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Ayoade on Top

Written by: Richard Ayoade
Narrated by: Richard Ayoade
Length: 4 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At last, the definitive audiobook about perhaps the best cabin crew dramedy ever filmed: View from the Top starring Gwyneth Paltrow. 

In Ayoade on Top, Richard Ayoade, perhaps one of the most 'insubstantial' people of our age, takes us on a journey from Peckham to Paris by way of Nevada and other places we don't care about. It's a journey deep within, in a way that's respectful and non-invasive; a journey for which we will all pay a heavy price, even if you've waited for the smaller paperback edition. 

Ayoade argues for the canonisation of this brutal masterpiece, a film that celebrates capitalism in all its victimless glory; one we might imagine Donald Trump himself half-watching on his private jet's gold-plated flat screen while his other puffy eye scans the cabin for fresh, young prey.

©2019 Richard Ayoade (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Ayoade on Top

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Richard Ayoade is a global treasure

I was completely engrossed in a book about a movie I have never seen before and probably never will. This is roasting taken to a new level.Richard Ayoade is magic. That is all.

2 people found this helpful

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Hysterical

Ayoade's narration adds so much to an already hilarious book. His deadpan delivery and enunciation made me laugh out loud. I may even watch the film to revisit Ayoade's witty analysis. This was my first audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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Hilarious

An excellent book to read, I'm sure, but listening to Ayoade's voice delivering his own beautifully written satire is worth choosing the audiobook.

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So so funny

So witty, so funny. I was laughing by myself driving to work. Definitely brightened my days! Highly recommend.

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I think Mark Ruffalo would love this

This book is very funny. Richard Ayoade does an amazing job of narrating it. I have listened to it about 10 times. It is well worth buying!

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A Masterpiece

Truly one of the best books ever written about a horrible film no one has seen.

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love this book - ahem! audiobook.

Beautifully narrated. Found myself laughing outloud. I want more from this author. Highly recommeded

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You should probably watch the movie first

I know, it’s a weird thing to say about a book but given that this book is about a movie you definitely won’t get it unless you’ve seen the movie first.

Highly enjoyable. Laughed out loud a number of times, which probably made me look like a crazy person as I walked down the street.
Don’t care.

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  • Wesley
  • 2019-12-13

Listened for an hour and a half, didn't laugh once

It's really strange, because I know this guy from clips on the Graham Norton show, and I find him very funny in that setting. In fact, the clip on Graham Norton of him plugging this book, is the very reason I decided to buy the audiobook. But....it's just dull. I get the premise is that it's a satirical take on those overly pretentious literary books, but it's just not very fun. The audiobook is only 4.5 hours, I listened to roughly 25% of it, and I did not laugh once. This is a cheeky take on "high brow" books, but, to quote Richard Ayoade in this very book. "I dislike people intentionally trying to insert cheekyness into things." The fact that he's doing it on purpose, doesn't make it funny. He rambles, and rambles, and brings up boring side topic after side topic, and then states that he's only discussed the first 60 seconds of the film. I genuinely groaned when he told me that the past 15 minutes of audiotime, where he prevaricates constantly, only covers the opening 60 seconds....and then starts the next paragraph with yet ANOTHER side story about a fictional birthday of his when he was like 6 years old.

I just, I don't care. It feels like he's just writing to hear himself write, and forgot that he's supposed to be discussing this film in a funny way.
I generally enjoy British humor, and one of my favorite authors (Terry Pratchett), was a master of dry, witty humor, that would have me rolling on the floor with the delivery of it. But this...this is just dull. Incredibly dull and pretentious. And the fact that it's pretentious by design, doesn't save it from being pretentious.

Again, not sure why the big disconnect, as I really find this guy funny in a live, social setting, where he has other people to react off of, and talk with, and generate organic humor based on a social setting. But, his prose writing? Just has none of that humor and wit.
I don't recommend this book, even with how short it is.

63 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle Sharpe
  • 2019-11-22

If you love Ayoade, this is a must.

Listened to this in the span of a day. I’ve never seen View from the Top and I never plan to watch it. I feel like I understand it better than any other movie after listening to this book though, and I feel like I understand Richard Ayoade as well as myself.

Seriously though, I was laughing out loud at some of the parts in this book. The entire premise is ridiculous and entirely too much time, energy, research, and introspection went into writing a book about a truly mediocre 89 minute movie that no one remembers or saw at time of release. But that’s why we love Richard Ayoade and that’s why this audiobook is so great.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 2019-09-26

Unbelievably witty

You don't need to have seen the movie. Highly recommend the audiobook, as Ayoade's delivery is key to the humor.

