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Year Zero

A Novel
Reid, Robert (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Year Zero
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 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
Authors: Reid, Robert, 1965-
Title: Year zero
a novel
Publisher: New York : Del Rey Ballantine Books, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xii, 357 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780345534415
0345534417
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Statement of Responsibility: Rob Reid
Subject Headings: Extraterrestrial beings Fiction
Genre/Form: Science fiction
Humorous stories
Topical Term: Extraterrestrial beings
LCCN: 2012010001
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Sep 29, 2013
  • micahkolding rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

This book starts out with a reasonably clever hook, and then spends the rest of its pages utterly refusing to admit that there's just not much to it. Roughly a third of the book is devoted to explaining away obvious plot holes, another third is devoted to building an only-mildly-interesting universe, and the last third is interminable foot notes. Unfortunately, all of the aliens and sci-fi and attempts at humor that the book throws at us simply cannot disguise the fact that this is little more than a dry legal battle and a tirade about how the music industry is screwy. Plot points are brought up and cast aside; tension is introduced and quickly thwarted; eventually it feels like every other line is "At least we bought ourselves some time" until the unstimulated reader simply cannot care anymore. A note to the author: readers don't want to watch people "buying time" over and over again. They want to see problems and results, so that it doesn't feel like the bought time is being so bought at their expense.

Jun 18, 2013
  • ayub rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A very good book well written and surprisingly very funny

...AND the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional LEGAL industry.

Description in review make it sound like a very funny book. Good cover illustration!

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