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Spoiled Brats

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,141 ratings  ·  427 reviews
In his collection SPOILED BRATS, Simon Rich takes his absurd, culture-skewering style to new heights, marrying the literary polish of writers like Karen Russell and George Saunders with the humor of Steve Martin to deliver truly dazzling tales.

SPOILED BRATS is about the battles we fight with the ones who love us most: our parents. In "Family Business," a young chimpanzee o
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  3,141 ratings  ·  427 reviews

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Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
In a word: underwhelming. Simon Rich's collection of short stories has some funny moments, for sure. I laughed out loud several times while reading "Sell Out," and several of the other scenarios made me chuckle (I particularly liked the premise of "The Tribal Rite of the Strombergs".). But for someone who seems intent on roasting the selfie selfishness of the Millennials, Rich seems a little too close to the fire. He's obviously an insider, a Brooklynite and a hipster. The stories are TOO tongue ...more
Wendy Russell
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This, among other reasons, is why I loved this book:

"I love my father, but sometimes he can get on my nerves. It’s hard to explain why exactly. It’s just little things he does, here and there, that bother me. For example, sometimes he shits into his hands and then throws the shit into my face while jumping up and down and screaming. I know he’s just trying to be funny— and it is funny, I can see that. But there’s just something about it that annoys me. I’ve asked him politely not to do it anymor
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Any book that can have you laughing out loud this often, cannot possibly garner anything less than 5-stars. Absolutely hysterical. I thoroughly enjoyed "Last Girlfriend", and vowed to seek out anything else this writer put out -- and I'm so glad I did. What an enormously talented, funny, funny man.
Just as "Cupid" was a must read in "Last Girlfriend", "Elf On The Shelf" is worth the price of admission with this collection.
Not due out until October, so you may have to wait. But, be at your local
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Spoiled Brats: Stories is a collection of stories by Simon Rich, an author I feel compelled to read more of the moment I finish this review. I found these stories hilarious. Some of them are only as long as a lengthy joke and I preferred the somewhat longer ones, commentaries on hipsters, Brooklyn's status as uber borough, modern parenting, and elementary school classroom culture. Some of the stories are more successful than others (I particularly like the one where a man is pickled in a vat of ...more
Miranda Reads
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
some touching, most not

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Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Darkly funny. Or, maybe, funnily dark? Rich's "selfish brats," both young and old, may be dealing with despair, selfishness, and the Death of Dreams, but their stories also have a surprising lot of warmth and kindness. In dog terms (I write this with an affectionate golden retriever leaning on my arm), "a sharp "nip" to get your attention, then a friendly slop of the tongue to remind you that things will probably be okay."
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Simon Rich's previous books have been hilarious, but the stories were often just sketches, like SNL skits that were too funny to make it onto the air. This book, however, moves to a new level. It's equally hilarious -- but now Rich has a lot more on his mind. His satire is fantastic (the social critique in 'Sell Out' for example, is endlessly clever and always spot-on) and he manages to hit moments of great poignancy as well. He might rely on blue humor a bit too often for a laugh, but it's gene ...more
Sean Kottke
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ha! Millennials are the worst ... except when they're marvelous. A strong collection of very funny stories that hit the satiric nail on the head consistently. My favorite is the longest, "Sell Out," which imagines the author's ancestor, preserved in pickle juice for 100 years, awakening in modern day Brooklyn and discovering as many absurd continuities with the past as ridiculous devolutions. Sure, there are more than a few grasps at some of our era's lowest-hanging fruits, but then again, we 21 ...more
Jane Stewart
3 ½ stars. I didn’t laugh, but I smiled several times. Some clever ideas.

This has several short stories. Most or all of them are told in first person. My two favorites were: 1. hamsters in a lower school classroom. When Simon was assigned to feed them for the week, they knew death by starvation was coming. 2. “Sell Out” had an immigrant making and selling pickles. He was advised to hire help, but he didn’t want the expense, so he was told to use interns. He couldn’t believe he was getting 100 ap
Tippy Jackson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sonia Reppe
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shortstories
Really funny and clever stories that make fun of how spoiled we are. I love how Rich makes fun of himself in "Sell Out". This was one of my favorites, about a pickle factory worker immigrant in 1908 Brooklyn who falls into a vat, gets "pickled," wakes up in the present day, and meets his great-grandson Simon Rich. This story makes hilarious fun of hipsters in Brooklyn. In fact, this whole collection makes fun of contemporary society. I loved "Semester Abroad" in the 1st-person college girl voice ...more
Moshe Mikanovsky
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this collection of short stories by funny-man Rich. For the most part, the ideas behind them were a bit juvenile, but to Rich's credit, he quickly pours out the premise of each story, getting over the juvenile part (chimpanzee who wants to work for human, hamster in a classroom, man falls into pickled brine for 100 years etc) and into the real fun of the story. I almost gave it 3 stars. The 4th star is for the gem in this collection, Sell Out. What a wonderful story. You can also ...more
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
outrageously funny stories making fun of ourselves and himself (the author simon rich), not many are spared, millennials, immigrant jews to nyc, hipsters, yuppie parents, douchey children, twee monsters, reallife monster children of country club set, short story writers, hulu, sex, death, moms even.
lots of reviewers say they laugh and laugh reading these. it's true i think.
May 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
Without a doubt perhaps the worst book I have ever read. This was a pandemic panic library sweep pickup, recommended by "Claire," according to the "Recommended By" bookmark at the local library, so I just grabbed it after a cursory glance at the inside cover, and added it to my stack of a dozen-ish books. And wow, holy shit, no joke some of the most pedestrian, insecure writing I've ever come across. About two pages in I read the jacket again, saw the picture of the author, and things made a who ...more
I will never look at a pickle the same way again. I'm not sure if this is good or bad.

