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Stay Up with Hugo Best

2.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,268 ratings  ·  403 reviews
An incredibly timely, terrifically witty and moving debut about a young writer's assistant on a late night comedy show and what transpires when she accepts an invitation from its enigmatic host to spend a long weekend at his mansion in Connecticut.

June Bloom is a broke, cynical twenty-nine-year-old writer's assistant on the late-night comedy show, Stay Up with Hugo Best. H
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Scribner
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Average rating 2.91  · 
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 ·  2,268 ratings  ·  403 reviews

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Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
June Bloom, 29 years old, was a writing assistant for "Stay Up with Hugo Best", a late night comedy show. June lived with a roommate in a Brooklyn neighborhood both "charmless and in flux". She had slowly worked her way up from audience page to writers assistant for her childhood crush, Hugo Best. This "beloved" TV comedian and womanizer unexpectedly announced his last show and upcoming retirement.

June is now unemployed. It will be back to open mics in shady environs, playing to mostly empty cha
May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Typical millennial jives with aging superstar. She makes herself so at-home, you could swear that this was the same girl who completely ignores the Lyft driver after exiting her bomb-ass house... you know, entitled.

And this is "Stay Up"s forte: the vivid portrayal of a Millennial. In case you were wondering; in case you didn't know. "The worst I suffered was nonsuccess" (37). The worst we suffer is the typical minutia that a tale like this wants to include so that it has a patina of WOW. Instead
May 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Narrator: 3 stars
Story: 2 stars
Characters: 2.5 stars

Overall rating: 2.75 stars.. I think

Had a couple spots where it was more interesting for me but overall this was pretty underwhelming.

More focused on the characters than the plot. Now, that isn't always bad but the people created have to grab your attention somehow and get you invested in what was going to happen.

It had my interest enough to keep going but still not completely sure why I finished. Part of it probably me being stubborn perha
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read this ARC in return for an honest review. After reading a number of dark murder mysteries, I wanted to take a break and read something lighthearted and comical. This was definitely not lighthearted, and reviews calling it hilarious had me fearing I was devoid of any sense of humour. To me, it was the opposite of hilarious, being depressing, poignant and full of melancholy, and with uncertain motivations on the part of the leadi ...more
Betsy Robinson
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you've ever free-fallen into an experience, knowing there was probably nothing good to come from it, but it arose and you said "What the hey, you never know"—and the whole time you were rolling with it, you knew it was stupid, and you assumed intimacy that felt natural but had no roots, you may enjoy this book. If you've ever been close with somebody who was or later became famous, but you know how he is in real life, you will be interested in this book. If you've worked with comedians, you w ...more
Susan's Reviews
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I was cringing as I finished this novel. It started out well. Young staff writer June Bloom accepts a long weekend invitation from her former celebrity boss. The talk show he hosted for years has finally aired its last episode and Hugo Best is headed for retirement. Twenty-nine year old June Bloom is aware that Hugo Best has certain "expectations" for this week end.

Although the first few chapters were intriguing, the heroine in this pseudo "tell all" tale of a "dirty weekend tryst" with a famou
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I wasn't completely sure what to expect when I started this one but I could not stop thinking about it during the few days that I read it. The book takes place over the four days of memorial day weekend after Hugo Best, a late night talk show host, has wrapped up filming his last show. On a whim, he invites June Bloom, a writers assistant on his show, to his house in Connecticut. June, now jobless and having a crush on Hugo since childhood, accepts his invitation despite the fact that he is 30+ ...more
Jessica Woodbury
A wry and meditative novel about fame and the proximity to it. June is an aspiring comedian at the very bottom of the totem pole at a late night talk show hosted by famed comedian Hugo Best. After Hugo's run on the show ends, meaning they're both out of a job, the sixty-something Hugo invites 29-year-old June to his Connecticut mansion for the weekend even though they've barely spoken before. What follows isn't quite what you expect, but it's also not all that far off, as June tags along on a co ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
While I enjoyed reading this debut by Erin Somers, it left me somewhat cold and not understanding what the overall thesis of the novel was. June was a bit of a one-dimensional character to me, and while not unlikeable, I just couldn't really connect with her. I liked all of the pop culture and comedy references a lot, but the book as a whole was a disappointment. ...more
Richard Gray
Toneless and often listless, this train-of-thought narrative follows recently unemployed writer June Bloom as she bears witness to the crumbling of the titular talk show host following his retirement. Ostensibly an exploration of sexual politics and power dynamics in the #MeToo era, Somers doesn’t ever get beyond the surface. I was also a little concerned by the will they/won't they motif Somers sets up between June and Hugo's seventeen-year-old son: she is perhaps suggesting something about inh ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Though set in NY and Connecticut, this tale could easily have happened in Los Angeles. High-powered aging celebrity invites an attractive underling to his mansion. We all know how the story goes. Quite timely with what’s happening with all these #metoo movement. Instead of a one-dimensional take, this debut really digs deep. I was completely invested in the story. Every quip and observation feels real. This was probably as close as I can get to being at a celeb mansion observing what all those r ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: next-to-read
I had a hard time relating to this story. The characters weren’t all that interesting and the focus on comedy and fame is not something I personally enjoy reading about. As a result, I had a challenging time getting through this book. In this instance,I think it’s a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”. The writing is clever and, at times, witty, but overall, the tone felt kind of sad and dismal. When I requested it, I was expecting something else. Not my kind of book.
I received an ARC from Netgalley
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's another one that didn't live up to the hype. I'm starting to think I need to look for books that reviewers pan because I never seem to like the ones they do. This one got rave reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly and Shelf Awareness....from Janet Stewart, not so much.

