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Hits and Misses

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,215 ratings  ·  181 reviews
Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor
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 comparisonsHumor
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 24th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Peter Boyle
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy
I am very much a fan of the comedy stylings of Mr Simon Rich, a former Saturday Night Live writer and a New Yorker contributor. But as the title implies, his latest collection is a mixed bag. Most of these madcap tales look at fame and ambition in some kind of way. A few of them made me laugh out loud. The Baby tells of a struggling novelist who becomes enormously jealous of his unborn child's literary talents (the fetus's manuscript even has an advance blurb from George Saunders). In Hands, one monk deci ...more
Faith
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
"All he liked to do was sit around in his underwear, making up jokes and then laughing at them." That pretty much describes the self referential author of these short stories. Unfortunately, I wasn't laughing along with him. Some of the more satirical stories might have made amusing New Yorker cartoons and some of the others might have been ok as part of a set in a comedy club. But they didn't work for me at all as short stories. Each consists of one joke, drawn out. What if your future career c ...more
Molly
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I always forget just how much I like Simon Rich until I inevitably stumble across one of his new books somewhere. The short stories here are delightful, whether they are simple silliness or biting satire, and I laughed out loud more than once. The GQ profile of Adolf Hitler is a great send-up of certain publications' *cough* New York Times * cough* recent attempts to make white nationalists somehow more palatable with sympathetic profiles.

"Relapse" is perhaps one of the best and most horrifying
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Shawn
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Appropriately titled, I suppose, although I think “Near Hits & Unfortunate Misses” is more accurate. I’d certainly consider myself a fan — absolutely loved his “Last Girlfriend” and “Spoiled Brats”. They were so good, in fact, that the mere memory of them renders this latest attempt forgivable. A gifted storyteller, very funny. You wouldn’t, however, know it from this. Rather than waste time on this one, read or reread the others.
britt_brooke
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simon Rich had me cackling out loud right away. These stories are so irreverent and fun with characters ranging from a genius in utero infant to Paul Revere’s horse to Adolf Hitler. Some are better than others, as the title implies, but all are entertaining.

Thank you for the ARC, NetGalley!
Cris
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Funny book with moments of adorable. Recommended by Ti❤. My favorites were the Birthday, Paul Revere and the ghost. ...more
Chloe J
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
The title of this book caught my eye as I was searching through the comedy section of books in my English class a month ago. It’s a bit funny to me because “hit or miss” is a lyric to a popular song that I find hilarious, so I thought I’d give this book a try. The unique title along with the cover with rubber ducks on it made me interested. I wanted to know what the ducks were all about and what “hits and misses” had to do with comedy. But what did I know? I had never read a comedy book before!< ...more
Berenice
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it
The first story, The Baby, is pure genius. I’ve never read anything like it and LOL’d repeatedly in public throughout. Also genius was Birthday Party and the Foosball Championship of the Whole Entire Universe. Those three of the first four stories were so brilliant and crisp that I was already recommending the book to friends and relations; a decision I soon regretted when, like a joke made by his own self-mocking Great Jester character, things slipped rapidly and definitively into a quagmire of ...more
Mehrsa
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the most delightful and hilarious book I've read in a long time. Some of the essays are also very clever social commentary. I read several of these essays several times.

(there was one essay I did not like--the profile of hitler. I get what he was trying to do, but it fell flat and was just gross, but the others were so good that it still gets 5 stars)
Jaclyn Crupi
More misses than hits sadly. I love Simon Rich and a couple of stories were at his usual standard: The Baby in which a writer becomes jealous of his unborn child who has written and published a book (blurbed by George Saunders) in utero and Hands in which a monk wants to cut off both his hands to prove his devotion. Those two stories are pure Rich gold, the rest not so much.
Michael
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
While there are some great portions within this story collection, I found the breadth of voices to be limited. Some good absurdist farce.
MC
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wildly irreverent and fun, this collection of humorous short stories had me chuckling and laughing out loud. The stories focus on the concepts of fame and fortune especially those who get to enjoy it, imagine they have it or wish they did.

