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  • Agent to the Stars

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,379 ratings)

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Agent to the Stars cover art

Agent to the Stars

By: John Scalzi
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
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Editor reviews

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

Summary

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.

Critic reviews

“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)

What listeners say about Agent to the Stars

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

One of the most unusual stories you will ever read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Its an original idea, very well executed and is hilarious at the right moments

What was one of the most memorable moments of Agent to the Stars?

I couldn't possibly spoil the subject matter

Which scene did you most enjoy?

See above - would be a spoiler

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh lots

Any additional comments?

Its absolutely hilarious. Its different and the end is simply a riot. Just wow !
Highly recommended !!!!!

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good aliens make good stories too

This is the first book by John Scalzi I encounter. It's a first person tale of Hollywood agent who will be handed the difficult task to present to the human public a race of benevolent though physically unpleasant, smelly, blob-like aliens. Scalzi offers delectable characters engulfed in a story full of humour and humanity. Wheaton's performance is outstanding and probably one of the most enjoyable I've heard on audiobook so far.

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14 people found this helpful

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

Not your average science fiction tale

A genuinely funny and entertaining tale. Will Wheaton is perfectly cast (if that's the word) to narrate this charming story of a strange turn of events in the life of a Hollywood agent.

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6 people found this helpful

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

Not What I Expected - Pleasantly So.

If you could sum up Agent to the Stars in three words, what would they be?

Unexpected. Grounded. Enjoyable.

Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favourite?

The lead, closely followed by Joshua.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, and I'm not going to spoil it for anyone else.

Any additional comments?

There's a TV series called Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Watch the first five or six episodes and you'll form an opinion of the show and may dismiss it, which would be a shame as it takes a suddenly side-step down a different path. Agent to the Stars very much reminds me of that.

Starting the book with Will Wheaton's excellent narration I found it an engaging albeit somewhat unremarkable story. Nice idea though and it has left me wondering whether John Scalzi has either close connections to the world of reps or is simply very thorough in his research; in itself a compliment to the book. But the story took a bit of a left turn and disappeared down a somewhat darker and more intriguing path.

Lots of concepts here and now looking to pick up one of his other works, perhaps Red Shirts or Lock in.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun story

This is a nice book, it's light and funny and very enjoyable. Wil Wheaton's performance makes it all the more better.

Honestly Scalzi has much better books but this one is quite fun to read in between bigger more complex books.

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

Enjoyable comedy fiction

Fast paced, with Scalzi's trademark witty repartee. A Hollywood agent is tasked with representing a new and very important client: an alien. The dialogue reminds me of Buffy for some reason. I guess it's that "say it fast enough and throw in some snarky rejoinders and it'll be funny" thing. Except it is actually funny. I like that stuff, so I don't have to be convinced.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

the blob attack never happened lol

truly impressed and grabbed from the start and never let up with totally satisfied ending! Wil Weaton's voice takes you right to and through each chapter with vivid clarity and story telling prowess.
can there please be a side story where all the aliens find a way to cohabit all the Dogs lol

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Save your money

Uninspiring pulp but in audio. Time I won’t see again. What more I can I say?

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The perfect audiobook

The combination of Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi is awesome.... A fantastic book by The Big S, full of his typical wit and dialogue, narrated by the imperious Wheaton,who makes these books come alive ....For some odd reason I missed reading this book for a long time but having read the entire Scalzi oeuvre it was a pleasure to have this one left.

Whether it's audio or written, Scalzi is perfect.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • JH
  • 30-04-21

Worst book I've ever read

At first the story seemed amusing and I was intrigued as to where it was going to go. Unfortunately it didn't go anywhere and just deteriorated into absolute drivel which just went on and on... even the narrator seemed in a hurry to get it over with. The constant jarring use of I said, he said, she said, is such a lazy style of writing I can't imagine why the publishers ever passed it! I gave up and returned it.

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3 people found this helpful