Intimacy IdiotScribner, 2015
This big-hearted, laugh-until-you-can’t-breathe collection of personal essays, stories, and riffs on finding love and intimacy in New York City announces the arrival of “a monstrous new talent” (New York Magazine) in the vein of David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs, and Tina Fey.
In this uproariously funny debut collection, award-winning writer and performer Isaac Oliver serves up a comedic cornucopia of sketches, vignettes, lists, and diaries from his life as a young, fanciful, and extremely single gay man in New York City. Whether he’s hooking up with a man who dresses as a dolphin, suffering on airplanes and buses next to people with Food From Home, or hovering around an impenetrable circle of attractive people at a cocktail party, Oliver captures the messy, moving, and absurd moments of urban life as we live it today.
Since moving to New York a decade ago, Oliver has pined for countless strangers on the subway, slept with half the people in his Washington Heights neighborhood, and observed the best and worst of humanity from behind the glass of a Times Square theater box office. He also rode the subway during Breastfeeding Awareness Week and lived to tell the tale. Culled from years of heartbreak, hook-ups, and more awkwardness than a virgin at prom and a whore in church (and he should know because he’s been both), Intimacy Idiot chronicles Oliver’s encounters with love, infatuation, resilience, and self-acceptance that echo our universal desire for intimacy of all kinds.
PRAISE FOR Intimacy Idiot
"A rare talent who manages to deftly combine raunchiness, intelligence, hilarity, and heart. Brilliantly observant, funny, and wry."
—The New Yorker
"Brilliant and hilarious and surprisingly, shockingly at times, intimate. You'll want to have dinner with him and maybe want to slightly protect him from the world and himself."
—Nathan Lane, The New York Times
“If you're still mourning the demise of Sex and the City, and wish that David Sedaris would get a little raunchier, look no further. A daring emotional striptease."
—NPR's Best Books of 2015
“Isaac Oliver is one of the funniest, sharpest and smartest writers I have ever encountered ... on Grindr.
His book is pretty hilarious too.”
—Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of ABC’s Modern Family
“[A] compulsively readable debut collection. If David Sedaris and Fran Lebowitz had a baby who wrote about subways, theater patrons and blow jobs, he might be a lot like Isaac Oliver."
—Time Out New York
“Very funny and very honest ... I think anyone, gay or straight, who’s trying to hack [their] way through the dating world would enjoy this."
—Chris Colfer, Glee alum and author of the The Land of Stories series
“A hilarious, unsparing essay collection."
—New York Magazine
“The best stories of awkward dating and sex are the ones that aren’t happening to you. I laughed out loud at this consistently hilarious and surprisingly poignant collection from the comfort of my own home, without ever having to remove clothing in front of a stranger. Thank you, Intimacy Idiot!”
—Rachel Dratch, Saturday Night Live alum and author of Girl Walks into a Bar...
“Hilarous ... tragic and transcendent.”
“Isaac Oliver is hilarious, biting, heartfelt, physically beautiful, financially wealthy. He’s like if Oscar Wilde were gay!!”
—Megan Amram, author of Science...for Her!
“Wickedly humorous ... with surprisingly moving moments.”
"More than just a deeply honest, coming-of-age memoir. It’s funny, touching, enlightening, and by the end, you’ll feel like you’ve watched Oliver grow up.”
“Bracingly sharp, unbelievably funny."
“Author and comedian Isaac Oliver probably gets tired of the 'in the tradition of David Sedaris' descriptions of his work. But with the dry wit and frankness of his essay collection, the comparison is natural. Oliver views people, himself included, with a merciless streak of sarcastic disdain; but his writing can be unexpectedly moving, making you tear up a bit even as you laugh."
—Crain's Chicago Business (Editor's Pick)
“Affecting and effective ... Oliver's collection will please fans of David Sedaris and David Rakoff."
“There are few books funnier."
“Unfailingly hilarious ... a fully-realized feast."
“Isaac Oliver’s poignant, relatable essays will allow you to escape the drama and minutiae of your own life as he sweeps you into a whirlwind of New York, cocktail parties and, of course, love."
“Isaac Oliver delivers big in his debut. Hook-ups and heartbreaks are laid out like a feast for readers ... Oliver's observations and encounters will strike a chord of familiarity with anyone who has been brave enough to search for connections in the urban jungle."
“If you're looking to laugh your ass off in spite of yourself, you've come to the right place ... sincere, thoughtful and genuinely funny."
"When it comes to getting intimate, comic writer Isaac Oliver is no idiot. Hysterical."
—Metro New York
"Ultra-personal ... and laugh-inducing. The perfect vacation read."
—Baltimore Style Magazine
"Isaac Oliver’s debut collection ... smacks of David Sedaris. And it’s not just because he’s insanely dry, incredibly witty, and has stories about being bad at driving or being bad at dating in New York City, although he does all those things, and he is brilliant at it. This is the type of book that makes you look crazy as you laugh out loud alone. I dare you not to read it and not laugh out loud alone. On the first page."
—South Coast Today
“Isaac Oliver is a tender and tenacious observer of folly and desire in our modern age.”
—Susanna Sonnenberg, author of Her Last Death and She Matters