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Publisher's Summary

"[A] definitive work of millennial literature...wretchedly riveting." (Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker)

Girls Office Space + My Year of Rest and Relaxation + anxious sweating = The New Me.” (Entertainment Weekly

I'm still trying to make the dream possible: still might finish my cleaning project, still might sign up for that yoga class, still might, still might. I step into the shower and almost faint, an image of taking the day by the throat and bashing its head against the wall floating in my mind.

Thirty-year-old Millie just can't pull it together. She spends her days working a thankless temp job and her nights alone in her apartment, fixating on all the ways she might change her situation - her job, her attitude, her appearance, her life. Then she watches TV until she falls asleep, and the cycle begins again.

When the possibility of a full-time job offer arises, it seems to bring the better life she's envisioning within reach. But with it also comes the paralyzing realization, lurking just beneath the surface, of how hollow that vision has become. 

"Masterfully cringe-inducing" (Chicago Tribune), The New Me is the must-listen new novel by National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree and Granta Best Young American novelist Halle Butler. 

Named a Best Book of the Decade by Vox, and a Best Book of 2019 by Vanity Fair, Vulture, Chicago Tribune, Mashable, Bustle, and NPR

©2019 Halle Butler (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Wake up, look in the mirror, swear it will all be different today. Sound familiar? Here's that feeling in novel form: Meet Millie, a 30-year-old flailing around in dissatisfaction. A job offer seems to promise reinvention - but, sadly, easy transformations are for caterpillars, not lonely, anxiety-ridden women.” (Elle)

“Masterfully cringe-inducing and unsparingly critical, The New Me...[makes] the reader squirm and laugh out loud simultaneously...Butler’s] wit and insight keep the pages turning.” (Chicago Tribune

“A dark comedy of female rage. Halle Butler is a first-rate satirist of the horror show being sold to us as Modern Femininity. She is Thomas Bernhard in a bad mood, showing us the futility of betterment in an increasingly paranoid era of self-improvement. Hilarious.” (Catherine Lacey, author of Nobody Is Ever Missing and The Answers

“A bleak and brutal book that exposes a nearly unbearable futility to life in the workforce, not to mention life outside it. Butler’s vision is funny and raw and dark - a cautionary tale, hilarious and intimate, against growing up and making do.” (Ben Marcus, author of The Flame Alphabet)

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What listeners say about The New Me

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Might have been an ok read...

..but not a great audiobook. The author/narrator's vocal fray is annoying to point of being distracting and at time teeters on infuriating. I don't know if that's just her voice or if she's doing it on purpose to really hit home how banal the characters are. The story itself isn't really worth the slog so far. I still have about half of it left to get through but wanted to post this review as a warning to anyone considering getting this audiobook - definitely preview before purchasing.

4 people found this helpful

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Boring

I thought this would be funny and insightful which it may be for some people. But I found it boring and I couldn’t get past chapter 12 I think? Maybe I’ll finish it. But honestly kinda depressing and messed with my mental lol

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A flawless book

The New Me is a treasure of a book. It’s short but very impactful and gives you exactly what you want from a good book. It’s about a girl who is struggling to make it in the world. And you’re in her head in an unrelenting way, a barrage of experiences and thoughts, a lot of which are negative, which for me is relatable. The crux of the book is this character accepting her struggles, while wanting to become a new person, hence the title. It’s a joyous ride through comical hardships.

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About absolutely nothing with bad narration

The narrator was impossible to listen to. I tried for 2 hours but her voice and vocal fray was giving me a headache. It honestly sounded fake, like an SNL impression of a millennial teenager. Very odd.

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About nothing really but still addictive somehow!

First of all, the narration by the author may annoy some people as it is quite monotone, but persevere if you can. It gives a perfect insight into the character and I read in an interview that Butler actually started this book for voice performing. I couldn't get past the first little while of her other book Jillian, but there is something simultaneously revolting and engaging about the character who leads this story. She's desperate, lonely and bored but realistically aren't we all sometimes? There is a brutal honesty in the writing that is refreshing and I couldn't stop listening. Will be well suited to young women listeners I think. Lots there to connect with.

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Wonderfully depressing

As soon as I heard the narrator authors’s voice, I wanted to return this book. After giving it 5 minutes, I thought she was perfect. I already am listening to her other book.

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Great writing, short story

This book is full of opportune quips, providing the main character with a lot of sharp personality. The story is relatively short in scope, but it's a (dark) funny journey with one girl's temp jobs. I'm sure many listeners would wonder what the point is if they don't enjoy snarky analysis of office politics. I just wish the story was a little longer and had a little more plot to it, but I don't think that was the author's aim. Well written.

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Succinct description of quite desperation

Very powerful and sublime description of current emptiness and quiet desperation all too common today.

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Narration by author is great

This book was 100% more hilarious read by the author who has the perfect sardonic millennial tone.

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Left me feeling like there should have been more.

The story is great and relatable, but ends so abruptly leaving the reader with several questions. Why focus on the secondary character POVs only to have their plot threads discarded halfway through? How did the narrator find resolution in the end? It just all felt so random and unfinished, like it was a draft of a novel. Listen to this if love irreverent fiction, but understand that it doesn't feel like you're getting a full story with much development.