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Editorial 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
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Publisher's 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.
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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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jim "The Impatient" on 10-01-11

Very funny

My first John Scalzi book, but it won't be my last. An alien race wants to meet us, but they know we won't find them pleasant, so they hire an agent from Hollywood. Thomas Stein the agent is extremely funny and the interactions between the aliens and humans are roll on the ground funny. The first 2/3 of the book is a five star novel. When JS gets down to actually solving his main problem of making these gelatinous and stinky aliens lovable to humans then the book gets less funny. The solution is very disappointing.

Will Wheaton gives a great performance, better then a lot of the more established readers. I had a couple of times when for an instance I was confused on which character was speaking. Some of the minor characters have the same voice as the main character. The voice for the alien is excellent. I believe WW's reading made the book a better experience then reading it in print.

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25 of 26 people found this review helpful

By Bryan on 04-22-11

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

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47 of 50 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Laura on 11-17-13

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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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

By Clement on 04-02-13

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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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Bernadette Johnstone on 08-07-17

Adored this book and one of the best narrations!

What made the experience of listening to Agent to the Stars the most enjoyable?

Wil Wheaton sets a great pace and really embodies the characters with distinct personalities - even Ralph gets a look in which is sweet.

What did you like best about this story?

The humour, had me laugh out loud on occasion and giggle quite a bit.

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

Hard to say, the main character is very believable but I loved Joshua and Gwedeth's humour stole the show on occasion.

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

Mmmm there were a few but the scenes with Tom's Grandmother and when Michelle funds the Chair position were moving.

Any additional comments?

Was sad it finished! I'm wondering if a follow up could be as good - Wil Wheaton is my favourite Narrator after Rob Dirks (Where The Hell Is Tesla? - fab book)

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By Amazon Customer on 02-28-17

A great combo

On J S can combine aliens, animal love and the holocaust to make a great book.

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