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Ayoade on Top

Narrated by: Richard Ayoade
Length: 4 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,277 ratings)

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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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You don’t need to have watched the film

Brilliant, loved it , was reluctant as I do t know the film but it doesn’t matter, I know all about it now.

26 people found this helpful

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and so I watched View from the top

Richard reading this made it for me. Very funny in places and the digressions into his own life stories are fab. His observations on GP's career along the way are also hilarious, if cutting. Hadn't seen the film, but he makes you want to, and yep, it's really bad.

7 people found this helpful

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Brilliantly read and performed

This quirky, earnest and hilarious study of the film "View from the Top" is amazing, as only Richard Ayoade could present. Pleasure to see him interviewed by Adam Buxton at The RFH last night (5.09.19) to launch it and I binge-listened to it in one day! It's not a Tolstoy, as he points out! Recommended to anyone who loves bantering during a sub-standard film and who'd love to be nearly as funny as Richard.

15 people found this helpful

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Very funny

Got to be honest, I had my doubts leading up to this... but this is one of the funniest audiobooks I’ve ever listed to.

6 people found this helpful

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Wonderfully unique, just like its author/narrator

I love this so much. Ostensibly a scholarly critique of the 2003 Gwyneth Paltrow film A View from the Top, it's actually so much more, touching on many and diverse subjects such as hair height and Happy Eaters. It's masterfully read by the sublime Mr Ayoade and be warned if you are listening to this in a public place - you WILL laugh out loud. A lot.

19 people found this helpful

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Perfect bedtime listening

Admittedly listened to this more times than necessary but Ayoade's voice has a way of lulling you to sleep. I've come to rely on this as a means of nodding off. Somehow Ayoade is the only person who could pull off a book all about a film no one has heard of and at the same time interweave hilarious and adorable anecdotes of his childhood.

12 people found this helpful

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brilliantly funny

Ayoade is brilliant reading, funniest audiobook I have ever listened to.
His other books need to be put on here now!

5 people found this helpful

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Perplexing

I would pay to hear this author read a shopping list. At times that wasn't far away from my experience of listening to this book. The plot of an obscure Gwyneth Paltrow film acts as a strange framing device for snatches of autobiography and reflections on the world. I nearly choked with laughter on more than one occasion, but also frequently found myself losing the thread of what was going on. I might watch the film before trying again (although it sounds terrible).

10 people found this helpful

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Ayoade on top form

Simply put this is a marvellous book. It is so rare to find something that actually makes you laugh out loud. It's witty, clever, charming, and although I'm sure is a great paper read, Richard Ayoade's narration upgrades it to truly first class.

4 people found this helpful

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up lifting , nice one Top one

I haven't laughed out loud for time and it tickled every funny box. Brilliant & original

8 people found this helpful

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  • Wesley
  • 13-12-19

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
  • 22-11-19

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
  • 26-09-19

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
  • 06-11-19

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
  • 05-02-20

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
  • 29-01-20

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
  • 28-10-19

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
  • 15-02-20

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
  • 16-12-19

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
  • 29-09-19

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