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Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why It Often Sucks in the City, or Who Are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?
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Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why It Often Sucks in the City, or Who Are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  26,908 Ratings  ·  1,649 Reviews
Jen Lancaster hates to burst your happy little bubble, but life in the big city isn't all it's cracked up to be. Contrary to what you see on TV and in the movies, most urbanites aren't party-hopping in slinky dresses and strappy stilettos. But lucky for us, Lancaster knows how to make the life of the lower crust mercilessly funny and infinitely entertaining.

Whether she's
...more
Paperback, 380 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by NAL
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Laura
Nov 22, 2007 Laura rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
I really hated this book. It is supposed to an accurate depiction of the author, so I suppose I can say, I hate Jen Lancaster. She is lazy, self absorbed, petty, jealous, rude, and worse, hypocritical. She is the worst kind of woman. She is educated, yet one would never know it considering how small her world view is. Yes, it is all about her.
Bonnie
Sep 06, 2007 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of humor.
Shelves: comedicmemoir
I'm a little late to the Jen Lancaster party...I picked up this book from the "New in Paperback!" section of Barnes and Noble on a whim one night when I was bored and desperately searching for something to read that I hadn't already perused a million times.

I realized quickly (because it says so on the cover) that there was ANOTHER one of these books out there...a predecessor, if you will...but I decided to stick with what I had, and go grab the first book if I liked this one. Luckily, with these
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Lisa
Jul 28, 2007 Lisa rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one, really
I allowed a humorous title and promising amazon blurb to build up my expectations for this dreary collection of essays.

OK, irritating point #1: In one of the first essays, there's this guy from Texas who refers to everybody, including people in the second person singular, as "y'all." I've lived in various parts of the Southeastern U.S. and have yet to meet anyone who does this (unless it's a southerner imitating a non-southerner attempting a southern dialect--a la "Steel Magnolias.")

Wait, I'll
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Stephanie
May 05, 2010 Stephanie rated it it was ok
I would have rated this book higher, but the author had to rave about Ann Coulter. After that paragraph I had to throw up a little and stop reading. I'm not sure why you'd love Anne considering she says women shouldn't vote, liberals hate America, and that the 911 widows were vultures. I might try Jen Lancaster in the future she doesn't mention her love the spawn of Satan.
Lisa
Sep 25, 2011 Lisa rated it did not like it
When I finished this book, I thought, "How did this get published?" The book made me feel like I could just write down a bunch of my random thoughts and daily interactions, bind them together and call them a book. There were some funny moments but overall I felt like reading the book was a waste of time.

My biggest problem with the book was I feel like it was exaggerated. I live in Chicago so I've had my share of run-ins with crazy people on the bus, inappropriate PDA and eccentric neighbors. I u
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Allie
Aug 11, 2007 Allie rated it it was amazing
Wow, I thought I liked Bitter is the New Black but it's got nothing on this book. I was laughing out loud in the first chapter. I have grown fond of Jen Lancaster and can see a bit of myself in her.

There are so many great one-liners in this book and I hope there are more books to follow.
Amy
Jan 05, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
OK, I went back and forth on this one. Sometimes I found her mean spirited, shallow, and just a plain pain in the ass. (As well as way too conservative in her political leanings for me. An Ann Coulter fan????? OMG!...but that's beside the point.) Regardless, the good outweighs the bad in my opinion. This lady is freakin' hilarious! There are times when you cannot keep yourself from busting out laughing. If you are in a public place, people are bound to think that you are a nut! I think perhaps m ...more
Andrea Guy
Jun 12, 2010 Andrea Guy rated it it was amazing
This book was so funny I hurt myself laughing in several places. Jen Lancaster really recounts parts of her life in a hilarious fashion.

