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Agent to the Stars

Auteur(s): John Scalzi
Narrateur(s): Wil Wheaton
Durée: 8 h et 49 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (163 évaluations)

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Évaluations de journalistes

Wil Wheaton, a Star Trek: The Next Generation alum, is a canny choice for narrator of this intersection of science fiction and Elmore Leonard-esque Hollywood farce. In addition to being a rather prominent footnote in sci-fi history, Wheaton’s also got a great voice — sonorous, with an inflection similar to a late-night radio DJ who’s bemusedly sharing an anecdote on air between tracks. His voice also carries a hint of that lilt peculiar to many native Angelenos, which comes in handy when he exaggerates it to Valley Girl-proportions to portray starlet Michelle Beck, former cheerleader and current box office draw.

Hollywood agent Tom Stein is the book’s hero, and when the story begins, Michelle is his most important client. That is, until Tom meets Joshua, an extraterrestrial whose alien race hires Tom and his boss, superagent Carl Lupo, to represent them. The Yherajk have decided their best hope for a peaceful first contact between their race and all of humanity is to out themselves via the movies, and they know if they want to make it in Hollywood, they need good representation.

Wheaton’s voicing of Joshua, who has traveled to Earth as the Yherajk’s representative, is another highlight. Joshua, like his kinsmen, looks like a gelatinous blob, gives off a noxious odor, and slithers around amorphously. He’s also incredibly educated when it comes to human pop culture, having logged countless hours watching sitcoms. Wheaton delivers Joshua’s line, “We look like snot. And we smell like dead fish,” in a nasally deadpan that suits a one-liner-delivering alien to a T.

Even when Scalzi veers into semi-philosophical territory — as when he explores why an alien race would choose a Hollywood debut over staging their premiere in Washington — Wheaton keeps the narration moving with his just-right character voices. Look out for the both silly and spot-on sounding Quebecois accent he uses to portray Roland Lanois, an art-house film director with a critical role in the novel, and for his Buddha-like turn as Gwedif, a Yherajk storyteller. —Maggie Frank

Description

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.

©2005 John Scalzi (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Ce que les critiques en disent

“Narrator Wil Wheaton animates the slapstick text with a tone that is appropriate for the story of a young Tinsel Town agent whose other clients are either equally deranged or aren't making him much money.” ( AudioFile)

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Agent to the Stars

Moyenne des évaluations de clients
Au global
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Évaluations – Cliquez sur les onglets pour changer la source des évaluations.

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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tee
  • 2018-07-05

Wacky and fun

This story is unique and enjoyable. It is funny, with good lines, and the story moves at a good pace.

I really enjoyed Wil Wheaton’s narration. He brought the book to life, and I’m reminded of his rendition of another fast-paced John Scalzi masterpiece, Locked In. Wil Wheaton is equally adept as a quick witted broker, a sassy alien, a smart young lady, an airy blonde, and slimeballs (yes there are some in this book). Above all, his rendition of a certain historical female rebel character was so believable that I feel he ought to be nominated for an (audiobook) Oscar - if only such an award existed.

All in, a good audiobook if you feel like curling up for some light listening.

3 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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an early story but still good

Rumour has it that this was John Scalzi's first novel. If so, he got it out of the park on the first try. Yes, there are some helpful coincidences, but there are always going to be some of those, otherwise you get the story that isn't worth telling.

3 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hollywood Aliens that aren't Hollywood Aliens

I have enjoyed all of the Scalazi books I have listened to, and particularly when they are narrated by Wil Wheaton. Tom Stein, a Hollywood agent ends up having to represent a group of space aliens to people of earth.

It was an amusing story, well narrated and well done.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thumbs up!

Love Will Wheaton's narration! The story gets a little lost in the middle, but kept me laughing for most of the book. Recommended!

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Delightful

I forgot to review this book when I first 'read' it (listened to it), but six months later the delight is still with me. Part science-fiction, part light mystery thriller, mostly it was a fun, funny, surprising and unfathomable adventure. I'll definitely read another John Scalzi.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Quite Funny

This is a quick and easy listen, it's lots of fun and has many unexpected aspects. It's a very unique and creative story- quite enjoyable #audible1

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great listen, wonderfully entertaining

I loved listening to this book. I felt fully immersed while listening to this interesting story. I would recommend it to anybody with a flair for the Sci-Fi. #Audible1 Made this possible.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Biting satire and a clever plot

Scalzi is great. Agent to the Stars pulls off an almost too cute concept brilliantly well. It's funny without being silly. The characters are fully formed. The plot moves. Will Wheaton's performance is great. #Audible1

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A surprise

I got this on sale just to try something different. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the light, easy reference to and integration of aliens into the story.

