Like a dark and twisted mash up of Lena Dunham's GIRLS and Ricky Gervais's THE OFFICE - this is "a dark comedy of female rage" (Catherine Lacey) and a biting satire of the false promise of reinvention, by a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and Granta Best Young American Novelist
In a windowless office, women stand in a circle. One explains something from her real, nonwork life - about the frustration and indignity of returning an item she bought online. One wears a topknot. Another checks her pedometer.
Watching them all is Millie. Thirty-years-old and an eternal temp, she says almost nothing, almost all of the time.
But then the possibility of a permanent job arises. Will it bring the new life Millie is envisioning - one involving a gym membership, a book club, and a lot less beer and TV - finally within reach? Or will it reveal just how hollow that vision has become?
Funny, shocking, clever, and hugely entertaining
A definitive work of millennial literature - New Yorker
Vicious ... hilariously spot on - Guardian
Brilliant. For fans of Ottessa Moshfegh's My Year of Rest and Relaxation
The best thing I've read in years. A dark delight. Viciously funny. Brilliantly subversive. - Emma Jane Unsworth
Halle Butler is a first-rate satirist of the horror show being sold to us as Modern Femininity. She is Thomas Bernhard in a bad mood, wearing ill-fitting tights, scrutinizing old take-out leftovers. THE NEW ME shows us the futility of betterment in an increasingly paranoid era of self-improvement, one in which the female body is grated into little bloody empowered bits of itself. A dark comedy of female rage. Fucking hilarious.
THE NEW ME renders contemporary American life in such vivid, stinging color, that certain sentences are liable to give the reader a paper cut. But you'll want to keep on reading anyway. Halle Butler is terrific, and I loved this book.
A cringey book about someone's shitty life that makes you feel infinitely better about your own - Vanity Fair