I finished reading Year Zero over the weekend. I really enjoyed it. Too bad the book doesn't come out until July. The ending could be tightened up a bit but that's pretty minor. The book is extremely funny and trenchant as it stands.
Here's the review of the book that I put up at Goodreads...
This is a wry and funny book. Rob Reid was able to take all his bad experiences with lawyers, music industry executives, and the entertainment industry in general and distill them into this intelligent and amusing satire.
I'm sure this novel was a therapeutic way to deal with the emotional backlash of spending over a decade dealing with the legal side of the entertainment industry during his time at Listen.com, Rhapsody, and RealNetworks.
If you take this novel as a soapbox, Reid can be seen as illuminating the goings on that happen behind the scenes in the music industry. His main character, a journeyman Entertainment Industry lawyer named Nick Carter (but no, he's not the guy from the Backstreet Boys) is singled out to be the contact person by some aliens who profess to want to save the Earth from destruction.
Sure, this reminds one of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy---it's supposed to. Reid even has a piece of dialog ("...or barge in with a bulldozer") that gives homage to Douglas Adams when Nick Carter is citing law to an alien that bears a striking resemblance to a vacuum cleaner. Don't ask.
And don't think that the reference to Doug Adams is all by itself. Much of the fun of this book comes from the numerous references, some obvious and many subtle, that are peppered all through this book. Reid has an ability to skewer pop culture in a very funny, readable, and endearing way. I'll remember this book with relish for a long time. One thing is for sure, Reid isn't a fan of Microsoft.
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