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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 ConnecticutJune Bloom is a broke cynical twenty nine year old writer's assistant on the late night comedy show Stay Up with Hugo Best Hugo Best is in his sixties a beloved icon of TV and humor and a notorious womanizer After he unexpectedly retires and a party is held for his now unemployed staff June ends up at a dive bar for an open mic night and prepares for the sad return to the anonymous comedian lifestyle What she’s not prepared for is a run in with Hugo at that dive bar Nor for the invitation that swiftly follows Hugo asks June to come to his mansion in Greenwich for the long Memorial Day weekend “No funny business” he insistsJune in need of a job and money confident she can handle herself but secretly harboring the remains of a childhood crush on the charming older comedian and former role model accepts The exact terms of the visit are never spelled out but June is realistic and clear eyed enough to guess Even so as the weekend unfolds and the enigmatic Hugo gradually reveals himself their dynamic proves to be much complicated and less predictable than she expectedAt once hilarious and poignant brilliantly incisive and terrifically propulsive Stay Up with Hugo Best is an incredibly timely exploration of sexual politics in the #MeToo age and the unforgettable story of one young woman’s poignant stumbling into adulthood


10 thoughts on “Stay Up with Hugo Best

  1. says:

    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 retirementJune is now unemployed It will be back to open mics in shady environs playing to mostly empty chairs or customers ignoring her presence on stage The Birds and the Bees is one such establishment Hugo Best happens upon June Bloom at this club Surprisingly Hugo realizes that she has worked on his show and invites her to spend Memorial Day Weekend at his Connecticut mansion He promises no funny business What are June's expectations for this special weekend with an iconic comedian?June was trying to discover her niche Approaching 30 years of age she hadn't found her true direction in life Being in a chauffeured car all of a sudden was a shock to the system akin to jet lag I felt transported across time zones This must be the good lifeHugo Best seemingly magnetic and charismatic had planned a Memorial DayRetirement Party to be attended by his friends including comedy people actresses models and neighbors Who will be in attendance?Stay Up with Hugo Best by Erin Somers is the story of two individuals striving for self worth June feels she should have arrived Stand up comedy is arguably lonely and unsettling Hugo is unsettled as well Life as he knew it has changed Thank you Scribner and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review Stay Up with Hugo Best


  2. says:

    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 entitledAnd this is Stay Ups 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 it is a sad reminder of how empty fans and stars are alike Like why would a comedian want this girl's opinions? She hasn't lived does so in an intrepidstupid way What is so special about her? She is tired of being impressed; she gives us nothing but adeuately exists in a comfy sphere Ugh She lives in NY and tries to be a comedian? Ugh gag Skip this one For reasons unknown it is getting above average reviews


  3. says:

    Narrator 3 starsStory 2 starsCharacters 25 starsOverall rating 275 stars I think Had a couple spots where it was 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 happenIt had my interest enough to keep going but still not completely sure why I finished Part of it probably me being stubborn perhapsA couple things were teased at happening but when one did it was underwhelming and just there the latter done on purpose maybe Was expecting something different from the blurb but aah wellOff to the next happy reading if the summary peaks your interest waves


  4. says:

    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 leading characters It was well written with much to be said about modern sexual politics but am unsure of the book's aim or what conclusion I was supposed to draw June Bloom is a 29 year old who comes across younger in many ways Her goal in life is to be a comedian along with the fame it could bring She was performing stand up comedy at a dive bar I got the impression that her goal in comedy is probably futile I can take vulgar stand up comedy if it is funny but the snippets of her routine were just plain vulgar She seems unfocused yearns to be a celebrity but sometimes feels unworthy At other times she angrily states that she deserves the fame It is unclear whether she has the talent to achieve her ambitions She is broke and not taking productive steps to reach her goal or to find another field of employment She is merely floating through life After the open mic show where many seats were empty and the few in the audience ignoring her routine she encounters famed celebrity Hugo Boss June worked as a writer's assistant for his late night TV show and had a childhood crush on him She still idolizes him and is in awe of him Hugo's show has been cancelled putting them both out of work Hugo claims to be 65 but is actually a few years older He seems sad and unexpectedly invites June to his home in Connecticut for the Memorial Day holiday She accepts standing up a date with her current boyfriend There is a lot of sarcasm and complaining in their dialogue but they gradually seem to build a tentative bond during her time at his luxurious home June is able to boost his shattered ego caused by his fate as a celebrity has been June is impressed by his mansion his fleet of cars his staff and the luxuries she sees that fame can bring I wasn't able to connect with the flawed characters or the situation It was not what I expected but others may enjoy this character driven story


