A debut novel about a young writers’ 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 Connecticut.
With Hugo Best, Somers deftly teases out the muddled and sometimes inappropriate relationship men like him have with fame ... Somers does a great job balancing June's competing feelings ... Hugo is never overly predatory (the book would be trite if that were the case), but it's clear his behavior is, at best, not great ... Somers shines when depicting the little moments between the two, which are funny and poignant ... Somers knows exactly when both the laugh lines and the cringes should hit ... Stay Up with Hugo Best hilariously skewers and celebrates the world of late-night shows and comedy.
Somers’ debut is full of insider details on the world of late-night television—Hugo feels modeled on David Letterman—and a timely comment on sex and power in the entertainment industry. Though not a comedy per se, there are some great laugh-out-loud moments and one-liners, and the pace is steady throughout. Suggest this book to readers who enjoy fiction with a strong sense of misanthropy, and who like their unlikable characters well drawn.
On the surface, Somers' debut is light and breezy, but the narrative is deft, controlled, and deadly smart. She mines depths out of Hollywood's propensity to look the other way when beloved men behave badly without a hint of preachiness. Instead, she's interested in complicity ... What could be a straightforward novel about a young woman and an older man taking mutual advantage of one another is instead a brilliant study in how rarely we seize opportunities to grow and change for the better—especially if we're lucky enough to get more than one. An outstanding comedic debut.