Simon Rich

The World of Simon Rich

Classic and new work from Simon Rich - never before published outside the USA - to tie in with Simon's BBC Radio 4 show of the same name

The world is a bewildering place and we're ill-equipped to deal with it. From the horrors of childhood to the vagaries of old age, from confused people to humiliated animals, we're all just trying - and often failing - to keep it together. How carefully should you answer when asked what you'd take to a desert island? What do you do if your parents are reading your diary? How useful is a Swiss Army Knife? And what's A Brief History of Time really about?

Armed with a sharp eye for the absurd and an overwhelming sense of doom, Simon Rich explores the ridiculousness of our everyday lives, from the most minute of anxieties to one of life's biggest questions: Does God really have a plan for us? Yes, it turns out. Now if only He could remember what it was ...

'Simon Rich is very much laugh-out-loud funny. He can conjure authentic, from-the-abdomen laughter on almost every page. He stacks surrealism on top of slick satire on top of pure childish silliness in such a brilliant and condensed way, there are sometimes three laugh-out-loud moments within the same paragraph ... He is exactly the right kind of writer for the internet: funny, high-concept, accessible, short, sharable, a James Thurber for the Twitter age'.
Matt Haig

Spoiled Brats

Twenty years ago, Barney the Dinosaur told the nation's children they were special. We're still paying the price.

From "one of the funniest writers in America"* comes a collection of stories culled from the front lines of the millennial culture wars. Rife with failing rock bands, student loans, and participation trophies, Spoiled Brats is about a generation of narcissists-and the well-meaning boomers who made them that way.

A hardworking immigrant is preserved for a century in pickle brine. A helicopter mom strives to educate her demon son. And a family of hamsters struggles to survive in a private-school homeroom.

Surreal, shrewd, and surprisingly warm, these stories are as resonant as they are hilarious.

*Jimmy So, Daily Beast

Spoiled Brats

Growing up is hard to do, and generation Y seem to be finding it harder than ever. Meet Simon Rich's latest creations in these very funny short stories: anxious parents, ungrateful kids and a well-meaning angel of death.

Having skewered the problems of falling in and out of love in The Last Girlfriend on Earth, Simon Rich's next book is another subject we can all relate to: parents and their kids. From the perils of raising an actual monster in Manhattan—it's pretty hard to find teachers who really understand the talents of a five-year-old with horns and a taste for blood—toSell Out, the story of Simon's ancestor, returned to life decades after an industrial accident involving pickling brine, these stories are inventive, witty and sometimes a bit too much like real life.

“Simon very much laugh-out-loud funny. He can conjure authentic, from-the-abdomen laughter on almost every page. He stacks surrealism on top of slick satire on top of pure childish silliness in such a brilliant and condensed way, there are sometimes three laugh-out-loud moments within the same paragraph.... This collection of stories isn't simply the funniest book of the year. It might just make us think about the spoiled brats we've become.”
The Guardian

“A mix of gentle surrealism and smiley satire, the stories are bright, witty, occasionally tart, and just the right side of sappy.”
The Telegraph

“Simon Rich is a comedic shape shifter, adopting the plights of hamsters and hipsters alike, and Spoiled Brats is vividly hilarious in the way Woody Allen and Donald Barthelme are vividly hilarious. Simon Rich is also much taller in real life than you'd think. Like the reverse of an actor.”
—Sloane Crosley, author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number

The Married Kama Sutra

For centuries, lovers have found inspiration and advice in the ancient text of the Kama Sutra. Now, Simon Rich—"one of the funniest writers in America" (The Daily Beast)—and Farley Katz have unearthed a valuable new document—a guide to the positions most common after marriage.

From "the interrupted congress" to "the beaching of the whales," here are the poses, positions, and games married lovers play to keep the spark alive—and the dishwasher properly loaded. Complete with four-color, full-page illustrations in the style of the original Kama Sutra, but with modern, domestic accoutrements: dirty diapers, TV remotes, and wine glasses aplenty.