I listened to this in audio and at first I thought I didn't like the voice of the narrator. But then I realized, I just really didn't like the we ever learn her name? In any event, she's a 30 year old wanna
Ashley Lynne
Apr 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-own-it
I bought this book before I realized it had such a low rating on Goodreads. As I type this review, the average rating is 2.90 stars.

Sounds about right.

This book is so pointless and meandering. And no one is likable. And while unlikable characters doesn’t bother me as long as it’s for a reason and the story is interesting, that wasn’t at all the case for this book. 😂

This book reads like some pretentious middle-aged man who’s never so much as written an essay decided one day “I have good ideas,
Sara Batkie
I really enjoyed spending time with this book! Every page has something on it that sparkles, whether that's a line of dialogue, an arresting description, or a character's random musings. Somers has a really good grasp on a certain kind of New York aspiring artist, people who often aren't locals to the city and come with expectations that seem almost perversely difficult to achieve; who have a knowing, ambivalent relationship with fame but still yearn for it; who make compromises for outsized opp ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I thought I would love this book about an aging late night talk show host and a young writer who works on his show. Although "funny" at times, I wanted it to be more lighthearted and less serious. No doubt it was well written, and if you are a fan of old comedy acts, you may very well enjoy it more than I did. But for me it was sad and a little depressing. ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
If you like plots with action, characters who are three dimensional and show some type of change, either for better or worse, throughout the book, If you like snappy dialogue, then this book is not for you.
Mary Keane
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel is moving and felt so true. And funny! I kept it within reaching distance for days and read whenever I had a moment. I haven’t done that in a long time. I loved it.
Robert Sheard
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. It is supposed to be funny, I assume, but it struck me as lonely and dismal–for all of the characters. It has the redeeming fact that it's brief. ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, april-2019
This seemed like something I would love but it was surprisingly dull. Very uninteresting main character, very disappointing.
Dana Czapnik
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I could not put it down! It's funny, dark, unexpected, sexy, and uncomfortable in the best way. June Bloom is caustic, sardonic, hilarious, and a self-aware self-saboteur. Sometimes we do things to ourselves that we know are bad for us but we do them anyway, perhaps it's inertia, or curiosity, or self-hatred, or all three. Stay Up With Hugo Best is an incredibly sharp examination of that impulse, as well as a sly satire of our obsession with fame. Loved it! ...more
Jamie Rosenblit
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
Review to come
Stacey D.
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantastic! I loved this story, which to date is shaping up to be my favorite summer read of 2019 -- although geez, I felt soooo old after reading it. With a tinge of melancholy, it suddently dawned on me that I am closer in age to Hugo than to June. Crikey.

This was a modern day coming-of-age story, one in which the heroine comes off way more wiser than her one-time idol, the well meaning, yet skirt-chasing, egotistical, sad-clown king of late-night, Hugo Best. I laughed throughout this book, esp
People who dismiss the idea of literature, both modern and classic, tend to view it as variants on a single story: a middle-aged man grappling with the perceived failures of his life seeks solace in the arms of a much younger woman. This is often further reduced to a professor and student dynamic. In Stay Up With Hugo Best, Erin Somers flips the script with the concept “what if that alleged classic literary had its script flipped: the exact same story from the perspective of the woman”. The thin ...more
Donna Hines
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Stay up with Hugo Best was certainly unique in style and writing.
I've never had a more one dimensional character as we had here.
Jane is our main female whose broke as a 29 yo writers assistant hoping to make it big with a late night comedy show.
Meanwhile Hugo is our 60ish pig whose a womanizer and retired tv icon.
He's offered her a proposition to come to his mansion for a 'no funny business' adventure.
It then turns into a dive bar with karaoke being led to insight into this man's life.
I never qu
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I was so excited to read this after Carl Hiaasen recommended! But it had moments, but was quickly becoming a rather sad and melancholic story about a has been and his groupie! I enjoyed it anyway.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. I honestly thought this book was suppose to be funny. Wrong! Depressing story with sad characters. Hugo is an 68 year old late night host whose show has been cancelled. June is a 29 year old aspiring comedy writer. Hugo invites June to his mansion for the weekend. Hugo who is wealthy and June who is barely able to make ends meet make quite a couple but not in THAT way! Two different personalities that led to unpredictable circumstances. I’m still not sure about the plot and what I was ...more
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1books-2021
Not really for me. It was okay, I guess.
Megan Prokott
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Sometimes you read a book that you know you wouldn’t recommend to everyone, and this is one of those books. I personally enjoyed it quite a bit, because it wasn’t the fun, fluffy, ridiculous book I expected it to be. Instead, it was an intense character study of a man coming to terms with his life now that the relevance and power he once had in large quantities is quickly dwindling and of a woman who never achieved the relevance and power she thought she would in her youth. These very honest exp ...more
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Erin Somers is the author of STAY UP WITH HUGO BEST, forthcoming from Scribner in April 2019.

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