Monday, September 26, 2011

Agent to the Stars - by John Scalzi

Thanks to a great sale at Audible, a service that I endorse to all commuters on a level that should earn me a kickback or two from said service, I picked up a copy of John Scalzi's Agent to the stars, read to me by Wil Wheaton, an actor best known for his work on a program titled Star Trek: The Next Generation.

He played the charming, be-sweatered young man known to all as Wesley Crusher.

I suppose that since it has been eighteen years since Mr. Wheaton portrayed this character, it might be unfair to reference it willy-nilly, but that picture makes me feel superior to Wil, even with my professional acting experience being limited to a bastardized Christmas Carol/Cirque du Soliel mash-up as Scrooge's nephew and the star of the comedy pre-show. I had to do many things that one might consider embarrassing, but I never had to wear the above costume.

The book!

Agent to the Stars follows the life of a mid-level Hollywood agent who has just been given the client of a lifetime, an entire alien race. In their study of humanity, this race of gelatinous beings who communicate by what amounts to farting at one another have realized they need help being spun in a positive light before making first contact. It falls on the shoulders of this agent to discover a way, in secret, to introduce humanity to aliens while his clients go crazy and a tabloid reported tries to sink his career.

Here's the part where I retract my previous low-blow to Mr. Wheaton and replace it with a "bravo, sir".

He did a fantastic job reading as the various characters and was a contributing factor in the breaking of my "save it for the commute" rule for audio books.

I'm a big fan of Mr. Scalzi, particularly Old Man's War and its companion novels. This book was a departure for what I would consider "Scalzi Proper", but it was still a lot of fun.

If you have read Scalzi before, and are looking for a quick and easy read that will make you chuckle, you should give Agent to the Stars a read/listen.

If you have never read any Scalzi, read Old Man's War.

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