Samantha Irby does not hold back. If you are squeamish about TMI, this book is not for you. The writer, best known for her blog Bitches Gotta Eat, tells it all, bodily fluids and sexual details included. The essays in her second collection of personal essays after Meaty, range from silly to serious, sometimes in the same essay. On the surface the essays are about a snarky, grumpy, wannabe hermit, who prefers the company of her favorite TV shows to that of people. It clearly becomes apparent though, that she is the hard shell with a soft heart type. This is best exemplified, in her adoption of a vicious and sick stray kitten from the animal hospital she works at. Despite calling the cat a “pig demon from hell”, she clearly loves that cat.
Her candidness takes a moment to get used to, but provides a lot of laugh out loud moments. She is unapologetic about perceived bad choices, such as an unhealthy diet and love of fast food and TV. She talks about her difficult upbringing with an abusive father and an ill mother, as well as health issues such as Crohn’s disease and depression with the same humorous vigour of her imagined The Bachelorette application. The essays have an easy flow to them, which goes to show, what a skilled writer Irby is. I am looking forward to collection number three.
Published in January 2019 by Faber & Faber, 275 pages
Review copy kindly provided by the publisher