ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



June 2023



Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Best for:
Anyone who enjoys wildly random, hilarious, honest musings about life. Especially relevant to those of us in our 40s, as there are some cultural touchstones she references that made me feel like the embodiment of that Leonardo DiCaprio meme where he’s pointing at the TV.

In a nutshell:
Writer Irby once again brings her special style of self-awareness and observational humor to what I find to be a whole lot of utterly relateable essays.

Worth quoting:
“Your jam is always gonna sound like your jam, timeless and relevant even if the youths fail to appreciate it.”

“How do the properly hydrated among you get through the goddammed day? Are you just pissing in those Thinx panties all the time?”

Why I chose it:
I’ve enjoyed her previous work.

What it left me feeling:

Irby is a talented essayist and screenwriter (most recently involved with ‘And Just Like That…’ which I know might cause some folks to step away from this book, but I promise the book is good). She writes about some very mundane, run-of-the-mill topics but manages to make them borderline hilarious.

The first essay in this book is a great reminder to just own it when you like something, and who cares if other people think it’s ‘basic’ or whatever word the youths are using these days. Excellent. Solid start. And it continues along from there weaving in pop culture and anecdotes from Irby’s life. A solid essay involves her discussing what she would change in the plots of different Sex and the City episodes. Another she discusses all the ways her bladder lets her down (there is a LOT of talk of urination, defecation, and other body horrors – one chapter is literally called body horror – so do keep that in mind). A highlight is the essay where she describes when she almost died of anaphalaxis while trying to remove gel nails (that she didn’t really want in the first place) at home.

Irby and I are the same age (early 40s), so it’s possible some aspects might be not as relevant to younger people. But that’s fine, as not everything has to be for everyone. I can see myself rereading some of these essays, and I know I will be giving this as a gift to at least one person this holiday season.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:
Keep / Recommend

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