Good narration with distinct, but not over the top, voices for each character.

The “I said”, “he said”, “Miranda said” after every single new speaker did become so grating that I’m not sure I would try another audible book by this author but I may try reading more of his work.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Really Enjoyable Ride

Agent to the Stars was a entertaining and light book. I really enjoyed the story and Wil Wheaton's performance. This a great book to read when on vacation or travelling. No real plot twists or crazy events but still fun.

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Katya A
  • 2013-03-06

A stay-up-all-night-reading kind of book

This is my first book by John Scalzi, but definitely not the last. His sharp anad slightly sarcastic humor, effortless wit and narrative flow remind me a lot of "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The characters are interesting, multi-dimensional and over the top, while still believable and very much likable. The way the story weaves through the fantastic elements and the mundane elements is thrilling.

Separate tip of the hat to Wil Wheaton, an excellent narrator. His characters are very distinct, his technique is flawless and Joshua the Alien sounds like a true hipster, which, i guess is expected for a gelatinous life form.

I would recommend this book, you will enjoy it!

47 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bryan
  • 2011-04-22

Hollywood Agent Represents Stinky Aliens

So what would happen if the aliens came, but instead of nice sleek greys like Close Encounters they stank like the worst thing you could ever imagine? Well, John Scalzi - who has obviously had some experience dealing with Hollywood agents - puts together a wonderful story of how this might unfold.


He has wonderful characters that cover a wide range of possibilities. This is a wonderfully comic romp that pokes fun at many a sacred cow. It also has its very, very somber moments - especially concerning the Holocaust - but is a wonderfully engaging story that you will not want to stop until its completely done.


The narration by Wil Wheaton - best known as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek the Next Generation - is well done. He voices the characters, especially the snarky alien, perfectly.


You will want to explore all the John Scalzi books after hearing this one

74 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lore
  • 2017-04-24

A fun farce that eventually loses its way.

The Yherjak are an alien race that has traveled for many years across the galaxy to reach Earth with a plan to make first contact with us. Being a benevolent people they decide take it slowly and they spend time monitoring our communications in order to figure out how best to proceed with reaching out. After careful study of our culture they realize that their appearance, a translucent gelatinous mess, combined with the fact that they communicate through smells, bad ones at that, will likely result in a poor first contact scenario. Since the Yherjak have dedicated many years of their lives to making successful contact with us they are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure it goes well. Of course that means that they hire a top Hollywood agent to represent them and plan for their introduction to the rest of the planet. :)

This is actually the first novel written by John Scalzi and one that he initially self published as an unknown author asking for donations from readers that liked the book. After he became a best-selling author for his Old Man's War series this book was eventually republished in a more traditional fashion and rightfully so. It shows off Scalzi's ability to tell a science fiction story with humor at its core and how he creativity brings together multiple disparate satirical plot points.

I enjoyed this one but it wound up feeling a bit disjointed when the latter half of the book included some rather serious topics including the Holocaust, depression, and a person's right to die. None of that is bad in and of itself but the humor of the book was lost as the serious subject matter took over and that just felt out of place for this type of story. That aside it was still an interesting read and I do enjoy experiencing an author's first work so I can see how they have grown in their craft over time.

Once again Wil Wheaton teams up with John Scalzi as the narrator and while Wheaton is not one of my preferred narrators I must admit that he does a good job with this one. This is worth picking up just to see how Scalzi's writing career got started but do so knowing that the humor gets put aside towards the end, for better or worse.

24 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Paget
  • 2010-12-28

excellent

This author was new to me, as was the narrator,(though of course I remember his roles in Star Trek etc with fondness). Hope it won't be the last. The reading was clear and well punctuated with only minimal thespian over-indulgence. I only tend to write reviews if I have something to complain about or something to praise, happily, this is the latter. The book had me almost rolling on the floor in stiches, a rare event for a Science Fiction book, Audible Frontiers has come up trumps again, well done!

84 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeff
  • 2018-03-19

All the wrong people are the best

"He said" and "She said" are the most common words... its kind of infuriating for that.

Otherwise the most likable characters are not the ones intended.

