An essay collection about living life from the eyes of the funniest person alive. Objectively.
I started reading this book the literal second it was in my hands. I was on page 34 by the time I got home. Not to mention, in order to obtain the book, I woke up at 7am on a Saturday to see Samantha Irby speak on a panel at Printer's Row Lit Fest in Chicago. (She was in good company with Saachi Koul and Jenny Allen. BUT STILL.) Basically? I love Samantha Irby and the books she has written because they are so honest and ridiculous and courageous and goddamn hilarious. You laugh straight from the dedication (to Klonopin, in this collection) to the acknowledgments (which praise her team & loved ones with caps lock and vaguely inappropriate story telling).
Have you picked up the book yet? No? Okay I'll keep talking.
We Are Never Meeting In Real Life tackles topics both serious and mundane but handles each with snark and a healthy scoop of disdain. The same can be said of Meaty (which I also reviewed, linked here) but it is interesting to see how Irby has progressed in life between the two books. The editing has much improved (sorry Curbside, I love you) which is a bit of a metaphor for Irby's comeuppance in the world since her first 2013 pub date.
Additionally and much more importantly, the subject matter has shifted dramatically between her two collections. In Meaty, the focus was on men and how tragic they are as creatures. This new one discusses settling down, her relationship with her wife, and being "boring." This is something I can appreciate, because it seems to follow the natural cycling of life.
To wrap this up, here's what you need to know. Irby makes fun of herself as a career (re: her blog bitchesgottaeat.com) and it makes for great essay fodder. She also has the ability to say obscene and radical things while still achieving a laugh. For instance, she often references her cat's "moist butthole," and speculates where it may be rubbing it and she uses "snot-nosed little tax deduction" as a synonymn for "child." The woman is hilarious. But she also hits on some subjects that aren't quite so easy to graze over with jokes, not least of which are her deceased parents and saying "fuck it bitch, stay fat." (Her words, not mine.) You can read this book in one day and, in fact, I highly recommend you do.
PUBLICATION DETAILS: Vintage, 9781101912195, 288pp, 05/30/2017. Non-fiction -> Essay Collection. Humor.