“We could go on and on about the stratospherically accomplished, Brooklyn-based funnymen behind a new, illustrated ode to modern love, The Married Kama Sutra (Little, Brown), out today. It’s a too-true-to-life parody of sex after marriage, with witty depictions of the behaviors couples fall into that render the phrase “long-term romance” oxymoronic.”
—Elyse Moody, Elle

“Simon Rich and Farley Katz capture several vignettes in this perfect-as-a-stocking-stuffer gift for your favorite couple.”
New York Times

"A hilarious look at conjugal bliss amidst life with the kids, the dishwasher, and other post-nuptial trappings."
The San Antonio Express-News

“The long married…may find more satisfaction in this not-so-sexy but quite hilarious volume.”

The Last Girlfriend on Earth

Love can be messy, painful, and even tragic. When seen through the eyes of Simon Rich it can also be hilarious.

In thirty short, sharp, ingenious stories, Rich conjures up some unforgettable romances: An unused prophylactic describes life inside a teenage boy’s wallet; God juggles the demands of his needy girlfriend with the looming deadline for Earth’s creation; and a love-struck Sherlock Holmes ignores all the clues that his girlfriend’s been cheating on him.

As enchanting, sweet, and absurd as love itself, these stories are Simon Rich’s valentine to readers, an irresistible collection of delights. All that’s missing is the heart-shaped box.

The Last Girlfriend on Earth

Who said all's fair in love?

It doesn't matter if you're a caveman, a time traveller or a regular person. Sooner or later, someone's going to break your heart. The sketches in Simon Rich's new book are bizarre, funny, and—if you've ever been in love—all too familiar. From the invisible man stalking his ex, to Sherlock Holmes' only blind spot, The Last Girlfriend on Earth is always enchanting, often sweet, though occasionally awkward. Just like love itself.' The Last Girlfriend On Earth is silly, surreal, sometimes sad and always laugh-out-loud funny. This collection will have you giggling/crying/squirming in recognition, and wondering what exactly Simon Rich has eaten to dream all this stuff up.

“No matter how zany things get, there’s an endearing simplicity at the heart of these inventive tales….Love doesn’t always conquer all, but these stories suggest Rich thinks it certainly ought to.”
—Daily Beast

“It's brilliant: a kind of modern version of Woody Allen's Without Feathers for anyone who's been in love.”
The Guardian

“The best one-night stand you’ll ever have….Delivers more laughs per word than anything you’ll read this year.”
Washington Post

“Comedy gold….Rich’s humor is well drawn, his punch lines always on time.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“…pulls off the tough trick of being both heart-warming and hilarious—it's a must-read if you've ever so much as had a crush on someone”

“Pithy, occasionally bonkers.”
Time Out

“Truly hilarious”
—Eva Wiseman, Observer

What In God's Name

Welcome to Heaven, Inc., the grossly mismanaged corporation in the sky—where God, the founder and CEO, is either golfing or reading what humans have been blogging about him. When God decides to retire, he also decides it’s time to destroy Earth. Most of his employees take the news in stride—except for Craig and Eliza, two underpaid angels in the Department of Miracles.

Unlike their boss, Craig and Eliza love their jobs making “miracles” happen down on Earth. The angels manage to strike a deal with God. He'll call off his Armageddon if they can solve their toughest miracle yet: getting the two most socially awkward humans to fall in love. With Doomsday fast approaching, and the humans ignoring every chance for happiness thrown their way, Craig and Eliza must move heaven and earth to rescue them—and the rest of us, too.

What In God's Name

How can you help mankind, when they won't help themselves? Welcome to Heaven Inc, and Craig's life.

