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Race Me in a Lobster Suit: Absurd Internet Ads and the Real Conversations that Followed

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3.28  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Knit me into a cocoon...help me eat a burrito...pretend to be a chair at my dinner party...wrestle a komodo dragon...race me in a lobster suit. Author Kelly Mahon posts absurd gig ads online, and shares the conversations she had with the brave souls who wanted the job.

We're living in a gig economy. But would you respond to an online ad seeking someone to search for escaped
...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Quirk Books
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3.28  · 
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 ·  90 ratings  ·  50 reviews


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Amalia Gavea
Many years ago in Greece, there was a superbly hilarious TV show, a political and social satire. One of my favourite sections in each episode was dedicated to real advertisements found in newspapers and magazine. There was no Twitter or Facebook back then. Those adverts were so illogical, so utterly out of hand that it was difficult to believe they were genuine. And yet, they were. This book by Kelly Mahon brought these memories back to mind. Our current times are even more delirious and out of ...more
Julie
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Race Me in a Lobster Suit by Kelly Mahon is a 2019 Quirk Books publication.

If you know anything about Quirk Books, you know to expect the unexpected. This book, however, almost goes beyond the pale.

I’m pretty picky about humor or comedy in movies, television and books, having long outgrown base humor, or anything too silly, which is most comedy is today. But, because this book is supposed to feature actual correspondence, the human element enticed me to take the bait.

I worked for the public a
...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
In theory, this sounded like it was going to be hilarious. An author who got bored enough to start posting ridiculously absurd "help wanted" ads on the internet and publishing the email conversations that ensued? It reminded me of a nonfic/humor collection I've loved before, so I honestly thought this was going to be a big hit—and it is! At first.

It starts off pretty funny, if a bit tedious—I definitely found myself skimming some of the stories because I was just getting bored of the constant r
...more
Lou
Mar 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I am both a big fan of the offbeat and the absurd and also strongly believe in the power of laughter, so this sounded intriguing and highly original. A book that takes those crazy pranks that take place online daily and collects them together in this one irreverent volume for readers pleasure. Not only that but each is accompanied by complementary cartoon illustrations. This provides some light relief from an increasingly stress-ridden existence, but it will not appeal to everyone, and some entr ...more
Sarah Ames-Foley
Jan 11, 2019 marked it as nah
Destiny's review fully explains why I have no interest in reading this book.
Emily
Mar 05, 2019 marked it as dnf
I thought this book was going to be about people meeting online, and then doing fun & weird things. Nope. The author is just trolling people and wasting their time for absolutely no reason. I wasn't really amused by any of the stories, and it all felt so pointless. People needed money, and the author is kind of mocking them for it from behind her computer. This didn't go in the direction that I expected, and it didn't seem like the "good-natured comedy gold" described in the synopsis.
Helen Marquis
Nov 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Everything that is wrong with society and the internet today is contained in this book. Smart arse trolls mocking the innocent and gullible. This is like laughing at the vulnerable people who fall for get rich schemes from Nigerian princes - not everyone is as savvy as the more technologically literate amongst us. In a lot of cases, people's desperate need for money provides a springboard for their responses and some people clearly will take risks to try and make ends meet - they'll agree to do ...more
Elisabeth Jewell
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Funny, but tiresome to read prank after prank. Probably better consumed once a day instead of one after another.
Sabrina
One day, feeling bored, Kelley posted an ad looking for someone to dress up as a lobster and race around her living room. It pretty much snowballed from there... This book is a collection of the ads placed online and the real replies and email exchanges. Amusing, but often quite ridiculous. It's amazing what people will actually believe!
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Super, super quick read and highly entertaining.
Ilana Eisenhart
Nov 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So glad I received this book for free. I usually love books from Quirk Publishing but this was a huge disappointment. I just found it stupid. Not silly or funny. Couldn't even finish it. Rather spend my time reading worthwhile books.
Mehsi
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I saw this one on Netgalley and I just laughed so hard when I read the title and the description. Good grief, what could possibly go wrong with absurd ads and people reacting to it?

Just sad that I couldn’t read this one on my Kindle as the format got quite scrambled and the illustrations didn’t show. I had to read it on my PC which made my eyes cry.

But this was just such a delight to read, though I have to be honest and say tha
...more
Katherine Moore
This is a crazy book, just no other way to put it.
If you saw ‘Pranked’ which was on TV or ‘Crank Yankers’ which was a puppet TV show based on prank-calling, you will get the idea of this, which is based on the author posting prank ads on Craigslist. The resulting email ‘conversations’ from those ads are contained within this book, and if you hate the idea of unsuspecting people being strung along on fall pretenses, this isn’t for you.
If you can put all seriousness aside and maybe have a few mi
...more
Serena Powell
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
*Won this through a Goodreads Giveaway, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*

I'm a bit torn on how to feel about this book. On one hand, there are parts of the book that are rather funny, and you can tell that the other person was having fun with the conversation, realizing that it was a fake job listing. Those stories are great and it was fun seeing the other person add ridiculous bits to the story.

