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Big Time  By  cover art

Big Time

By: Jen Spyra, Stephen Colbert - foreword
Narrated by: Jen Spyra, Stephen Colbert, Dan Stevens, Lauren Lapkus, Matt Rogers, Thomas Whittington
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Publisher's summary

The debut collection of raucous, dark, strange, satirical stories from the former Late Show with Stephen Colbert writer and New Yorker contributor, featuring a foreword by Stephen Colbert.

“Jen Spyra’s stories are shocking, silly, smart, and absurdly funny. Underline both those words, I don’t care how much it costs!” (Tina Fey)

A bride so desperate to get in shape for her wedding that she enrolls in a new kind of workout program that promises the moon but costs more than she bargained for. A snowman who, on the wish of a child, comes to life in a decidedly less savory way than in the childhood classic. And in the title story, a time-hopping 1940s starlet tries to claw her way to the top in modern-day Hollywood, despite being ridiculously unwoke.

In this uproarious, addictive debut, Jen Spyra takes a culture that seems almost beyond parody and holds it up to a funhouse mirror, immersing the listener in a world of prehistoric influencers, woodland creatures plagued by millennial neuroses, and an all-out birthday bash determined to be the most lavish celebration of all time, by any means necessary.

Welcome, brave soul, to the world of Jen Spyra.

©2021 Jen Spyra (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“Jen Spyra is like a hotel bed: at first glance tidy and cheerful, but shine a black light on that thing and—dear god! This book confirms what I’ve known about Jen since her first days at The Late Show: she’s delightful and disturbing, and she really makes me laugh.”—Stephen Colbert

“This absurdist genre-mash romp of a story collection dials its modern subjects . . . up to 11, and then blows up the amp.”—Vanity Fair

“Spyra goes beyond the parody as she cleverly takes on topics from Hollywood and woke culture to white women, the wedding industrial complex and influencer culture.”The Hollywood Reporter

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Hilarious, absurd, curiously inspiring

While these stories are at first hilarious and absurd, with multiple laugh out loud and cringeworthy moments, they are also curiously inspiring. Some of the recurring themes actually feel relatable in their extreme, some of the characters, in their idiotic and piteous situations, are paradoxically heroes. What is life if not a vacation gone wrong where can only survive by maiming or enslaving ourselves and others? What is there to live for if not delicious cupcakes? In its ridiculousness, these stories provide a safe approach to some of the most sensitive aspects of the human condition. Loved the vocal performances, the various acts were the icing on the top of this cake, except so sweet it hurts your teeth.

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Big Time Laughs!

This book is so funny that after reading it with my ears, I’m also going to read it with my eyes!

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  • KB
  • 01-04-24

meh

I didn't really have any expectations going into this, but it was pretty dark and bizarre. I didn't like the story Big Time much, it was probably the least funny as well as the most vulgar and offensive. A few of the others had a couple jokes funny enough to make me laugh out loud, but overall the jokes were pretty weak. A bit like amateur night at a comedy club where you can tell the comedian is trying hard and you really want to be supportive, so you fake some titters.

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Fun fun fun!

Highly recommend. It’s hard to put to words. Just funny and so smart. Recommend the audio.

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sarcastic, bitingly funny

The author's narration as Ruby Red is worth the price of admission alone. Strongly recommend!

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clever, fresh, insightful, funny!

Loved this collection of short stories! Each story is an absurd but smart lens to look at pop culture through. Each reader’s performance was so good and perfect for the story they told. And as over the top silly as the stories get, you find yourself surprised to be invested in the characters you found ridiculous seconds ago. The variety of stories made it feel fresh the whole way through but the stories also felt like they belonged. It’s rare for short story collections to have a thread that is the right balance of strong and subtle. Totally nailed it. Fun, enjoyable, and thought-provoking read.

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REALLY Good.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. I hadn't heard of Jen Spyra but this was pretty darn enjoyable. 9/10.

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    5 out of 5 stars

This book is like music to me in any medium!

I love it! It feels like my dreams while I was cosplaying Han Solo frozen in carbonite! Thank you Jen Spyra for writing this book! Thank you so much!!!

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