From the Sunsets Department and Geyser Regulation to the Department of Miracles, Heaven Inc has the earth covered. Unless someone is away from their desk. And these days, the CEO is kind of disillusioned. God knows he should be keeping an eye on the bad things happening on Earth, but instead he finds himself watching the Church channels on satellite TV. His first priority is the team of angels he's asked to get Lynyrd Skynyrd back together. Downstairs on the office floor, Eliza has been promoted from the Prayers Department to Miracles, and Craig, the only other workaholic in heaven, has to show her around. Eliza is shocked by the casual attitude of many of the angels in her new department. And she's furious when she discovers that God has never looked at, let alone answered, a single prayer.So she storms into God's office and asks Him a question that no one has ever dared to ask before. And it might just be the end of the world."

“Divinely funny.”
—Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair

“Hilarious and touching…. Rich is crazy good at hysterical sharp dialogue. But the bonus here is that his head is matched by his heart.”
—Ray Rahman, Entertainment Weekly

“One of the funniest writers in America.”
—Jimmy So, Daily Beast

“Like Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Rich drags heaven down to Earth...Simon Rich isn’t interested in condemning religion—he just wants to have fun with it, using the Bible as an outrageous vehicle with which to present, in his own odd way, questions about faith and human nature… Rich knows how to balance the smart with the funny.”
—Patrick Cassels, New York Times Book Review

"Simon Rich is probably the funniest writer working in America right now."
—Lucas Kavner, Huffington Post

Elliot Allagash

Seymour Herson is the least popular student at Glendale, a private school in Manhattan. He’s painfully shy, physically inept, and his new nick-name, “chunk style,” is in danger of entering common usage. But Seymour’s solitary existence comes to a swift end when he meets the new transfer student: Elliot Allagash, evil heir of America’s largest fortune.

Elliot’s rampant delinquency has already gotten him expelled from dozens of prep schools around the country. But despite his best efforts, he can’t get himself thrown out of Glendale; his father has simply donated too much money. Bitter and bored, Elliot decides to amuse himself by taking up a challenging and expensive new hobby: transforming Seymour into the most popular student in the school.

An unlikely friendship develops between the two loners as Elliot introduces Seymour to new concepts, like power, sabotage, and vengeance. With Elliot as his diabolical strategist and investor, Seymour scores a spot on the basketball team, becomes class president, and ruthlessly destroys his enemies. Yet despite the glow of newfound popularity, Seymour feels increasingly uneasy with Elliot’s wily designs. For an Allagash victory is dishonorable at its best, and ruinous at its worst.

Cunningly playful and wickedly funny, Elliot Allagash is a tale about all of the incredible things that money can buy, and the one or two things that it can’t.

Elliot Allagash

As manipulative as Cruel Intentions, as competitive as Election, as geeky as Napoleon Dynamite, Elliot Allagashis a wonderfully original take on a much loved genre.

Seymour isn't cool, but he isn't a geek either. He's a lonely, obedient 8th grade loser at Glendale, a second tier prep school in Manhattan. His chubbiness has recently earned him the nick name "Chunk Style" and he has resigned himself to a life of isolation. All of this is about to change.After successfully getting himself expelled from every reputable school in the country, Elliot Allagash, the arrogant heir of America's largest fortune, finds himself marooned at Glendale. Try as he may, Elliot cannot get expelled this time; his father has donated too much money. Bitter and bored, Elliot decides to amuse himself by taking up a new hobby: transforming Seymour into the most popular student in school. An unlikely friendship develops between these two loners as Elliot introduces Seymour to new concepts, like power, sabotage and vengeance. With Elliot as his diabolical guide, Seymour gradually learns about all of the incredible things that money can buy, and the one or two things that it can't. Hilarious, ingenious and tightly plotted, Elliot Allagash reminds you what your teens were like, and why growing up is so hard to do.

