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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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    241
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    165
  • 3 Stars
    66
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    16
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

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    129
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    67
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    35
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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.

14 of 14 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.

3 of 3 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
    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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Narrator tried too hard to do impressions.

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

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

If you loved Seinfeld...

I enjoyed this book - a revisit of and behind the scenes view of one fo my favorite shows. The narrator did a great job of modifying her voice to the different characters. The language in the anecdotes can be a little rough, so not a family road trip listen. But still very enjoyable.

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

Great Stuff for Any Seinfeld Fan

The voice work is fine-other reviewers hated on it, but the narrator is usually just doing a generic Seinfeld or Larry David voice and it's respectable. The behind the scenes stories are good stuff and not just flattering towards the creators, but offer light dirt(or light and dirt) on the show/good explanations of what was happening at the time. The author explains every familiar name on the credits and has stories/explanations of what their stories are. Very entertaining.

  • 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.