Seinfeldia

How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything
Narrated by: Christina Delaine
Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (615 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Seinfeldia

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    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.

31 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

great story wrong voice.

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

9 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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I Learned Something

Who knew matching the Narrator to the subject matter is extemely important? Well i do now. Seinfeld is the most every man show of all time, so having a smarmy Narrator was a terrible choice.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Narrator tried too hard to do impressions.

Narrator should stick to narrating and stop attempting impressions. Story was good. Narration was quite tedious.

2 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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Highly Don't Recommend

I should have listened to the other reviews complaining about the terrible narration because they were right. The breathy and overly dramatic reading was so annoying. And actually the story itself was not good enough to suffer through the listen. There were occasional interesting bits, but then it goes off on stuff that doesn't even seem to be related to the subject. Very disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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Reads Like Notes About Nothing

A fun listen but didn’t have the level of detail and new insight I’d hoped. Don’t think I learned anything from the book that isn’t included in the DVD’s Notes About Nothing. Also, the narrator read well and has a nice voice, but her inflection and tone felt weird for a book about Seinfeld. She’s sounds too... nice.

1 person found this helpful

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great rehashing of show

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

1 person found this helpful