Matthew's Reviews > Year Zero

Year Zero by Rob  Reid
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Aug 15, 12

Read from August 03 to 15, 2012

I can't imagine many people are going to read this book who aren't immediately excited by the plot summary in the book jacket; it's about an alien species contacting humans to let them know that the universe has been illegally pirating every earth song, and consequently earthlings are now owed all the wealth of every species of every planet.

There are a few reasons this book is a ton of fun:
1. it does a fantastic job at critiquing the absurdity of copyright law (in particular the use of copyright law in the music industry).
2. it is chock-full of nerd culture references. Plus, they're written in such a way where you never feel outside/excluded from the inside joke.
3. the humor is quirky and I was genuinely entertained from cover to cover. Some of the other reviewers were annoyed by comparisons to Hitchhiker's Guide but hasn't every quirky-nerdy-sci-fi book since Hitchhiker's been slapped with that label? It's how publishers sell books. I wasn't bothered by that marketing angle -- I was more nervous that my edition had a quote from Jon Stewart across the front (because even though I find The Daily Show funny, I've been burned more than a couple times when I read a book that is covered by quotes/reviews from comedians).

Also, maybe others really enjoyed the footnotes throughout the book but they didn't do much for me. Sure, they occasionally added a funny aside, but they also bogged down the experience (because you have to choose to pop your eyes down at the reference mark, or at the end of that paragraph. Then your eyes have to find the place you were at. It disrupts the flow). Maybe that's nit-picky but little things like that can impact the overall experience of reading the book. Overall, though, a really fun read. I recommend it.
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