17 people found this helpful

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  • DangerKitten
  • 2019-11-06

Only Richard Ayoade could pull this off...

I usually wouldn’t be compelled to buy a 4+ hour dissertation on Veiw from the Top and it’s personal cinematic and cultural/social significance...but Richard Ayoade...so I actually pre ordered this...and was more than pleasantly surprised. I remember the movie and it’s strange semi ensemble cast(lots of cameos and big names in bit parts) but never read so much into it now. Richard does a wonderful job of making you question both his taste level and your own while doing a great job at making his case and convincing you by the end that this movie truly was under-rated and you must watch it, while still taking the absolute piss out of the whole thing, (especially Gwyneth and Goop). mMaking you thankful that Richard is not political because the man could get some truly ridiculous things to pass if he put his mind to it. Brilliant, odd and thoroughly entertaining

13 people found this helpful

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2020-02-05

Uneven and overwrought

I like Richard Ayoade's TV work and delivery and so I was confident that I was going to enjoy this. I didn't. The concept of imputing non-existent complexity to and generally deconstructing a God-awful film would seem to be a premise full of comedic possibilities but it needs to be handled with a Morriso-Iannuccist-Marberian-Couganical sensibility for it to work, particularly over 4 hours 39 minutes. I hate to say it but this audiobook ends up being almost as difficult to listen to as the film is to watch (I watched the film in advance of listening to the book - it's truly diabolical and ripe for mockery). A lot of the writing in this audiobook seems overworked and way too wordy as if the guiding principle was a desire to impress rather than a desire to make laugh. This needed to be harshly edited. Not sure how it ended up so highly rated. Richard Ayoade is much better than this work.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Rocketboy13
  • 2020-01-29

I am a fan of Richard Ayoade as a TV Personality

When I heard about this book on the Graham Norton show it sounded like a lot of fun, using the loose outline of critiquing a forgotten sub-par movie as a means to tell humorous stories and asides. Joke's on me I guess.

I was an anticipating the film critique being a much smaller aspect of the book. That it was a sort of meta-joke, merely used as a way of moving between other articles. My anticipation was way off and I did not find that aspect of the book (the titular aspect of the book) all that funny. It got old quick and no matter how witty Richard Ayoade is (and he is) I could not give the tiniest shit about this movie and the jokes just started falling flat.

I am disappointed, but I guess I have no one to blame but myself. My expectations were skewed (and I am coming off a David Mitchell collection that I really enjoyed) this book was not in a position to impress me. I can't recommend it unless you are really interested in the idea of reading a scene-to-scene riffing of a movie you will likely never ever bother to see.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Sarie
  • 2019-10-28

The Story Audio Books Were Made For

A reading of a book about a movie that no one has seen. Loved it.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Geoff in London
  • 2020-02-15

Breathless admiration

In studious detail the author offers a focused analysis of the 2003 commercial flop "View from the Top". The comedic prose is so dense, I listened at 90%-speed so I could catch all the humour without having to rewind. This book treats the forgettable film, its cast, acting, plot, lighting, camera shots, with a kind of mockumentary seriousness as if this film were Very Important, and forms the basis of his view of life, existence, and the meaning of it all.
So why not? This author is prepared to go to extreme lengths (the length of this book, anyway) to perpetuate a farce, and once I'd trained my brain to listen closely enough, it was a jolly flight of satirical thrills.
We are never entirely sure what the author really thinks of Gwyneth Paltrow or her film; but he writes as though he thoroughly loves and admires her/it, and imbues his prose with absurdly high praise, attributing endless qualities to it all -- much as all fans do for all their obsessions. That's the adventure you'll go on. The book is self-referential in its comedic analysis, and so there's a slight nod to reality so you don't think Richard Ayoade is insane. Instead it's a fine work of modern wit.
You need not have seen the film ahead of time.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Ana Lanari
  • 2019-12-16

It's funny but I found it a bit much

it's very funny and vert well told but I noticed I ended spacing out a lot.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Piers Sharpe
  • 2019-09-29

A toilet book about a film no one’s seen

I could’ve read Steinbeck, Hemingway or literally anything else I might discuss with friends over coffee, but instead I chose to spend 6 hours watching Top and listening to Ayoade’s critique of it (peppered with bits about him to make up the page count), acquiring a new set of references I won’t be able to exchange with anyone. Top’s bad but not in a ‘so bad it’s good’ way, more like ‘so mediocre I want it to end’, so quite an audacious move by the author to require such gruelling pre-work for a toilet book. Giving five stars to encourage more people to watch Top just in case it’s the next The Room and I’m too frustrated to realise it yet.

15 people found this helpful