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Interview: Samantha Irby shares her knowledge on the perfect toast and discusses her new collection of essays with Audible Editor Rachel

Our New Battle Cry is Samantha Irby’s ''Wow, No Thank You''
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  • Wow, No Thank You.
  • Our New Battle Cry is Samantha Irby’s ''Wow, No Thank You''

Publisher's Summary

A new rip-roaring essay collection from the smart, edgy, hilarious, unabashedly raunchy, and best-selling Samantha Irby.

Irby is 40, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. She goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with "TV executives slash amateur astrologers" while being a "cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person," "with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees," who still hides past due bills under her pillow. 

The essays in this collection draw on the raw, hilarious particulars of Irby's new life. Wow, No Thank You is Irby at her most unflinching, riotous, and relatable. 

©2020 Samantha Irby (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Samantha Irby is stay-up-all-night, miss-your-subway-stop, spit-out-your-beverage funny; she’s the king of sparkling misanthropy and tender, loving dread. I await her books like I await the sweet release of sleep each evening. As always, Irby’s writing is as irresistible as a snack tray, as intimately pleasurable as an Irish goodbye." (Jia Tolentino)

"The only writer who can make me laugh with abandon in public, Samantha Irby follows her breakout collection We Are Never Meeting in Real Life with high-speed treatises on everything from relentless menstruation to ‘raising’ her stepchildren and the stress of making friends in adulthood. Her signature irreverence is intact, of course, but it can't mask the heart she leaves bleeding on the page." (Julia Kosin, Elle, Best Books of 2020)

"A breakthrough voice of the previous decade, Sam Irby is poised to reign in the 2020s. Her takes on the absurdities of everyday life means that she can write about reality TV, poop, frittatas, and mental-health meds with equal aplomb.... It's been a joy to watch her build the strange confidence that comes from being comfortable with her own insecurity, a feat that few writers get to achieve." (Maris Kreizman, Vulture, Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2020)

Featured Article: Inspiring and Motivational Books for Women


Over the past few decades, feminism and the women's rights movement have made tremendous strides, giving women greater opportunities in multiple areas and even confronting inclusivity issues within the movement itself. While there is still much work to be done, it is important for women to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of the brave, resilient activists who worked to make it happen. If you're looking for inspiration, look no further.

Editor's Pick

Samantha Irby is a genius
"From the second I saw the title Wow, No Thank You this phrase instantly became my new battle cry. Try saying it right now—doesn't it feel great?! It's handy in so many situations!! Samantha Irby is a genius. I like to picture her typing away in her attic in Kalamazoo, cackling out loud every once in awhile when she comes up with a particularly funny line. Her latest essay collection is a pure delight, but I especially love the glimpse we get behind the curtain as Sam tries to adjust to her new life as a successful writer: the ins and outs of getting a book deal, how she wound up collaborating with Broad City's Abbi Jacobson, and what it was like to write the fat-positive pool party scene of Lindy West's Hulu series, Shrill. She remains as charmingly baffled by her success as ever, and if there are any network executives reading this: can we get that Abbi Jacobson / Samantha Irby project stat, please??"—Rachel S., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Wow, No Thank You.

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listen to this book. and then repeat. twice.

I adore this woman and will arm wrestle anyone who writes a nasty review and gives her the impression that she should ever stop writing hilarious shit for me to indulge in while I clean my bathroom or fold laundry or drive around town. If you don't love her, keep it to yourself. I need this lady in my life, so don't fuck this up for me.

40 people found this helpful

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Ok, what was the point?

I read a review of the book in New Yorker I believe. The review was so good that although I've always known that part of these kind of articles are just advertisement I convinced myself to listen to the book.
Unfortunately I could not find what the author wanted to say. At first it was interesting but then it was just some scattered information that I could not find a logical (or semi logical, or even dramatical) relation between the chapters. I could not even find what each chapter wanted to say itself. A whole chapter saying "Sure sex is good, but have you ever tried..."
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Probably if you are a fan of the author already you know her genre, but if you want to explore her works, be careful.

11 people found this helpful

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Thank you for keeping me company while I live.

I mean. Samantha Irby is on fire, for good reason. This listen is comforting and challenging, bc so is she. Anyway, let me get back to work (I mean listening).

10 people found this helpful

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Horrible

This would be funnier if she wasn’t the one narrating it. She’s completely void of emotion. The “funny” parts come across as depressed... I’m pretty sure she hates her life. I made it about 30% of the way through and had to stop. I hope everyone else has a better experience.

9 people found this helpful

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Depressing

There were moments of relating to her stories but then it takes a slide to the always depressive side & she sounds like she hates HATES to be talking.

7 people found this helpful

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omg!

During this Covid pandemic and lockdown, I needed a serious pick me up! Thanks so much for having an ironic and horrible life. Thanks for writing about it and making me laugh out loud!

6 people found this helpful

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Meh. Self-Deprecating "Humor"

I was pretty excited to listen to this after reading reviews and following Roxanne Gay on Twitter, but I just wasn't feeling it. There is only so much one can say about the shitty aspects of getting older, and it was said in the first essay, then the second and then third and on and on. A lot of noticeable words were repeated essay to essay (something that irritates me endlessly), lots of complaining about the same things over and over, pretty negative vibes overall, and the self-deprecating attempts at humor just didn't resonate with me. I literally didn't laugh once, but did recognize several statements I've been trying to stop saying about myself in an effort to stop hating my body and feel healthier and happier.
I chose not to finish the book for these reasons, but man did I try!

5 people found this helpful

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Like time with a best friend

Samatha Irby stays open and raw every time I read her work. I like the way she can bring humor to even the most embarrassing situation. So adult.

5 people found this helpful

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Not like other books

I’ve purchased all of the authors other audio books and listed to each one 3-5 times and I laugh each time. This book is the oddball. I think there is a bit where she does wonder about what she should write about... and it shows in the book. The bowel jokes here feel obligatory and most of the stories honestly sound like ones that didn’t make the cut for the first or second movie and were just thrown together here.
I recommended her writing to friends and one bought this novel and was confused and disappointed. I had to give a passionate defense of the hilarity of her other works. I still think the author is great but this book is not funny or real like the others.

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I will read anything she writes

I love having Samantha Irby’s perfect, relatable voice in my head. As in We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, humor and pain intermingle, but I appreciate the realness, especially during this quarantine when I am nostalgic for regular awkward life among other humans.

2 people found this helpful