  5. says:

    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 will find much to resonate with And if you've suffered from being a professional wait er—as in one who waits for other people to do something so that you can do something—this book is for youTwenty nine year old world weary June Bloom loses her TV writers' assistant job when the comedy show Stay Up with Hugo Best fires Hugo Best and she accepts a weekend invitation to his house in tony Greenwich Connecticut What makes the story rich is the self awareness of June and Hugo and the overall wisdom of author Erin SomersThis is a well written literary novel about a slick subject but the author's wisdom makes it anything but slick I really enjoyed it right up until the preamble to the ending view spoilerwhich although realistic—transactional sex with a famous person and I've known plenty of women who have acted like June Bloom did made me kind of sick I could also see a character with June's level of self awareness along with a pretty easy childhood no trauma to twist her up coming to her senses during a conversation with a fellow unemployed writer from the show about his the writer's assumption that she was going to have sex with 68 year old Hugo for payback It could have shocked her out of her amorphous and existential problems leading to a completely different preamble where instead of giving the famous Hugo Best a blow job she ends up comforting him like a mother—marking the beginning of a new level of maturity for her with a man who will never grow up All the rest could have followed as written and the protagonist would have experienced a changegrowth hide spoiler


  6. says:

    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 famous talk show host is all over the place as directionless and ambivalent as this story ends up being The entire first two thirds of the book is taken up with the suspenseful uestion will they or won't they? A few red herrings are tossed into the mix as well as an inevitable triangle or two or three Nothing really new here but the author does write very well Ultimately her characters are unappealing and shallow success and fame at any price it seems Spoiler alert If June had not herself described Hugo Best in skin crawling terms during the pivotal scene it would not have mattered to me that a 29 year old and a 60 year old were about to have an intimate moment or two; but the description of how Best's skin sagged down after he removed his body girdle totally killed any romantic vibe if there ever was one to begin with The word sordid kept flashing in my mind especially after June describes the act as being fleshy In stark contrast Robert Taylor and Katee Sackhoff did an excellent job of selling their character's MayDecember relationship in the fantastic Netfilx series LongmireIt is interesting and patently ironic that Best's 17 year old son Spencer is also staying at the house that weekend and there is an undeniable attraction between June and young SpencerHistorically people have been attracted to stars athletes war and super heroes and CEOs who have amassed great wealth etc Readers and movie goers fantasize about sleeping with their idols sharing if only for a brief moment in their fame or glory In this novel young June makes no secret that she is worried about her future job prospects and at one point briefly envisions that she might fall pregnant with Best's child at least her future would be all mapped out for her as the young wifelover of a wealthy former Hollywood star How bleak is that?Erin Somers did not paint an enticing picture of the life of an aging celebrity there is sort of a feeding frenzy where everyone around Hugo Best was trying to use or profit from him in some way I understand why this book is so poorly rated This author has good writing skills but there is nothing new here and it is yet another bleak tale of humanity's misguided shallow uest for fame and riches I give this a 35 out of 5


  7. says:

    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 years her senior and has uite a reputationWhat follows is a uietly hilarious and at times sad character study of these two June laments the difficulty of being a not uite successful twenty something and Hugo struggles with saying goodbye to his show and growing older They both grapple with what fame means to them how much they want it how it protects how it isolates Somers' writing is keenly observant and she does dialogue in a way that made me feel like the characters were real people I was listening to This one reminded me of a real life version of 30 rock so I highly recommend for those who love comedy but also a real life look at what it means to be famous seek fame and sometimes feel disappointed by it all


  8. says:

    Yuck


  9. says:

    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 uite what you expect but it's also not all that far off as June tags along on a couple of days in Hugo's lifeWhat Somers has to say about comedy fame and the sad lot of the many low level strivers is interesting enough but June herself doesn't uite come into focus By being 29 and not 19 we know she is smart enough to know what she is getting into when she accepts Hugo's invitation It's probably not surprising how at a remove from it all June is but June is one of those protagonists that's becoming and common especially in these Young New Yorker novels She has a goal she knows what she wants to be and yet she doesn't seem all that invested in it She continues to float along making you wonder why she cares about comedy at all We know she likes it when people find her funny but there's little of her investment in herself This is a common theme these days and Somers does with it here than most do June's role as fame adjacent but without any actual responsibilities or artistic investment is a prime spot to analyze millennial ennui But I hoped for from June This isn't a laugh out loud funny kind of book observational and uiet But I raced through it in two sittings so it's an easy one to get through


  10. says:

    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