• The President's Brain Is Missing

  • A Tor.Com Original
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 47 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (409 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The question is, how can you tell the President's brain is missing? And are we sure we need it back?

©2010 John Scalzi (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The President's Brain Is Missing

Average Customer Ratings
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Not my cup of tea (Kelly SAID)

Maybe this could have been ok (Stein SAID), but I just couldn't get passed the narration (Alex SAID). I thought the storyline was cute (Alex SAID), maybe it was just too short ( Stein SAID). BTW, (Kelly SAID), you'll understand this review better after you read this. If you can get through it...(kelly whispered)

34 people found this helpful

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Has its moments, but not Scalzi at his cleverest

I was hoping this story might have some of the conceptual inventiveness of the Locked In books, but no such luck. One imagines Scalzi coming up with the title as a play on the novel/film "The President's Plane Is Missing", and then whipping up a plot just to fit the title. It's moderately entertaining and worth the low price of admission, but unless you're a reader who just plain needs to read everything John Scalzi publishes, you won't be missing anything by passing it by. It doesn't help that the narrator doesn't handle the dialogue tags at all well.

14 people found this helpful

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Said, Said, Said, Said, Said, Said, Said, Said!

I've listened to quite a few Scalzi books, and his Interdependency series is one of my favorite book series so far. So, why, please tell me why, he ended every single sentence with "he said" "she said" or "NAME said"
This was a 47 minute novella that took me several hours to finish. I had to keep taking breaks because all the times he used the word "said." It was grating. All that being said, it was a decent enough story, if you're ok with hearing "said" said over 9000 times in 47 minutes. The narrator did a pretty good job. Now, I still haven't said "said" in my title or review nearly as many times as Scalzi said "said" in one chapter of this book.

12 people found this helpful

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Neat but badly recorded sci-fi puzzle

The President's Brain has gone missing! It hasn't had any effect on his behavior (ha-ha), but it's still pretty disturbing. What happened to the brain? Who took it, and why? What do they hope to gain?

It turns out there IS a good, logical, and unexpected explanation for why the President's head is so hollow he can't go underwater while swimming. But it's a bit difficult to get to. Not due to the writing, which isn't exactly BAD (though Scalzi doesn't have his usual space to explore and develop ideas. The problem is the recording. The sound quality is garbage, and there are weird background sounds that keep interrupting things.

7 people found this helpful

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Scalvzi for a Dollar

You get one short story with a couple of really interesting ideas in it, all for a little more than a dollar. What's not to like?

3 people found this helpful

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not what you think

Published in 2017, the story isn't what you expect from the title. So just stop thinking that.
Instead it's kind of a clever what-if, which is what all good science-fiction should be.

3 people found this helpful

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Dreadful

John Scalzi? As in Scalzi of Redshirts? Lock In? Agents to the Stars? Old Man's War? I guess there must be more than one author called John Scalzi because I can't imagine *that* John Scalzi* wrote drivel like this. There was nothing gripping, exciting, funny here. Even the basic idea was "what? seriously?", it just made zero sense. To make things worse, most of the book is dialog, and after a million "blabla. Jim said", "blabla. Jane said", you can't help but want to smash your car player next time the narrator says "...said".

3 people found this helpful

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Alex Said. Jefferson Said. OMFG!

I am a big John Scalzi fan but wow this is an unlistenable nightmare you can't wake yourself up from. The insane amount of times the narrator says the word "Said" is unbearable. At first you'll start to notice it, then it will occur so often in rapid fire that like me you'll prob assume it has to be a joke. Maybe you'll do better than I did and actually find out if that's the case, but I just could not make it more than ten minutes into this "book". I am leaving this review as a warning. Beware all that ignore it, you are sure to be irritated beyond all reasonable limits.

2 people found this helpful

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Narrator is too distracting for me to finish

I love John Scalzi and I was really excited to listen to this book. But the way the narrator pronounced “he said” is so weird and distracting I can’t listen to the book at all!

What a shame!

2 people found this helpful

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Funny, but not his best work

This is a very short, tongue-in-cheek, Sci Fi novella. I did laugh at a few lines. At 47 minutes it is not a major commitment. Perhaps poking a little fun at US politics.

The narration was excellent and fit the story quite well.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 08-29-19

awful narration "he said"

Narrator sounds like a robot every time he says "he said" /"she said"/"X said". this happens at the end of almost every sentence making this impossible to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lucy
  • 07-16-20

JOHN said, ALEX said

arghhh,!I like John Scalzi and his story telling, but this was utterly infuriating! The only way they've denoted that words are coming from a person is with so-and-so said, and for some reason, really emphasising their name. I had to listen to this very short story in two parts, I was so annoyed by it, and I nearly lost my mind by the end (no pun intended).
I think John Scalzi's work developed further after this was written, and I certainly prefer his more recent writing, which has considerably better dialogue in.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-18-21

Acceptable if not for the god awful performance

"Jefferson said", "he said", "he asked" Gahhhh!

I know Scalzi is known for this but it never bothers me in any other book/audio book. It's only about 40 minutes, instead of several hours like most others, but I really struggled to get through it! It was almost as if Mr Ochlan was emphasising "he said" more than the actual dialogue! Painful.

I normally like his performances, but this was truly awful (sorry dude). Get Wil Wheaton to re-record and I'm sure it'll be awesome ;)

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  • Call me Bob
  • 01-21-21

Short and fun, not worth money.

Got is for 1 credit, will return it.
It was refreshing, nice story, think the title is more attention grabbing in this period.
Should be part of short stories anthology.

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  • AudiobookDevotee
  • 10-23-20

Decent

Short story, it's quite fun but nothing special. Probably not worth a whole audible credit.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 06-10-20

A good man but an hypochondriac.

Short, snappy in the usual stripped back Scalzi style, The President's Brain is Missing is a fun read but not one of his best. The humour is there; so too, is the repetitive 'he said', 'they said ', 'someone else said', which is fine written on a page but can be intrusive read aloud.

P.J.Ochlan performs well as the narrator and the concept is a good one: the idea of the President finding it odd that he was unable to duck his head under water when having his morning swim, and feeling 'lightheaded' in the shower is delicious.
John Scalzi never really disappoints, and this was fun

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  • Elmamaria
  • 12-30-19

Excellent fun!

A short sly funny story... absolutely plausible 😜 the narration is spot on. Have a listen 👍

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  • RayNorris
  • 09-16-19

Great title. Plot could have been better

I was fascinated by the title. That was the best bit. The plot was a bit silly and lacked depth. The performance was very poor. The narrator stressed “x said” more than the content of what they said, making it hard to focus on the content.