She's one of those people that you love to laugh at, with and about. I'd almost want her to be my best friend, if not for her political leanings. Sorry, I can't trust anyone that enjoys reading Ann Coulter. It really makes me question her sanity. Same could be said about a certain lady that was in the running for VP, but I digress. After I got past all the littl
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Judy
Jan 03, 2009 Judy rated it liked it
I liked this book SO much more than Bitter is the New Black. In fact, I was reading it in the lobby of a resort hotel (I was beginning to feel confined in my room and on my balcony) when I came to a particularly funny part and began to laugh uncontrollably. Of course, I didn't want people to know that I was laughing over a book, so I tried to restrain myself. The result was that now the patrons walking by probably thought that I was having a seizure. To their credit, no one stopped to see if I n ...more
Erin
Jan 08, 2008 Erin rated it did not like it
Very disappointing follow-up to the book "Bitter is the New Black"
I couldn't even finish this book since I just got so sick of the main character's incessant ranting about nothing important. In the first book, there was actually a plot and the ranting was hilarious, but by the 2nd book, it's clear that she's basically just trying to make more money and writing another book even though there's no real substance.
Christy
May 14, 2011 Christy rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011
The only reason I kept reading is because she lives in my neighborhood and we apparently shop at the same Target and go to the same doctor's office. If I ever run into her in Logan Square I will tell her to stop? with the question marks in the middle of sentences and quit using footnotes to point out stupid puns.
Also, she should have stayed on the Blue Line to get to the library instead of transferring.
Felicia A
May 23, 2009 Felicia A rated it liked it
Jen Lancaster is a spoiled, racist, elitist, immature, bratty, Republican leaning, foul mouthed narcissistic arsehole, who is completely in love with herself. Worse, she thinks a) everyone else is too and b) if they're not, something is clearly wrong with them. That said, she is funny as hell.

But she? Writes like this. Even though? She complains when someone else does. So she? Apparently believes that she is allowed to do things that others are not. And that? Kind of proves my point about how mu
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Jen
Jul 15, 2008 Jen rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer
Nothing like driving to work listening to an audio book and laughing all the way there. I pretty much had to stop listening to this while at work because the sudden snorts and "HA!'s" were making people look at me funny. (Bless my co-workers hearts that they didn't think me a nutball - they already KNOW that - but were curious about what I was listening to since my knitting podcasts don't tend to cause such a reaction from me.) And I admit - although it made walking on my treadmill fun - I would ...more
Joy
May 03, 2016 Joy rated it liked it
After reading about Gloria Steinem's and Ruth Bader Ginsburg's accomplishments made me feel badly about myself in comparison, Jen Lancaster's special skill of humorously complaining was just what I needed to feel that I'm not completely failing at life.
Kellie
Sep 24, 2008 Kellie rated it liked it
There were so many quotable and funny quotes in here, I would be jotting down the whole book. I love this writer! This isn’t a novel with characters and plot. This is Jen’s actual life on paper. It takes someone special to be able to put all of her thoughts and adventures in writing like she does. I loved the chapter on Rachel Ray. I have a couple of her cookbooks and I have tried several of her recipes and liked them. But, I would never be caught dead sitting in front of the TV watching her sho ...more
Lori Whitwam
Jan 07, 2008 Lori Whitwam rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, humor
I LOVED "Bitter is the New Black," and this is Jen Lancaster's follow-up memoir. Also check out jennsylvania.com! Good for a great laugh every day!

Oh, Jen, thanks for making everyday things as well as ordinary things freakin' HILARIOUS!

Now, having finished it, I have to say it's a bit less satisfying than the first book. In that one, there was more of a "novel" feel to it, as we followed Jen's progress from 200K-plus VP job to extended unemployment, relocation, and new levels of self-awareness (
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Jerry
Oct 24, 2011 Jerry rated it liked it
It was a cute book, I would probably try some of her other books just to see. It was fun and I enjoyed it, but she comes off as a bit of a slob and snob at the same time...which seems impossible. She seems incredibly self obsessed, but that is in the title so its to be expected. She steamrolls over folks for humors sake and mostly its pretty funny, but Im not sure I could read a lot of her work if its all like this...it might get grating. He right wing politics and love for Ann Coulter are a lit ...more
Beth
Sep 26, 2007 Beth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, chicklit
I don't really like to use goodread's 5 star rating that often, because there aren't many books that I find "amazing." I was a little reluctant to use it for this book, because I don't want to imply that it's literary genius or anything - I just thought it was a really funny book that I was able to lose myself in for a few hours.

The book is basically a collection of essays about her life. She adds in her two cents to everything and includes witty footnotes. This will never be called great liter
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Marie
May 26, 2009 Marie rated it did not like it
...don't give a sh*t.

