A hilarious collection inspired by a former Saturday Night Live writer's real experiences in Hollywood, chronicling the absurdity of fame and the humanity of failure in a world dominated by social media influencers and reality TV stars.
Simon Rich is "one of the funniest writers in America" (Daily Beast) -- a humorist who draws comparisons to Douglas Adams (New York Times Book Review), James Thurber, and P.G. Wodehouse (The Guardian). With Hits and Misses, he's back with a hilarious new collection of stories about dreaming big and falling flat, about ordinary people desperate for stardom and the stars who are bored by having it all.
Inspired by Rich's real experiences in Hollywood, Hits and Misses chronicles all the absurdity of fame and success alongside the heartbreaking humanity of failure. From a bitter tell-all by the horse Paul Revere rode to greatness to a gushing magazine profile of everyone's favorite World War II dictator, these stories roam across time and space to skewer our obsession with making it big -- from the days of ancient Babylon to the age of TMZ.
The latest collection from Rich (Spoiled Brats) lives up to its name, gathering 18 tales of varying quality that too often fail to linger beyond their brief page counts. A David vs. Goliath theme appears in several plot lines: in "The Baby," a struggling writer and father-to-be is in a race against time to complete his historical novel when he discovers his unborn son is hard at work on a similar book of his own; "Riding Solo: The Oatsy Story" tells the story of Paul Revere's famous ride from the perspective of his horse, who is left behind after Revere gains celebrity; and "Upward Mobility" pits a personal assistant against his cruel boss for the last available ticket into Heaven. "Adolf Hitler: The GQ Profile" is a smart and darkly humorous skewering of celebrity worship. "Hands," one of the longest and best stories of the bunch, pokes fun at religion to chronicle a competitive monk who decides to elevate his martyrdom over his brethren by cutting off his hands. When Rich slows down, his stories can hold emotional resonance, but one-joke, pithy entries such as "Tom Hanks Stories" and "Physician's Lounge, April 1st" are forgettable. The collection has a punchline-over-prose feeling that's hard to shake.