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

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

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...

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Title:Race Me in a Lobster Suit: Absurd Internet Ads and the Real Conversations that Followed
Author:Kelly Mahon
Rating:
Edition Language:English

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

  • 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

    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 hand and I am certain that many 30-plus-year-olds who are going to read Race Me In A Lobster Suit will come to think that maybe this world has derailed to the point of no return in terms of intelligence and decency.

    Anyway, this quirky little book was an absolute fun. Mahon created fake advertisements and initiated the completely crazy conversations with the people who were brave (or foolish, it depends on the way you look at the subject…) enough to answer her call. I found out that there are people who are willing to become a human piñata. To play dead for the sake of a couple’s fantasies. To knit a jumpsuit- human cocoon. To organize a fashion snow for 78 snakes. To volunteer for a cryotherapy programme. To provide urine samples. To become a canvas for someone to practise tattoos when that ‘’someone’’ is a completely inexperienced amateur. And many more stories…

    This is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Or one of the most disconcerting. I don’t know. I’ll place an advertisement asking for a decisions helper. Who knows?

    Many thanks to Quirk Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    My reviews can also be found on

  • Elisabeth Jewell

    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!

  • Julie

    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

    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 all my life, so I know how people can be. After many years of witnessing so many insane human behaviors, I commonly boasted that nothing could possibly surprise me anymore. In fact, on more than one occasion, a friend or relative suggested I write down all my experiences and publish them. Of course, my experiences were not choreographed in anyway, but now I’m thinking these situations may not translate so well in print.

    But, if the outlandish conversations relayed in this book are indeed true, and the author is not pulling a gag on us, which I suspected on more than one occasion, it proves that truth is stranger than fiction, and the next time I read a book and start to question the realism or plausibility of it, I will remind myself of this book.

    Despite the bizarre-o set-up, some of these e-mail conversations did make me chuckle. They also horrified and mystified me. It is scary, and maybe a little sad too, that people responded to these ads. No matter how desperate I was financially, could I consider doing something so outrageous- like being hired to tickle someone, for example.

    However, according to the author, the emails printed here were done so with the permission of those who answered the ads. So, I guess they must have a self- deprecating sense of humor, or maybe they were offered compensation- who knows.

    Bottom line-

    I was amused to some extent, but mostly I found it a tad disturbing. I’m not sure what that says about MY sense of humor- but I did try to see the appeal and humor here. For the most part, though, this type of gag/prank humor doesn’t really appeal to me. It was just a little too silly for my taste.

    On a more positive note, I think this author does have a knack for coming up with quick witted comebacks. It is possible she could find a niche in improvisation or comedy writing, but perhaps it would be best not use real people to experiment on.

    3 stars

  • Helen Marquis

    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

    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 seemingly dumb things, they'll respond to emails that may seem a bit weird, they'll fall for trolls like Mahon...

    While I appreciate that this supposed to be a bit of light relief, at its heart is someone trolling people on the internet - out of work actors, people desperate for a bed, people trying to make a buck... Mahon deliberately sets out to hoodwink and troll these people, and push them to humiliate and degrade themselves in the name of humour. This whole book left a bad taste in my mouth. Shameful.

  • 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

    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 repetitive nature of the messages (not that the emails are similar, but that each specific "incident"'s conversation would have a lot of messages where the author repeated themselves). After a while, though, I began to notice a theme with some of the email conversations:

    and were willing to do anything to get it.

    Maybe this is just my own personal issue, but once that "clicked" for me, it was impossible to view this author as anything other than a raging jerk because, I mean, imagine someone offering you hundreds of dollars to do some weird but feasible thing when you really need to get your rent paid or buy your kids groceries, and then after

    of having your hopes up, they tell you it was all a joke so

    could make money off of this book. I dunno, y'all, I'm a mom and I'd do anything to keep my kid fed and safe and I'd probably come after somebody over this shit if I had been forced into a desperate enough spot to respond to Mahon's ads.

    I dunno, I'm being a spoilsport and I know it, but this kind of sucked and I have no respect for the author.

  • Melissa Chung

    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

    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’m not a fan of prank videos and this collection of internet ads on Craigslist are time consuming and wasteful pranks on innocent people. Almost all of the people who responded to the ads seemed genuinely interested in helping and our author played them for fools for a prolonged period of time.

    You might think... who is dumb enough to think these kinds of ads are real? If they think they are... maybe they deserve to be strung along like this? Or “hey it’s just a bit of fun... not hurting anyone”, but the thing is it’s crying wolf. I just can’t jump on board with this kind of free time fun.

    The one story I did enjoy was the ad for help because our author was trapped upside down in a rope web at the zoo by her nose ring. The person/persons who responded took this as a joke and responded in kind, which I was happy to entertain. No one was “hurt” with this ad. Both parties walked away chuckling. That is not the case for the other 28 people. They were upset, tired of the charades or completely confused at the lack of maturity with the author.

    This quote was taken from the introduction on page 11. “The toughest part of the project was coming clean to the strangers I’d been telling the wildest lies of my life to... I’m happy to say most people were amused by the banter. However, some were... not amused. Those reactions ranged from silence to a mixed bag of ‘Go [fill in the blanks]’s”.

    Yep I would be the latter. I just really disliked this book. I did however read the book in its entirety and can say the things the author came up with for the ads were bizarre and fun sounding. Well not the DMV photo shoot or break dancing video.

    Take what you will from this review. I have nothing against the author and wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors. I’ll just be mindful of responding to any fun sounding ads on Craigslist.

  • Lou

    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

    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 entries were funnier than others. It's an admirable idea - to provide a rather unique comedy creation for a general audience especially those who may not know how or where to access similar pranky comedic content online.

    However, how much these sketches resonate with you will depend on your sense of humour; those who find pranks, in general, amusing or have a rather juvenile, silly or crude giggle preference will likely laugh a lot at this. Unfortunately, I wasn't that enamoured and found it too stupid, so my laugh-o-meter was almost, almost running on empty. If you appreciate more nuanced, intelligent comedy this will probably have the same impact on you as it had on me. Definitely a case of personal preference, though, so this should be foremost in your mind should you be querying whether to purchase.

    I must add that in an age of such high unemployment and poor job prospects for many around the world these fake job opportunities', once they had interested respondents, spiel began to feel very cruel and callous. It speaks to peoples desperation but that in no way means duping them is any less than a heartless act.

    Many thanks to Quirk Books for an ARC.

  • Sarah Ames-Foley

    fully explains why I have no interest in reading this book.

  • Emily

    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.

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