On the other hand, you could tell that some of the people were pretty in need of money
...more
Melissa
Mar 29, 2019 added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF
Brandee
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I loved this crazy little book. Such a fun read after a really long week. Quirk remains one of my fave publishers!
Andrew Shaffer
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very funny, short book. I wish she would have followed through on a few of the pranks though—if people are game to wrestle Komodo dragons, I want to see that shit happen! Okay, maybe bad example.
Theediscerning
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a cross between the Henry Root letters (crotchety old English guy writes to famous people and winds them up without their knowing it) and his more modern offspring, of the Danny Wallace, Dave Gorman, Tony Hawks kind of lark. So we get our author trying to arrange for a bloke to dress as a lobster and chase her around her carefully decorated apartment; another to fetch a pipe organ from a church to annoy the neighbours below; yet another to install a swimming pool because the rented flat ...more
Erin
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a hard book to rate, because it's a hard book to categorize. Basically the book consists of email transcripts that were generated after the author posted some ridiculous ads on Craigslist (and the like). She trolled people about everything from snake fashion shows and becoming a human pinata to trying out a cryogenics contraption she'd jury-rigged in her shower and being a nude model who wrestled with a Komodo dragon. The "normal" requests included being a fake fiance, house-sitting, co ...more
Charlotte Jones
Jan 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
*Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

My favourite comedian is Joe Lycett, a man famous for absurd email exchanges and playing with spam mailers, so going into this I thought I would love it. At first I was enjoying it but as the 'stories' went on, I felt more and more uncomfortable. Each section starts with the absurd internet advert that Kelly Mahon posted and then follows with an exchange with the prospective employee. Some of the posts were amusin
...more
Vanessa
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Quirk Books for the ARC!

Okay, so how can I start this review?
People are crazy. Very kind and sweet, but so crazy. That's all.

Kelly Mahon had the wonderful idea of publishing fake ads, hiring people to do weird things for her. What kinds of things? Well...

She needs someone who'll tickle her until she laughs; someone to boost her confidence before meetings; volunteers allowing her to tattoo “Sal & Sons Auto Body Shop, Making Cars Fly" on them (btw, she had no experience at all, so
...more
Joelle Egan
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Kelly Mahon obviously has a high tolerance for awkward interactions. In her new book, Race Me in a Lobster Suit, she collects emails from her unique project that exposes how far people will go to make some quick money. Mahon put up classified ads with outrageous requests for paid services and some of the responses she received led to longer conversations and intense negotiations. The acts that are agreed upon are at times simultaneously hilarious and depressing. Some examples of requests include ...more
Cj Zawacki
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Can you imagine placing bizarre ads on the internet that are so outlandish, and so far out of normal situations, that some people take as serious? Ads like wanting to race the poster in a lobster suit in the ads creator's apartment.
The light reading, yet funny book by Kelly Mahon, " RACE ME in a LOBSTER SUIT," is the
email exchanges of real people answering this far out ads. People who do not take these ads as jokes, but continue to fall for the job offerings. An ad for an exterminator might get
...more
Sharon
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
This entertained me. I didn’t know if I was going to like it since I don’t usually go for prank type shows but the situations were so ridiculous and the author had such a good sense of humor. I think I liked this better than prank shows because it is all just emails so no one is actually being made to DO anything hat makes a fool of them, and also as her responses get zanier the people on the other end start to realize it must be either a joke or that this person is nuts. If someone was embarras ...more
Darla
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rounded up from 3.5. I give this author high points for creativity and ability to banter. The initial ads are for the most part entertaining in and of themselves, but then you get to read the back and forth exchanges with the interested parties. Kelly Mahon can "big fish" a story and outlast most contenders. At times I thought folks were strung along too far. My favorite request was the snake fashion show. I do think many will find this book to be a comic relief from the stresses in their lives ...more
Jen Wood
Apr 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
I received a copy of this from a Goodreads Giveaway and it seemed like an amusing concept. I sat down and read it in less than an hour today and it was terribly disappointing. It wasn’t funny and the absurd scenarios became repetitive and honestly a little mean. I am surprised this many people agreed to allow their responses to be published in a book (for which the author presumably will make money) after she strung them along with the premise of paying them to absurd things and turns out it was ...more
Roger Bailey
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book.

If you read the concept of the book, an author posts wacky online ads and gets into hilarious conversations, and think this book is for you: it is.

There are many laugh out loud moments, my favorite was the author trying to trade Beanie Babies with someone who really isn't into it. At just around 200 pages it is a quick read and I do wish there was some follow-up to when the author let's people in on the joke. Definantly worth picking up and passing along to frien
...more
Briana
Mar 07, 2019 marked it as dnf
DNF. This is pitched as humorous and as if the take-away is that humans are imaginative and quirky and we can bond over that, but really it's just various stories of Mahon trolling people on the Internet. I guess it's "harmless" trolling because she's posting ridiculous jobs online, not calling people names or starting arguments as we might normally think of "trolling," but I found it too uncomfortable to read about Mahon intentionally leading people on with false stories because she thinks it's ...more
Samantha
I was excited to read this. It sounded really funny. However, in truth it was was far from funny.
A lot of the stories I ended up skimming through because it started to feel like the same thing that the author was saying. The author also just seemed ridiculous and stupid. The original add was great but, the emails for further details just got too ridiculous and something that would never happen.
I mostly would read the respondents replies. However, though the book promised them to be funny, they
...more
Heather
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This unique book is comprised of email conversations the author instigated with total strangers about bizarre situations. Mahon used Craigslist to request help with eating burritos while in a full body cast, posing nude with Komodo Dragons for an art group, putting ants back in an ant farm, posing as her fiance at a company party, and much more. Not only did people answer her ads, they threw themselves into the possibilities. Reading this book was simultaneously amusing and horrifying. Just how ...more
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Kelly Mahon is an advertising copywriter based in New York City. She graduated from Fairfield University and Miami Ad School.