A few of my favorite stories include “Adolf Hitler: The GQ Profile” which imagines a GQ-styled interview with the genocidal maniac, “Hands” about a monk who will do almost anything to out-do the piety of his fellow monks and “Stage 13” where the ang
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Linds
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I hadn’t read any Simon Rich since Ant Farm & Free Range Chickens, so was excited to see this. I liked that while this is still a collection of funny short stories, a number of them also have pretty poignant endings. I don’t think anything will be as funny to me as Ant Farm the first time I read it, but this still had some laughs out loud moments.
Ray
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
This is the third collection of his I've read, his latest. I'll keep trying because when Rich is good, he's very very good.
I loved "The Baby" and "Relapse". These two revisit a common Rich theme, dashing the dreams of writers and artists. Also loved "Adolf Hitler: The GQ Profile": Satire at its bravest, most audacious, best. I totally get however why others might be offended by it.
I liked "Hands", "New Client" and "Any Person, Living or Dead." The rest (except for the last four) were okay, som
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Jonathan K
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Known in the world of TV and film, Simon Rich is a true gem, and it s no wonder he's been involved with the likes of SNL and others. Creative, zany and poignant, his stories are driven by his experiences in Entertainment, while some are biblical with a dash of film. Diverse in nature, some are laugh out loud while others are 'misses' much as the title says. Out of the gate, the first one was my favorite of all and any author or wannabe like myself, will surely agree. Very talented guy with great ...more
Tyler Jones
While there is a certain, shall we say, lack of thematic and stylistic breadth in these stories, they are on the whole quite funny to very funny. Reading Simon Rich is like what reading Woody Allen used to be like before you found out he was such a creep.
Snem
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ever read a book and you’re immediately mad because you wish you wrote it? This book is so good, so so so good. The way Simon Rich’s mind works is simply brilliant. This collection is creative, smart, unique, funny and quirky.

This might not be for a wide variety of readers. I can imagine a lot of people saying “I don’t get it.”

For readers who enjoy Aimee Bender books I definitely recommend this. I am going to pick of all his books I hope he never stops writing.
Mike
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Simon Rich. This one was fun because he moved into some new territories than his previous work. Rather than relationships and contemporary issues, he played even more with genre and stretched himself a little.
Taylor Johnson
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simon Rich is evolving as an author and it’s such an incredible thing to read. His humor is still so strong it fills me with undying jealousy. But there’s also something new showing up in a handful of these stories. There’s a sweetness. “Hands” is a story that made me laugh so hard and then ended with a really beautiful gut punch of a...message?...moral?....I don’t know what to call it. Everyone should read a Simon Rich book. This one is nearly perfect.
Zara
Dec 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Hot take? Rich is a misogynist. He can be funny & clever (yikes, what does that say about me?), but all of his female characters are whiny, shallow, ball-busting, and dumb. I found the stories amusing but am kind of disgusted with myself afterwards.
lp
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just as funny as I hoped it would be, but also much wiser. These essays are tiny lil bursts of very weird hilarity. Treat after treat after treat! Nobody writes quite like Simon Rich. Love it.
Dan Burt
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, humor
4.5 stars.
Jade Maree
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hits and Misses was very funny - glad I picked it up by accident.
Eric
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hilarious. Highlights: Foosball Championship, The Great Jester, and Tom Hanks Stories
Randi
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I absolutely loved the first story, but none of the ones after it really charmed me.
John Lamb
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Light and funny as usual.
Soleil Sadler
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This entertaining collection will get you thinking.
Bill Marshall
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Funny in parts. I wanted to read it because it's largely about people much younger than I am and I don't really know what people in their late twenties are like these days. It's hard to write whole stories that are funny throughout and I thought the funniest story was one about the April Fool's pranks a doctor likes to play on his patients. This wasn't so much a story, however, as a collection of jokes.
Katherine
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
*3.5 stars.
Some really amusing pieces here. I especially liked the one about foosball which originally appeared in The New Yorker. Below, one quotation that caught my fancy:

"'I came to the desert to purify my soul! Not to help indulge some privileged Roman whore'"(79). *What a sentiment!
William
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
This is a fast read, and it is reasonably fun, but Rich is no Donald Barthelme. While the stories are very creative in setting, there is a sameness to the structure -- some "show-offy" cleverness followed by a twist ending. There is also a behind the scenes aura of sadness -- many of the characters are unhappy. And Rich really has it in for organized religion, though I did not find it unfair.

Some of the stories worked for me ("The Baby," "Relapse" and "Upward Mobility.") "Physicians
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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 2007.
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