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

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Knit me into a 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
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Quirk Books
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Start your review of Race Me in a Lobster Suit: Absurd Internet Ads and the Real Conversations that Followed
Amalia Gkavea
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
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
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
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. ...more
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. ...more
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.
Melissa Chung
May 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 52-aty-2019
First I want to thank Quirk books for sending me this Arc of Race Me In A lobster Suit. When I was first asked to pick books from a list that I might be interested in reviewing, I chose this one because of the funky title and the synopsis sounded fun and playful. However that is not really the case from the stories within.

You might be wondering why the one star? Well, I unfortunately am not the correct audience for this particular book. I found 28/29 stories to be drawn out and mean spirited. I
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! ...more
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Super, super quick read and highly entertaining.


Full review can be found here:

You read that right! The title is Race Me In A Lobster Suit. This adorable book was sent to me by the good folks at Quirk and I am forever thankful to them. This was a quick and enjoyable read.

This book is full of short stories/chapters where the author had placed absurd ad requests and then collected the responses after engaging the people in converstaions. I often tho
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. ...more
Kasa Cotugno
May 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
I think this is a generational thing, but I did not find this either side splitting or even remotely funny. The concept could have been mined to greater effect if the situations had been more absurd, but for instance the ad seeking a contractor to build a pool in an apartment living room in Flatbush had probably the most honest response. "stop wasting my time." ...more
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
Katherine Moore
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
3 or 4 stars because it made me laugh out loud, not because it is a literary feat! I read this book at the perfect time for me, really needing a pick-me-up, and this book is crazy. Mahon was feeling creatively-restricted and so decides to amuse herself by posting crazy wanted ads and stringing along the replies for as long as she can. Examples include feeding her a daily burrito on the sly because she is in a full-body cast and her mom is banning them, installing a pool in the living room of her ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
The human condition is absolutely absurd.
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!
Kara Thomas
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is hilarious. Every chapter I found myself laughing at the ridiculousness of it all and imaging how it could easily be me pulled into one of these conversations. This isn’t exactly a five star book for me, but it is currently rated so low on goodreads that I know a lot of people won’t give it a chance. Therefore, I am raising it up hoping that more people find it and get a good laugh too. If you were a fan of Jenny Lawson’s writings, I feel like this would be a good fit for you.
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.
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
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
So... I wanted to read this because I work in advertising, so basing on the title, I thought "internet ad" meant big marketing campaigns and the feedback it got from the audience (A stretch, I know! lol)

So apparently, the author posted Craigslist ads with very weird jobs and documented the conversations from the respondents (with consent)

The author is witty, managing to create a rich backstory for each character she comes up with. The pranks though, not my type of humor. Also, I won't begin to d
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
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 thi
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
Doreen Fritz
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Entertaining collection of ads previously posted by the author -- along with a response to that ad —- and the online conversation that ensued. The scenarios are strange and extreme, ranging from the title ad (which invites anyone to dress up in a lobster costume and raise this guy around his apartment) to Someone who believes that rat he has killed in his apartment is now a ghost which continues to torment him and places an ad for someone to come perform an exorcism. Someone else claims to be ca ...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
Don Jimmy Reviews
May 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was not a book for me. I thought that it would be funny going in, and for the first few pages I even remember a hint of a smile on my face. It quickly became obvious however that this book is essentially the author trolling people on the internet and making a book out of it. Obviously there is an audience for this kind of thing, otherwise we wouldn't have internet trolls - but that audience is not me.
Even if we take away the trolling element, and go with just the actually conversations - t
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Kelly Mahon is an advertising copywriter based in New York City. She graduated from Fairfield University and Miami Ad School.

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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