The cleverness here is often too over the top (intentionally, no doubt), but at least it's mostly entertaining. I can almost bet there's at least one tale here that will either tickle you, or make you think of someone you know.

I paid a buck for the hardcover at a certain $$$ store, and it was worth at least 50% more than that.

VERDICT: 2.85 stars, above average. Some good stories, a couple that were blah. But I
Meagan Cahuasqui
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, short-stories
An outrageous collection of satire against my own generation, millennials. Filled with such embarrassing truths though it's hard not to laugh. It's a bit mean, but never cruel. But my tolerance for rudeness might be a bit high.
Yossor Jamal
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A nice funny rest from daily stresses
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hilarious collection. Not to be missed, especially the first story.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
A bit uneven, but in its best moments, particularly the longest piece, Sell Out, I lost weight while reading it. Laughing my butt off.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Laughed out loud many times, lots of unique stories
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, essays
A collection of essays centering around narcissistic millennials. Highly amusing
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Some stories were absurdly funny, others were just absurd. I really like his style and will read more.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, short-stories
Another fine and funny humor collection from Simon Rich. "Spoiled Brats" contains a number of short pieces as well as one stretching out to novella length. Some of the best use himself at the butt of the joke, starting with a disastrous turn as an elementary school hamster caregiver (offered from the doomed perspective of the hamster itself.

“Hamster feeder is…”
I scan the room. There are still some good candidates left. Maybe we’ll luck out and get Caitlin? Last month she gave us double portions.
Ryan M
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
After a few of my classmates recommended this book to me, I decided to read Spoiled Brats by Simon Rich. They told me the stories were entertaining, so I thought it would be good to read a funny book. There were a few stories that were not as funny as the others, but I still enjoyed them.

One story I liked, in particular, was called "Sell Out", which was about a man named Herschel who worked at a pickle factory. After falling into a pickle brine, Herschel was discovered nearly 100 years later, no
Jason Furman
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book, I did a combination of reading and listening to Simon Rich's excellent narration. It was hilarious in the way it all-too-painfully captured much of the current period. It was also consistently inventive, although I found the incessant invention getting to me by the flurry of much shorter stories in the last part of the book.

The first story is told in the first person by a hamster in a classroom--depicting the horrible children whose carelessness killed his wife and risk
Charles H
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I picked up "Spoiled Brats" by Simon Rich I was fairly intrigued. Recommended to me by my crazy teacher lady I started to read the first story. It was hilarious. A funny cute story about a kindergarten class pet living in a pampered private school. Each story's plot has absolutely nothing to do with another, but each story is connect by the theme of "Spoiled Brat's." If you like laughing at self obsessed millennials, and reading classic stories written in a new age funny way, this book is f ...more
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humour, 2017
There are some funny and endearing bits here, and this was a quick and sometimes entertaining read. Unfortunately, a lot of it also rubbed me the wrong way.

Most of these stories make tepid satire of such predictable ideas as "participation trophies are bad" and "hipsters, eh?".

I did enjoy one character's short-lived attempt to gentrify the sewer.

The "fatness=badness" trope is one I come across very, very often in novels (and elsewhere). It's lazy and bigoted. The first story relied on this heavi
Jennifer Didik
(Goodreads giveaway!)


This book has everything: Burritoville. Housing Works. Miss Mary Mack. American Apparel. Secret Strokes shows. BJ Novak. Brooklyn Vegan. Miley Cyrus.

And for all these stellar references (that basically speak directly to me), the material was good. But not great. I chuckled, but I never laughed out loud. This may be due to the fact that I've admired Simon Rich from afar for quite a while but never actually read his prose (though I'm willing to bet I was exposed to his mate
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Fun, and sometimes quite hilarious, this is a collection of short stories that starts weird and goes from there. Sadly, with a few exceptions ("Animals," "Guy Walks into a Bar"), they're all incredibly shallow. Here is a story about an insufferable child and an insufferable parent supporting them. Here is a story about hipsters. Here is a story about people affecting knowledge, etc. Past the jokes, most of the stories here, while light and fun and easy to read, are childishly rote in giving us a ...more
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I've read a short story collection so quickly. It's the perfect length, from the few page ones to the longer novella, and the cultural of millennials for good or ill is lampooned with great effect. Some of it you'll recognize in yourself as much as you won't want to. The humour is scathing, the stories told are warped and fantastical at points, and it is something I think people are either going to instantly get a kick out or put down pretty quick. I really enjoyed myself though. T ...more
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Simon Rich (born 1984) is an American humorist whose first book, Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations, was published by Random House in April 2007.

Rich is an alumnus of The Dalton School and a former president of The Harvard Lampoon, and the son of The New York Times editorialist Frank Rich. He received a two book contract from Random House prior to his graduation from Harvard University in 200

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“You cannot murder interns, but other than that, they are the same as mules. You can rob them, abuse them, debase them. There are no limits. When a man agrees to be intern, he is saying, “I am no longer human being with rights, I am like dog or monkey. Use me for labor until my body breaks and then consume all of my meats.” I” 3 likes
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