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Year Zero: A Novel by Rob Reid

Year Zero: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Rob Reid

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3603430,197 (3.57)15
Title:Year Zero: A Novel
Authors:Rob Reid
Info:Del Rey (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, novel

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Year Zero by Rob Reid


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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
I have had this book on my to be read this for a few years. I was excited to finally get around to reading it. I loved the hilarious concept behind it, but I thought the pacing started to drag a bit as the book continued.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. The narrator did an excellent job with emotion and having individual character voices for everyone.

In the year 1977 aliens discovered Earth music and found it was far superior to anything aliens had created (in fact it was literally mind-blowing because of how much better it was). Now aliens have been listening to Earth music for the last few decades...without paying any licensing fees. Given the amount aliens listening to Earth music that means that the universe and beyond are quite literally in Earth’s debt by an astronomical amount of money.

Enter Nick Carter, entry level music copyright lawyer (who is sometimes mistaken for a Backstreet Boy). Nick winds up with two aliens in his office one day demanding he figure out a way to nullify the Universe’s debt to Earth. It may not sound like a big deal, but some of the aliens are thinking the best solution to their debt problem is just to blow up Earth...or at least allow it to blow up itself. Suddenly Nick is put in the position have having to save humanity from the music loving aliens that are in debt to it.

This was a hilarious book that reminds a bit of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi or Armada by Peter Clines. The whole story is completely over the top, yet strangely plausible.

For the most part this is a fun and zany sci-fi novel that is entertaining and engaging. None of the characters are all that likable, but this is more of of plot driven story than anything...so that works pretty well for this book.

I do have a couple of complaints...mid-book things start to drag quite a bit and I found myself getting a bit bored with the story. Additionally some of the plot points are so completely over the top that they come across as just plain ludicrous rather than entertaining.

Overall this was a decent humorous sci-fi read. I enjoyed a lot of the humor and craziness and the strange power Earthling music has over the rest of the universe. The story did lag a bit in the middle and some parts were so over the top that they were more ludicrous than entertaining. I would recommend to those who enjoy John Scalzi’s books, Douglas Adams, and Peter Clines. ( )
  krau0098 | Nov 22, 2015 |
More comedy than sci-fi, in the style of Hitchhiker's Guide, that reads as a social commentary centered around lawyers and music rights/licensing. Enjoyable read overall. ( )
  Guide2 | May 14, 2015 |
Laugh-out-loud funny. It's been a while since a book elicited tears of laughter from me.
Reid skewers almost everybody from lawyers to unions; hipsters to politicians.
Gets a bit preachy about intellectual property rights through the middle, without much regard to the artist.
It has all the simple anti big-label arguments that say, "They brought it on themselves," and "It's only stealing if you get caught."

Still, I enjoyed the book so much that I bought it twice.
I started on Audible for a long drive and then picked up the Kindle version to finish up at home.
(I would feel silly listening to an audiobook at home. For some reason, it seems to make perfect sense in the car.)

We're clearly set up for a sequel. I look forward to it. ( )
  mpawloski | Dec 13, 2014 |
This is one of those books that I look back on and go "what did I just read?!?!"
It was a very fun book with the items that I have come to expect from sci-fi with humor that comes from looking back on the 70s & 80s!
If you love music, sci-fi or are just looking for an easy read that will entertain you it is all here. ( )
  gopfolk | Oct 22, 2014 |
At first this book seemed like a knock-off of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I am not at all a fan of, but as I got into it I realized that it is actually quite a bit more. Underneath the "quirky" "random" humor it is a pointed social satire about intellectual property issues in the digital age. Filled with pop culture references, it will probably feel incredibly dated in just a few years, but right now it is clever indeed. ( )
  juliehath | Oct 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
..a lot like if Carl Hiaasen wrote American Psycho, but about the music copyright business instead of a bloodthirsty psychopath—if there is any difference. At least one dust jacket review wants to draw comparisons with Douglas Adams. But this isn't the dry British humor of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it's the full-bore American smartass variety (though it does tend to meander like an Adams book).
added by WeeklyAlibi | editWeekly Alibi, John Bear (Aug 9, 2012)
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Aliens suck at music.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345534417, Hardcover)

An alien advance party was suddenly nosing around my planet.
Worse, they were lawyering up. . . .
In the hilarious tradition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Rob Reid takes you on a headlong journey through the outer reaches of the universe—and the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional music industry.
Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news.
The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity’s music ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything—and the aliens are not amused.
Nick Carter has just been tapped to clean up this mess before things get ugly, and he’s an unlikely galaxy-hopping hero: He’s scared of heights. He’s also about to be fired. And he happens to have the same name as a Backstreet Boy. But he does know a thing or two about copyright law. And he’s packing a couple of other pencil-pushing superpowers that could come in handy.
Soon he’s on the run from a sinister parrot and a highly combustible vacuum cleaner. With Carly and Frampton as his guides, Nick now has forty-eight hours to save humanity, while hopefully wowing the hot girl who lives down the hall from him.

“Hilarious, provocative, and supersmart, Year Zero is a brilliant novel to be enjoyed in perpetuity in the known universe and in all unknown universes yet to be discovered.”—John Hodgman, resident expert, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:21 -0400)

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After two aliens reveal that the whole universe is addicted to humanity's music, has committed gross copyright violations, and is murderously unhappy with the resulting fines and penalties, entertainment lawyer Nick Carter has forty-eight hours to save the planet.… (more)

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