“The title character, Elliot Allagash is one of the best villains I’ve ever encountered in fiction... The details of Elliot’s wealth are joyous to read and too numerous to count. My favorite—the Allagash family belongs to the Seven Circles Club, a club so exclusive that they denied George Washington’s only son membership because "his father was a farmer." A lot of very successful adults I know still wish they could re-live high school as someone popular. Reading this hilarious morality tale about the cost of that popularity makes me happy that I went through my high school years as an outsider. And it makes me even happier that Simon Rich did.”
Seth Meyers

“An unfailingly funny and compulsively readable mix of sweet and sour that will leave readers hoping for another helping.

"I found Simon Rich's first novel, about an evil teenage billionaire, to be suspenseful and hilarious. I am so glad I don't have to lie in this blurb like I usually do."
Judd Apatow

"Fellow high school losers, use your video game money to buy this book! Simon Rich will make you relive the dread, the hilarity, and the insanity of those formative years like no one else. Open at your own peril!"
Gary Shteyngart

Free-Range Chickens

After a riotous debut collection, Ant Farm, Simon Rich returns to mine more comedy from our hopelessly terrifying world. In the nostalgic opening chapter, Rich recalls his fear of the Tooth Fairy (“Is there a face fairy?”) and his initial reaction to the “Got-your-nose” game (“Please just kill me. Better to die than to live the rest of my life as a monster”). He gets inside the heads of two firehouse Dalmatians who can’t understand their masters’ compulsion to drive off to horrible fires every day (“What the hell is wrong with these people?”). And in the final chapter, he tackles one of life’s biggest questions: Does God really have a plan for us? Yes, it turns out. Now if only He could remember what it was…

“A punch-and-jab gigglefest…that delivers a laugh on every page.”
Publishers Weekly

“Simon Rich is still the freshest, funniest new writer today.”
Chicago Sun-Times

Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations

In Ant Farm, Simon Rich finds humor in some very surprising places. Armed with a sharp eye for the absurd and an overwhelming sense of doom, Rich explores the ridiculousness of our everyday lives. The world, he concludes, is a hopelessly terrifying place–with endless comic potential. Some of the questions he seeks to answer are:

—If your girlfriend gives you some “love coupons” and then breaks up with you, are the coupons still valid?

—What kind of performance pressure does an endangered male panda feel when his captors bring the last remaining female panda to his cage?

—If murderers can get into heaven by accepting Jesus, just how awkward is it when they run into their victims?

Join Simon Rich as he explores the extraordinary and hilarious desperation that resides in ordinary life, from cradle to grave.

—Jon Stewart

“Laugh-out-loud funny.”
Library Journal

“The microscaled, high-concept humor piece seems to be in vogue with all the cool kids: see the recent book of lists from McSweeney's, "Mountain Man Dance Moves," or "The Areas of My Expertise," by John Hodgman. What's different about Rich is his tone and his references—or rather, his lack thereof. You'd think that a current Harvard senior and former president of The Harvard Lampoon might serve up a hipper-than-thou shivaree of pop culture or highbrow allusions. But aside from the occasional nod to the Bible or a movie (the Bulgarian narrator of "Pen Pal" refers to the Disney hit "Small Mermaid"), the stories tend toward the universal. Some of them could have been written 50 years ago.”
The New York Times


Simon Rich is a graduate of Harvard University, where he was president of The Harvard Lampoon. Shortly after graduation he became a writer for Saturday Night Live. He worked on Inside Out for Pixar and is currently writing and producing the hit comedy Man Seeking Woman. He lives in New York City.

Simon Rich's new BBC Radio 4 series is coming in June.

Simon Rich’s publisher in the UK is Serpent’s Tail. Sign up to their newsletter at for monthly literary goodies straight to your inbox.

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For media inquiries, please contact Morgan Moroney at Little, Brown and Company
Phone: 212-364-1577

The World of Simon Rich

Spoiled Brats

The Married Kama Sutra

The Last Girlfriend on Earth

What In God's Name

Elliot Allagash

Free-Range Chickens

Ant Farm and Other Stories