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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I saw Simon Rich at a NY reading and was in tears laughing when Michael Ian Black read the Cave Boy love story. Bought the book and have been equally entertained by the other stories. Impressive range of styles;very creative... solid, witty, and sincere.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is simple and overall entertaining, but misses the mark on about half of the stories. Some were VERY funny - I really enjoyed the missed dog connections, the condom story, and "I love Girl" to name a few. There were several that were really just sad and not even in a darkly funny way. "I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus" started with dark humor and ended with simple and depressing bitterness.

Good for some tastes maybe, but not one I'll re-read cover to cover. That being said - I will probably recommend for friends to borrow and read the few that were great,but will not suggest that they purchase the book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I think perhaps this book was a little overhyped. If I came to it with no expectations I might have rated it higher. I found a lot of the stories a little bit shallow or facile. But it was clever and funny and well written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Lots of good ideas in here, the kind of things that make a writer say "I wish I'd thought of that!"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The condom in the wallet was hilarious. Loved the tough talking metro card. Some not so funny, some Into farcical fantasy. Good for a laugh.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
You may have heard of Simon Rich -- he's a writer for Saturday Night Live (second youngest one ever), and he also frequently writes the Shouts & Murmurs column for The New Yorker. Hell, his Wikipedia page even calls him an "American humorist." Basically, his comedy credentials are well-established, even though dude's not even 30 yet.

In this collection of very short stories, Rich's goofiness is on full display. These 30 stories, each between one and five pages, are about the quirky, often absurd, nature of relationships. Generally, Rich starts with a stereotype or a simple kernel of assumed truth, and riffs it into an entire story. For instance, my favorite story in the collection "Magical Mr. Goat" is about what would happen if a child's "invisible" friend became real and started making uncomfortable advances. When the child fends him off, telling him they should just be friends, and that he'll find someone, the goat exclaims, "That's not true ... You're the only one who can even see me!" THAT's comedy!

Or, another story titled "Sirens of Gowanus" makes fun of dudes who overlook any red flags in a woman when she slows the slightest interest in him. In this case, the woman is a siren who will lure him to her island in the Gowanus Canal, and probably eat him. It had happened before. "You can't judge someone by their past relationships," the guy argues to his buddy. "Like okay, she killed Stanley. But how do you know what was going on between them? You weren't there."

"Center of the Universe" is about God dating a needy woman, who doesn't understand why he can't take time from his job of creating the world to spend more time with her. Yeah, some of these stories may annoy you.

The title story is about one of the last women on Earth, who is in a committed relationship, and who refuses to acknowledge that the President and Brad Pitt requesting "meetings" with her is not because they want to bed her, but only because she's smart and engaging. And she still becomes jealous of one of the other last women on Earth when she thinks the other woman hits on her boyfriend. Really funny!

There are a few duds -- stories in which the cornerstone idea may have just been better as an idea, not a whole story. Rich riffs off the idea that your exgirlfriend's next boyfriend is always evil -- and builds a story about a guy's exgirlfriend dating Hitler. Another story in a similar vein has a guy using a secret government invisibility serum -- and he's supposed to be finding a terrorist, but instead the guy uses his invisibility to stalk his exgirlfriend while she's on a date.

Overall, though, I'd definitely recommend these -- I read them over the course of three weeks or so, just a few here and there. They definitely don't require much mental bandwidth, and for the most part, they're clever, funny, and insightful. You'll definitely do a few "knowing nods," a few chuckles, and a few outright laughs out loud.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I loved the short stories in this book, great when you need a quick read prior to going to bed. Definitely recommended.
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Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
For starters, there's the one whose narrator, believing himself to be a balloon, leaves the factory to move to a drugstore where he comes into the possession of a young boy who carries him in his wallet for a good many years until at last a girl enters the picture and his/its "moment" comes...or does it? And then there's the one that looks into how the game of love would work if its players were subject to being traded, like the pros. And one about God's girlfriend and the role she played in what He did on "the seventh day." And one about the therapist who referred clients to a $40,000-per-visit "girlfriend repair shop." And then there's a story about the Mommy who slept with Santa Claus. And one about what happens when The Invisible Man encounters his girlfriend's new boyfriend. And a story about the guy who started the Occupy movement, who decides to employ that strategy to get the woman he idolizes to go out with him. And the one that delves into that scariest of all days, the day when one's girlfriend demands to know where the relationship is going. Plus 22 more weirdly wild and crazy imaginings from the mind of a twenty-something former Saturday Night Live staff writer, New Yorker contributor and son of former New York Times columnist Frank Rich. If you're looking for witty and wacky short-short stories that raise eyebrows and induce sly smiles of recognition, this collection could be just the thing.
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on September 12, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is not your traditional book of short love stories. Is there a traditional one of those? I don’t know, but this definitely isn’t it.

Simon Rich is a very funny man. I was first introduced to his writing through Elliot Allagash, his first novel, back in 2010. I did a lot of giggling. So when I saw this collection of short stories on the shelf, I wanted to give it a go.

I tend to like a short story collection, which I know not everyone does. I generally prefer to space out my consumption of the stories -- I have trouble staying engaged reading an entire book of short stories at once. For The Last Girlfriend on Earth, though, this was not the case. Some stories are as short as a page and a half, others are somewhat longer, but each is a quick read that will have you wanting to move right on to the next.

The stories are broken into three thematic segments; Boy Meets Girl, Boy Gets Girl, and Boy Loses Girl. Classic tales of love and heartbreak, you might be thinking. But you are incorrect, dear friend. Rich’s plots and characters vary wildly, from the “girl” in question being your basic under-the-bridge troll (think: short, hairy, speaks in grunts) to the “boy” being Hitler, now aged 124, wheel-chair ridden, and hitting the party scene with his new gal in New York. It’s all really very silly, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
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on November 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Imagine if your ex-girlfriend started dating Hitler: you'd be forever known as the guy who was dumped in favour of an incredibly aged mass-murderer with a fondness for watercolours. Bumping into the two of them at parties would totally suck. It would be every bit as awkward as realising that your girlfriend was the last woman on Earth and that you were going to have to spend the rest of your life pretending to be cool with all the attention that she was getting from other guys. It would arguably even be as awkward as realising that you weren't actually a balloon but were in fact an entirely different kind of latex creation.

In The Last Girlfriend on Earth, Simon Rich brings all of these situations and many more to life in hilarious detail. It's the kind of short story collection where it's impossible to read just one story at a time: there's always another tale of love gone zanily awry waiting to grab your attention. Rich has crafted thirty-odd delightful vignettes that explore the thoroughly peculiar results that love can have in a person's life. Whether it's falling in love, being in love or losing love, Rich will manage to see the funny side. The Last Girlfriend on Earth is an excellent collection of bitingly humorous tales of passion, love and loss that should bring cheer to even the hardest heart.
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