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BOOK REVIEW Year Zero by Rob Reid @Rob_Reid @DelReyBooks @randomhouse

Book Description

July 10, 2012

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.

About the Author
Rob Reid is the founder of, which created the Rhapsody service, the world’s largest seller of online music until it was eclipsed (rather badly, he’ll admit) by Apple’s iTunes service. He is the author of Year One, a memoir about student life at Harvard Business School, and Architects of the Web, a business history of the Internet. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Morgan.

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  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345534417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345534415



Earth sucks at almost everything....except music.  Now the universe wants to keep the music but get rid of Earth.....
Nick Carter, no, not the one from the Back Street Boys, but a low level lawyer working in a  entertainment law firm, gets a visit from a nun and a mullah.  Well, not exactly those for real, but  two extraterrestrial trying to blend in. Yeah, they got that wrong, so when Carly and Frampton, the two spacelings, pop into Nick's office to try and fix an issue with music copyright laws and the universe, things get a bit weird.  The major issue is that US copyright laws for music has bankrupted the universe because of the fines and fees for every person in the galaxy having downloaded every song in existence. The leader of the universe just plan to do away with Earth in order to avoid those fees and fines.  Nick must solve this issue or the world  will face imminent destruction and he will never get to date Manda, the hot,  indie girl down the hall. 

Also, hot on Nick's trail is an evil Parrot named Paulie (not Polly!), yes, but not really a parrot, just a disguise used by another alien in order to get to him.  I sincerely hope this is a reference to my beloved Monty Python.  Nick is also being surveyed and finds an unusual vacuum cleaner in his apartment as well as a unique gadget called a stereopticon that contains all known facts of the universe, kind of like a truly UNIVERSAL iPad.  The vacuum cleaner turns out to be a weapon made of metallicam, the heaviest known metal in the galaxy, that Paulie has plans to set off.  Just to spice things up a bit, Nick's boss, Judy (nicknamed Cruella) is breathing down his neck, as he tries to make partner in the firm.  So will Nick save the universe? Get the girl?  Make Partner?  Live to see another day? 

There are so many awesome one liners and fantastic characters in this story that will instantly be submersed and won't come up until you are finished.  I don't think I have read a book this outlandish and with pitch perfect humor since I read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  It has enough snarky dialogue to keep me happy forever.  Even though there is a lot going on in this book, each part makes up an awesome universe of wit and wisdom all while making fun of the music industry and lawyers, and well, parrots too!  When I first read the description of this book, I knew it was for me.  When I described this book to others, they demanded that I give it to them right then.  So I guess I know what everyone is getting this holiday season.  


  1. Always nice when you can finish those holiday decisions early! It sounds like a lot of fun, will keep it on the list for around here!

  2. If you like this style of writing, I would highly recommend The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I'd never read anything else quite like Douglas Adam's stuff before this book, but it's similar. I'll definitely be Year Zero to my to-read list, since I love everything by Adam's :)

  3. Hello there fellow book blogger! :) You have been award the Versatile Blogger Award and I couldn't think of anyone more awesome to receive it. :) I love your blog and your reviews and visit you often.


  4. Doing Dewey -- YES I have read that -- years ago. I mean years ago LOL!

    Thanks Between -- but I am so swamped, I don't get to passing the awards on. I barely get my winners posted these days.

    Julia -- Perfect Guy Book! My son just took it and he rarely reads fiction. The last fiction book he read was Harry Potter. I don't think books in college count.


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