Rating: 4 / 5
Erin Somers’ Stay Up with Hugo Best is the witty and yet introspectively dark story of a late night comedy show writer’s assistant and the mega-famous aging comedian that invites her to his Connecticut home for Memorial Day weekend.
Thanks to Scribner for the free book!
June is a 29-year-old writer’s assistant on the late night comedy show Stay Up with Hugo Best. She was hoping to be promoted to a writer, but those dreams were dashed when Hugo, in his sixties, announced that he’d be leaving the show. June unexpectedly runs into Hugo after the finale party, where he unpredictably invites her to spend the weekend with him. He doesn’t remember having met her hundreds of times, but she’s looked up to – and had a bit of a crush on – him for years.
June says yes and is immediately swept into a weekend of fun, confusion, and an ever-present “will they-won’t they” sexual tension. She has no idea what she or Hugo wants from the weekend or what lies ahead – both at Hugo’s mansion for three days and in her own life and career.
Please take caution while reading Stay Up with Hugo Best if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Death / dying
Stay Up with Hugo Best is a very unique book. It is extremely character driven, without much action in the plot. June explores herself in depth during the long weekend – how she got to be a 29-year-old unemployed writer’s assistant; her hopes, dreams, and desires; her humor, or lack there-of depending on who you ask. She also considers those around her in the complicated and unfamiliar terrain of Hugo’s Connecticut home.
Very introspective, and surprisingly dark for a book about a comedian, the story is witty without being laugh-out-loud funny. Both June and Hugo are searching for what’s next. The world is June’s oyster, although she doesn’t see that. She thinks she’s too old and running out of time to make something of herself. Hugo is just as lost without the show and must determine how he’ll spend his newly found free time.
Readers are swept into the odd world of the rich and famous – and ultimately, the lonely. Hugo and his family are exceptionally interesting; they have everything in the world they would want, but they still search for more. Hugo for validation, his son for someone to feign interest in him.
Stay Up with Hugo Best is an exploration of the, at times taboo, desires of two vastly different kinds of people. It is reflective, thoughtful, and somber while also being amusing and uninhibited. It will surely leave you pondering the ramifications of the twists, turns, and decisions of life.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Stay Up with Hugo Best. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!