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Medallion Status

True Stories from Secret Rooms
Narrated by: John Hodgman
Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
5 out of 5 stars (340 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An AV Club "Five Books to Read in October"

"[An] affecting and hilarious meditation on fame and prestige as seen through the lens of an airline loyalty program." (The AV Club)

A hilarious and honest new audiobook in which John Hodgman, New York Times best-selling author of Vacationland, leaves vacation behind and gets back to work as a still somewhat famous person...and then loses his job

After spending most of his 20s pursuing a career as a literary agent, John Hodgman decided to try his own hand at writing. Following an appearance to promote one of his books on The Daily Show, he was invited to return as a contributor. This led to an unexpected and, frankly, implausible career in front of the camera that has lasted to this very day, or at least until 2016.

In this audiobook, Hodgman explores the strangeness of his career, speaking plainly of fame, especially at the weird, marginal level he enjoyed it. Through these stories, you will learn many things that only John Hodgman knows, such as how to prepare for a nude scene with an oboe, or what it feels like to go to a Hollywood party and realize that you are not nearly as famous as the Property Brothers, or, for that matter, those two famous corgis from Instagram. And there are stories about how, when your television gig is canceled, you can console yourself with the fact that all of that travel that made your young son so sad at least left you with a prize: platinum medallion status with your airline.

Both unflinchingly funny and deeply heartfelt, Medallion Status is a thoughtful examination of status, fame, and identity - and about the way we all deal with those moments when we realize we aren't platinum status anymore and will have to get comfortable in that middle seat again.

©2019 John Hodgman (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Conversational, funny...the focus is on the bizarre state of being liminally famous in a culture that so desperately celebrates fame.... Hodgman has dozens of funny stories to tell, ranging from recollections of early jobs to the time Benedict Cumberbatch messed with his mind." (The AV Club)

"Very, very funny...Hodgman's Medallion Status is the opposite of narcissism: it's an honest and terribly funny peek into a world that very few of us will get to see, one that is frank enough to admit that the only thing the people in that world enjoy about it is that we're not allowed in it." (Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing)

"This funny, sometimes delightfully absurd book offers sharp meditations on status, relevance, and age, and fame - or at least being fame-adjacent." (Publishers Weekly)

"Humorous and surprisingly poignant." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Hodgman offers thoughtful musings about human nature and our drive for status. An entertaining and endearing entry from the author of Vacationland." (Booklist)

What members say

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  • Overall
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I like John Hodgman but....

Honestly I think his best writing is centered around his family and his life in Maine. But he tells you in the very first essay that there will not be a lot of either in this book.

The airline stuff, the Florida stuff is pretty entertaining, but the endless laments regarding fading fame, parties he is not invited to, and his bit parts on TV shows....not his best work.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely lovely

A delight from start to finish. I'd recommend the audiobook over the print edition, because Hodgman is such a charming, skillful storyteller and performer. Made me laugh out loud in public and cry at work multiple times.

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Fantastic and honest storytelling

Like a fireside chat or talking at the kitchen counter at a party, John Hodgman sits down a talks to us about his life an pursuits and emparts wisdom all the way. Thank you for writing this book.

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It's John Hodgman!

After listening to the Judge John Hodgman podcast, I got Audible just to listen to this book. No regrets. Made me laugh out loud many times!

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Medallion Status is excellent

Medallion Status is probably the best collection of personal essays I have read since I discovered Harlan Ellison one fever driven day at the library as I looked for something to read to take my mind off my cold. Hilarious, heartfelt and humble John Hodgman has a unique and interesting way of looking at the world and his stories illuminate all the exhilarating facets involved in everyday events

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Another great book from the Judge Hodgman

John Hodgman delivers another thought provoking mix of comedy and introspection with Medallion Status.

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Heartfelt, moving, and funny.

A moving, entertaining, and thought provoking autobiographical stroll through acceptance of one's limits and finding meaning in life.

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Hodgman Does It Again

Another excellent work of memoir and humor by John Hodgman, this one with a greater bent on his vulnerability towards his fame, the trappings of privilege, and Instagram corgis.

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Didn't want it to end

I just finished the audiobook version of John Hodgman's "Medallion Status". It's been a long time since I loved a book enough that it made me sad when it ended. It was the same combination of intelligence, nerdiness, humor and enormous wisdom about the human condition that makes me love his work so much. The story is wonderful, and made even better with Hodgman himself as the narrator.
(If you're not listening to his podcast, "Judge John Hodgman", you should be.)

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It’s Hodgman. What else do you want?

Funny and beautiful and sad and funny. I’m so glad I read it.

That is all.