That sums up my feelings for this book. Please do yourself a favor and read Bitter is the New Black. She is so much better when she has a purpose. This was mostly "blah" about city life along with a tiny bit of temp work because her first book hasn't come out yet. It was funny in parts, even though I threw it across the room (figuratively because the copy I read belonged to my dear friend Kimberly) when she mentioned reading Ann Coulter. Out of her first three books (i have
...more
Nicole
Oct 27, 2007 Nicole rated it it was amazing
I just started this book and am loving it so far. I'm about 100 pages in and have been in tears 3-4 times already.
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After reading:

I gave this bok 5 stars b/c it was hilarious. There were multiple times I was in tears b/c of it. It wasn't amazing in an earth-shattering kind of way, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. It helps that I'm in Chicago, but I think lots of people will find it funny. My favorite scene is when she's in the doctor's office dealing w/ the paper robe.
Selina Kyle
This is Jen Lancaster's second book, and sophomore books (for me, anyway) usually don't measure up. Sadly, that's the case with this one. It didn't make me laugh the way Jeneration X did, nor did it inspire me like Tao of Martha, or charm me like Bitter is the New Black.

It did have its moments, though. If you're a Lancaster fan, definitely read this...but maybe save it for after you've read her other works.
Caroline
Jul 23, 2015 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Laugh out loud-hated for it to end! I may not see eye to eye with Jen Lancaster on some topics, but I so thoroughly enjoy reading her books! I LOVE Laurie Notaro and Tgese books have a similar flavor. As I started this (her second memoir) I felt like we were old friends and I quickly fell back into the rhythm of her writing. I highly recommend this book (can't wait to pick up another of her books).
Poppy
Aug 14, 2007 Poppy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: women
Jen Lancaster's sophomore effort, which, since this is a memoir, is about the period in her life after she sold and then wrote Bitter is the New Black.

Amazingly enough, as a published author, Jen still needs to make a living. The book opens with the funniest job interview ever recorded, and closes with her entering a book store and discovering a table full of copies of Bitter.

A fun, fast, read.
Esther
Feb 06, 2008 Esther rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2009
Her first book, Bitter is the New Black, was much better. I hated this book with every fiber of my being. It was terribly written, there was absolutely NO POINT to it! I'm all for "chick lit" I'm a sucker for a pink cover with curly-q lettering, but this just didn't ignite in me what even chick-lit should provide. Very disappointed, but I know myself and I know that I will read her other books. *sigh* I'm a glutton for punishment.
Alice Teets
Dec 31, 2016 Alice Teets rated it it was amazing
Jen says what I want to say, but am too afraid to. And possibly she says it funnier than I do. I love all of these women who just write about their lives. Modern day Erma Bombecks, if you will. I love mostly the confirmation that my mind is not as crazy as I think, or, if it is, at least I'm not crazy alone!
melydia
Mar 22, 2015 melydia rated it really liked it
Lancaster is back with another hilarious collection of autobiographical essays, this time revolving around her life in the big city. She and I live very different lives, but I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. Recommended.
Ingrid Hahn
About a hundred pages too long. She gets old. And some of the stories are too pat. Meh. Glad to have finished it, though.
Antof9
Dec 02, 2008 Antof9 rated it really liked it
I'm on a short business trip (leaving this afternoon), and finished this one last night in my hotel room (it was this or the revamped "American Gladiator". Please). It's my third book of the year and frankly would have been the first, but I didn't finish Breakfast at Tiffany's last year and frankly didn't think I had the nerve to have the first book on my list have this title :) That said, I loved it!

As I was reading (also in my hotel room) it on Monday night, I got to the part where she's at th
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Jennifer Blaske
Feb 29, 2016 Jennifer Blaske rated it really liked it
I started my Jen Lancaster reading experience with Such a Pretty Fat, which I thought was hilarious. A few months later I read Bitter is the New Black, which I didn't like quite as much (odd, since most people claim that is by far her best.)

And now I just completed her second book, Bright Lights, Big Ass, which I also liked a little more than "Bitter."

Technically, this book is about "tales of living in the big city," but it's really "stuff that happened to me over the last year." One could argu
...more
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Favorite Jen Lancaster Book 12 52 Jun 05, 2012 04:19AM  
Chick Lit Book Club: Jen Lancaster: 2) Bright Lights 16 23 Mar 07, 2010 05:46PM  
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Jen Lancaster is the author of her own memoirs including: as Bitter is the New Black, Bright Lights, Big Ass, Such A Pretty Fat, Pretty in Plaid, My Fair Lazy, and the newest: Jeneration X.

She has also dabbled with fiction in her first book, If You Were Here.
More about Jen Lancaster...

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