Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby
Published by Vintage on March 31, 2020
Genres: Essays, Humour, Memoir, Non-Fiction
“Loving yourself is a full-time job with shitty benefits. I’m calling in sick.”
*ARC received by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first book I finished during self-isolation. And I’m glad I picked this one up because it lifted my spirits during this scary time.
Irby is back with a collection of essays that are smart, edgy, hilarious, and unabashedly raunchy. In Wow, No Thank You. Irby is turning forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin. She’s left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, she’s published successful books and is courted by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house that requires repairs.
She’s now living the bourgeois life of dreams. But that doesn’t mean Irby’s stopped drawing on the raw and hilarious particulars of her new life.
If you loved Irby’s work before, you’ll still find that she’s just as unflinching, riotous, and relatable.
Even if she is living the “high life” right now. This was one of those books where I was sad when I realized I reached the acknowledgements page.
I will say that there isn’t a thread connecting all of the stories together like her last collection. But I don’t think it made that big of a difference in the end.
It’s still a fascinating glimpse into her life. Irby has this wonderful writing style that makes you feel like you’re in conversation with her. It’s like she’s your best friend and you two are catching up over brunch (oh the days of going to restaurants and hanging out with people…).
It’s not just her writing style that makes you feel connected to her, it’s also the subject matter. I couldn’t necessarily relate to her rise as a TV writer, but I definitely understand her frustrations with the more mundane and simple things in life!
Even so, I really enjoyed learning about her as a writer on Shrill. While I haven’t seen the show yet, I did love the book that it’s based on by Lindy West.
Irby explained how she wanted to create a space for fat women on TV and I thought that was brilliant.
I do wish that she had expanded more about how adapting her own work for Hollywood has been difficult. But maybe she’s keeping her cards close to her chest because something is already in the works? I certainly hope so!
In this collection, the chapters that really hit me hard were “body negativity” and “hello, 911?” Especially the line below:
My brain is a prison, and anxiety is the warden.
Irby’s writing won’t be for everyone, but I still think it’s worth a trip because her style is so unique. Her voice shines through in every essay. And you’ll be shocked by how often her opinions about struggles in life match your own. Yes, even down to her complaints about food and people.