Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Last Girlfriend on Earth and Other Love Stories

This is the most FUN book you will read all year. In whatever year you decide to pick it up. I'm that confident about it. And if you don't like short stories, suck it up! It's worth it! And these are not run-of-the-mill shorts. 

Oh my God, where to start with this to keep it from sounding like a train wreck? Because it is NOT a train wreck!


Simon Rich has produced an extremely odd collection of short short stories. They're all extremely short--in the neighborhood of 5ish pages, maybe? I'm not actually counting because I'm not really a "numbers person," but they are REALLY short. 


Simon Rich started his career as a writer for SNL (don't run screaming yet!) and now he is a writer for Pixar. He's a young guy, and these stories are smart, hip, not too self-aware, and totally snarky and satirical. They take the troubles men and women navigate in relationships and blow them up to ridiculous and hilarious proportions. 


For example, in the story, "Occupy Jen's Street" a young college guy feels like he's gone to the end of the Earth and back to impress and woo a girl he likes. She doesn't really give him the time of day, and in a take-off of Occupy Wall Street, he occupies Jen's street. It's clever and funny, and by the time it all winds down, poignant. 


One of my favorite stories was the very first story in the collection, "Unprotected." An unused condom rides around in a young man's wallet for years. The condom details his relationships with ID cards and slips of paper that come and go from the wallet. In addition to his hopes and aspirations. He's a reservist condom -- no active duty for him. The way he's "retired" was sweet and sentimental. Something I did not expect from a story narrated by a prophylactic. 


The book is split into three sections: Boy Meets Girl, Boy Gets Girl, Boy Loses Girl. So we have the varying stages of relationships and all the jacked up problems that could possibly happen made wonky and ridiculous and awesome by the deft hand of Simon Rich. 


I don't read many overtly funny books, and I don't really seek them out because I'd rather be battered about the heart by an author's writing than made to giggle. But I am so glad I gave this one a shot. I didn't really know much about it, and I was absolutely thrilled with it. So clever. If you need a solid slump buster, go ahead and add this one to your arsenal. It'll come in handy. I actually found myself laying it aside to make it last longer. 


If you're not convinced, hear what Josh from Brews and Books and The Bookrageous Podcast had to say about this one. 


Pub. Date: January 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Format: E-book
ISBN: 9780316219396
Source: ARC gifted from a friend


This video review is actually The Last Girlfriend on Earth and a sneak peek at my thoughts on Simon Van Booy's The Illusion of Separateness





28 comments:

  1. How long is the collection overall if each story is so short? Seems like it could get tiresome pretty fast... (though obviously it didn't for you!)

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    1. It's about 200 pages, but the actual size of the book is smaller than a trade paperback. It's far shorter. The type is also large-ish, so it's a very quick read. I didn't find them tedious at all given this format. :D

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  2. I love the cover, and what a cute story with the guy who occupied the girl's street! I'm not a fan of love stories, but it sounds like this has enough wittiness to hold me over.

    -Rebecca @ Love at First Book

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    1. The "love story" part is definitely to be taken with a grain of salt. They're lovely and witty and ridiculous and sarcastic and really contemporary and hilarious. Definitely worth a try. These aren't your mom's love stories. ;)

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  3. I loved this book and was just recommending it to people the other day. I can't figure out why the book hasn't gotten more attention.

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    1. Yay! Heather just finished it too and really liked it. I wish it was getting more coverage and attention. Let's see if we can spread the word a bit further. lol

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  4. This sounds like such a great collection! I could use a good laugh too. I'm always reading such heavy stuff. I'm going to put this on my wish list right this minute, thanks Andi!

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    1. Woohoo! It's awesome. Hope you lurv it!

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  5. I would never pick this up on my own, but it sounds awesome :)

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    1. Do it! Do it! lol I probably wouldn't have picked it up if it hadn't stumbled into my house.

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  6. Wonderful review! You've convinced me and now another book has been added to the never ending TBR.

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    1. Saweet! We share a brain a lot of the time, and I think you'll love it, Brooke!

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  7. Bwahahhahaa! You had me at prophylactic. I need to look this up!

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    1. Yayyy! I knew that would get SOMEONE.

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  8. I was interested after hearing Josh talk about it when I listened to Bookrageous, but after several other people suggested it (and now you!), I think I'm finally convinced!

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    1. Do it! I think it's right up your twisted alley.

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  9. I'm not much of a short story reader but I'm definitely going to try this one. Sounds like a fun book!

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    1. It's definitely worth it!

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  10. You got me at 'fun' then, the sinker came with 'short'. I love reading short-stories (or anthologies) when I feel like just reading a few pages, but to get full satisfaction from those pages.

    Thanks for the recommendation Andi!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. LOL, this is a perfect one to dip in and out of, though I bet you'll get sucked in.

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  11. I shy away from short stories but these sound really good. I'll have to add it to my never ending list of books I want to read ;-)

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    1. LOL, I hope you run across a sale copy somewhere to move things along. I know I only picked it up by accident.

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  12. I just need to step away from your blog today... LOL

    I love short stories but I'm not usually into the love story thing. But, I did LOVE E&P. And this sounds like it's very cleverly done.

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    1. Definitely not your usual love stories. Very clever indeed!

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  13. Way late, but this sounds like a lot of fun! "not too self-aware, and totally snarky and satirical" sounds fantastic, and the occupy story sounds great! And the sections also sound great! Hopefully I can pick this up sometime!

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  14. I've actually been actively looking for short story collections that rock. This one is going to be added to my TBR list NOW. Thanks for the awesome recommendation.

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