armstrong offers a masterly look at one of the greatest shows." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    217
  • 4 Stars
    157
  • 3 Stars
    63
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    120
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    63
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    32
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    20

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    7
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

This bad narration is making me thirsty...

Before buying this audiobook I read the reviews and noticed a lot of negative comments about the narration. So as I began listening, I was scratching my head trying to work out what people could be so annoyed by as the narration seemed fine to me. It wasn't until the narrator begins to quote people or, even worse re-enact scenes from Seinfeld that I got the full force of some very bad narration. Every male voice by this female narrator comes across as a fat neanderthal buffoon, while her impersonation of Julia Louis Dreyfus / Elaine is cringeworthy.
If you can get past this, there is some interesting trivia about the creation of the show, the writers, and of course the actors (major and minor) and Seinfeld and Larry David. Probably a little too much importance is attached to some bizarre Seinfeld related crazes that have sprung up in the years since the show ended, including a completely unnecessary and boring account of a few faux Seinfeld twitter accounts that I doubt anyone has ever heard of. The last half an hour or so of the audiobook can be skipped and you won't miss anything except for a brief mention of the Jerry / George Super Bowl ad right in the final few minutes of the audiobook.
If you really liked Seinfeld and are interested in a peek behind the scenes, this is a mostly interesting book and has a few nice moments of reminiscence, and for that its worth the listen - if you can get past the terrible narration.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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

Pretty Decent

I really liked the content, narration was great, but it could have ended about 2 hours earlier....too much post show discussion.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • greg
  • Ventura, CA, United States
  • 09-13-16

great story wrong voice.

just had a hard time listening to the narrator trying to do male voices. ouch.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

great rehashing of show

loved it. the reader is unfairly treated in reviews. she adds depth to the story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Raglan, New Zealand
  • 07-27-16

An audiobook about nothing

A few times I’ve started an Audible book review with the following formula: You have to like ‘X’ to like this book, and this formula applies again here: I think you would probably have to like Seinfeld to enjoy this book.

It’s the (mostly) interesting story of how a ‘show about nothing’ evolved from being a culty, avant-garde minority comedy into an absolute blockbuster, breaking records for viewing figures and the number of reruns.

Initially it seemed unlikely that this quirky comedy, in which four unlovable, selfish, petty people spend entire episodes bickering about little things that have annoyed them, would enter the mainstream. “Who wants to watch Jewish people running around being neurotic in New York?” was one early evaluation of its prospects.

But something about this show hooked people - and it became phenomenally successful. The characters may be petty and selfish but they are brilliantly funny and the shows were superbly written. It became so successful that the storylines were somehow allowed to cross way over the boundaries of propriety (in one episode there is a competition to see who can resist masturbating for the longest time, and in another they discuss parking in a disabled parking space in a very politically insensitive manner).

This book tells the story, and apart from the odd bit of meandering off into mundane digressions, it's a good listen. If you like Seinfeld.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

A few fun stories, terrible narration!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

More about Seinfeld and Larry David, less about the bit players. And redo the narration!

Would you recommend Seinfeldia to your friends? Why or why not?

Some fun, interesting nuggets for the faithful.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Terrible narrator! Overly dramatic, even when there was nothing dramatic going on. Emphasized words for no apparent reason. Too slow. Like she was reading to a group of six year olds.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Fascinating, and the narrator is not that bad.

Fascinating behind the scenes about Seinfeld as a cultural phenomenon. A lot of reviewers are saying that the narrator is not good, but she is ok, especially if you speed it up to 1.25x.

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

Amazing

A must read/listen for any fan of the last great sitcom on TV. Couldn't have asked for more!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining

Not real thrilled with the narrator but the content of the book was good. If you are or have been a fan of Seinfeld you will enjoy this book. History of the program and characters. Insights into the show and the phenomenon of the dynamic of the show. Good listen, worth your time.

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

Narration Is A Big Deal

I know my opinion here is going to be of no consequence. At least not initially. After cringing from the nails-on-the-chalkboard internal reaction for the 5th or 6th time to the vocal tendencies of the narrator, I looked her up. She is very popular and does a lot of voice work. So either I'm in a minority, not surprising, or she gets work because she appeals to a certain sub-set of authorities or influencers when decisions are made who will be doing the yapping. I'm imagining the same people that hire talent for public radio broadcasts. Funny to think, this lady, Christina Delaine, probably thinks she's edgy. But this lady is in a word ANNOYING. By the time she uttered the phrase "iced coffee" with sharp, snappy diction I was having trouble paying attention to what she was saying really. And once she got on the soup nazi and repeated NO SOUP FOR YOU which believe me, loses a lot from a deep baritone middle eastern man to some chick trying desperately to replicate attitude, I wanted to stop listening. I love the subject. I wasn't surprised by any of the subject matter. Unless you never watch TV you know the subject matter well enough. So the purchase to begin with was ill-fated and pointless. This book is pointless. The writing was obvious and repetitive. At one point it was talking about such trivial things involving the same trivial accomplishments by marginal people, even if they were involved in the show Seinfeld. I was thinking, I could have listened to a book with some substance and I might have learned something useful or at least interesting. Stuffy British narrators like David Attenborough talking banally about "the mother lion and her cubs' is one thing, listening to some Avon lady use the F-word while she tries to inflect vulgarity mimicking Michael Richards is another. Do they not edit these things? Are they recorded live? I would have expected more throat clearing. Good job on that note. I hated it. I won't repeat my error by spending my money by signing up for 12 hours of that again thank you.