Samantha Irby is a naughty, naughty girl. Therefore, I love her writing, even though it does make me squirm at times. The author’s latest book wow, no thank you is a new series of essays describing her more recent life, and she has the ability to make the most mundane event hilarious. Instead of repeating a description of her background, please read my review of her earlier book we are never meeting in real life.
As a black, bi-sexual author married to a white lady who brought two young children to the relationship, Irby has lots of material to draw from. She grew up in a poor area of Chicago and when she married in her late thirties she moved to what she refers to a rural area where people compost and take their kids to soccer practice. This is a radical departure from how Irby spent the early years of her life.
When I read her earlier book, I was blown away by Irby’s frankness, her willingness to share some of her most personal and not always pleasant experiences by telling her story with brilliant humour. Her latest book of essays follows the same lines with equal delight. I’ve bookmarked so many pages of her hilarious observations that I can see I’m going to have to read the book again and enjoy it all over again.
On being a wanna-be fashion and beauty icon: I buy a lot of face washes from targeted Instagram ads, but no one gives a shit about what I use probably because I have chin whiskers.
On real beauty icons: Just once, I want to read one of these profiles where a slender, shiny-toothed model is like, ‘Hey, bitch, I have psoriasis!’ while aggressively slathering T/Gel onto her roots.”
On glowing skin: I don’t drink water and my blood type is pizza, but my skin looks good from a distance, mostly because I put three different oils on it and occasionally rinse off my blush before bed.
On spending money on beauty products: I’m not cheap, and I love flushing money down the toilet, but nothing brings the “child, that’s just overpriced Vaseline” out of me quicker than the skincare counter at Saks.
Describing herself as a “high-functioning depressed and anxious person“, Irby dedicated her book to Wellbutrin. She’s obviously one of those creative types who has capitalized on her health and medical issues and turned them into a means of earning a living. I admire that. She raised herself up from being so poor she ran an extension cord from the hallway into her apartment because her electricity had been shut off. In her words: “This is an undervalued bit of creative genius.”
If you’re comfortable with the kind of humour written by Chelsea Handler, Amy Wong, and Amy Schumer, then you’ll love Samantha Irby’s wow, no thank you. I did and highly recommend her books—if you can handle the language and subject matter. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
If you are unable to obtain either of these books from your local bookstore or library, click on the image below to order from Amazon. Disclosure: You will receive Amazon’s best price and I may receive a teeny, tiny commission.