7 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Katherine
  • 2013-06-19

John Scalzi's debut

Originally posted at FanLit.

Tom Stein is a young Hollywood agent who used to think that his clients were hard to handle. That was before Tom’s boss assigned him to represent the most important client any agent has ever had to deal with — the first aliens to contact the human race.

These aliens — the Yherajk — have been watching our TV broadcasts for years, so they know a lot about humans. They are peaceful and want to make a good impression, but they know it’ll be a hard sell. That’s because they look like The Blob, smell like sweaty sneakers, and have some powers that humans are going to find very disturbing. In other words, they seem more like fodder for our horror movies than friends. That’s why they’ve asked Tom Stein’s agency to represent them. So Tom gets to dump his difficult clients off on a junior agent so he can concentrate on figuring out how to give the aliens an image makeover before they’re marketed to the human public.

If you’re already a fan of John Scalzi’s writing, whether it’s his novels or his blog, you’re sure to enjoy Agent to the Stars. It’s non-stop entertainment that’s crackling with that snide humor he’s famous for. The whole Hollywood culture falls victim to his pen as Tom Stein and his competent assistant deal with divas, Hollywood has-beens, the mother of a pampered child star, nosey reporters, rabid fans, and a dumb blonde who wants to move up from playing beach bunny roles to playing a holocaust victim.

Yet even as Scalzi delights in poking fun at Hollywood, at the same time he illustrates its cultural significance and shows us how film can be a powerful tool for education, understanding, and social change. Specifically here he highlights the atrocities that were committed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. A few of these scenes were beautifully poignant.

Agent to the Stars, published in 2005, was John Scalzi’s first novel and it succeeds in every way. Audible Frontiers put it on audio in 2010 and Brilliance Audio released it in CD format last month. Wil Wheaton, who narrates some of Scalzi’s other work, is absolutely perfect here. Scalzi + Wheaton is a terrific combination. If you’re going to read Agent of the Stars, which you should, please please try the audio version!

76 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • colleen
  • 2014-05-06

Excellent

Imagine that you are an Alien race trying to make first contact with earth but are a little worried about the bad wrap you’ve been getting in the movies. What do you do? You get yourself a Hollywood agent. John Scalzi does a wonderful job in this absurdly funny caper. Original, well narrated and a lot of fun.

56 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lori Trisler
  • 2012-11-21

Most fun I've had with an audiobook!

I had so much fun listening to this book. The story was great. The narrator was spot on. He was exactly what I'd expect a Hollywood agent to sound like. The wise cracking alien was an additional bright spot.

23 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2011-04-13

Think "The Player" or "Entourage" with an Alien

This is a wonderfully funny mash up of the Hollywood insider story and a first contact tale. Not only is this imaginative but well executed and oddly genuine.
Wil Wheaton is a phenomenal reader and I hope he does more.
John Scalzi's unique voice in SciFi reminds me of Spider Robinson's intro decades ago, just something totally different. He brings a lot to the table with this fairly short story, but with the intelligence and humor you'd expect from Scalzi. The concept he puts forward is crazy, but you gradually start to come around to the idea that it is not only a worthwhile story, but kind of a good idea that you can't believe you haven't thought of before... Aliens really could use representation.

23 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Bradford
  • 2013-03-14

Meh ... says the SF Fan.

My second Scalzi novel, I was looking forward to seeing what he could do with what is a very intriguing idea ... how would an alien race introduce themselves to 21st Century humanity? The logic of Scalzi's approach is sadly unquestionable. It turns this bland and unexciting novel into a worthwhile read. Scalzi navigates the world of Hollywood stars and agents well, implying to some extent first-hand experience with the industry. His choice of alien species is different and certainly eliminates all stereotypical first contact scenarios right off the bat. Make no mistake, this book is not "Rendezvous with Rama." It's not even in the same solar system as that one. This is a fun little novel about the sad world of Hollywood and just how much the mere appearances of the people there impact our daily perceptions of humanity as a whole. The hidden messages regarding the Holocaust are an interesting twist. However, I think if you really want an alien race to understand humanity and why we're even worth making contact with you don't show them humanity at its worst and then expect them to come down as friends, no matter how popular they get. Scalzi's writing remains an abused victim of overusing "he said," "she said," and an unending supply of adverbs, but at least it didn't kill the overall experience. Need a break from typical first contact novels, give this one a go ... just don't go in with too high of expectations.

15 les gens ont trouvé cela utile