Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Thoughts - Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi

Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi
audiobook - narrated by Will Wheaton
published 2005
audiobook release date 12-7-10

Synopsis from publisher:

The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents. But although Stein may have just concluded the biggest deal of his career, it's quite another thing to negotiate for an entire alien race. To earn his percentage this time, he's going to need all the smarts, skills, and wits he can muster.
My thoughts:

1. I can listen to audiobooks on my Kindle?? Life just got a little bit better.

2. Apparently John Scalzi wrote this novel for "practice". I would imagine that makes struggling writers want to punch him, just a little.

3. How can a novel that is one part Jerry Maguire, one part Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and narrated by Wesley Crusher go wrong? It can't.

Agent to the Stars was just plain fun. I listened to most of it on my commutes to and from work, and often didn't want to go inside because I was having too much fun. In true Scalzi form, there are moments of serious emotion, and moments of philosophical introspection, but this more than any of his novels was complete entertainment. As the story reached its inevitable conclusion - and, truly, how else could it end? - I really didn't want it to be over. I would love to see this story portrayed in a visual medium of some kind - perhaps as an HBO or AMC series, since we have seen how well they do book-to-tv translations. These characters found a spot in my heart, and I'd love to walk another chapter with them.

Since I'm not terribly seasoned as an audiobook listener or reviewer, I don't yet know how Will Wheaton compares to other narrators, but I thought he was absolutely perfect for this novel. He was able to give each character his or her own voice, while still maintaining the tone of the overall story. He had me laughing out loud as he delivered Scalzi's sarcastic, pure-hearted Joshua. His timing and phrasing felt exactly right for the story he had to tell.

I cannot tell you how excited I am that I am able to read audiobooks on my Kindle! We have a subscription to, and my library also allows me to check out audiobooks, so I am very excited about this new adventure in my reading life. If you have recommendations, I would love to hear them! I know a couple of bloggers who regularly read and review audiobooks, so you can bet I will be scouring their blogs for good stuff.

Finished: 10-13-11
MPAA rating: R for language and adult situations
My rating: 8/10


Zibilee said...

This one sounds like a lot of fun! If you want a really great audio blogger, check out Sandy from You've Gotta Read This. She does mostly audios, and finds some amazing things. She just recommended Ready Player One on audio, and I downloaded it just the other day. The book is getting a lot of great reviews, and surprise! It's narrated by Wil Wheaton! Have a great week, Elizabeth!

Lisa said...

What a fun book! This sounds like it would be a blast.

Jeanne said...

I loved reading this one, and it sounds like the audio version would be good when I'm ready to reread it. Or possibly for some of the long car trips with the family that are coming up.