Congratulations, The Best Is Over!: Essays (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The beloved author of Here for It returns with an all-new collection of heartening, deeply relatable, and laugh-out-loud essays about what happens after happily ever after.
“Funny, insightful, and hopeful . . . a profound meditation on what it means to come home, and on finding your way again after the chaos of life takes you off your path.”—John Paul Brammer, author of ¡Hola Papi!
AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
After going viral “reading” the chaotic political news, having one-too-many awkward social encounters, and coming to terms with his intersecting identities, R. Eric Thomas finally knew who he was and where he was going. He was living his best life.
But then everything changed.
In this collection of insightful and hilarious essays, Thomas moves back to his perpetually misunderstood hometown of Baltimore (a place he never wanted to return, even to be buried) and behaving completely out of character. They say you can’t go home again, but what if you and home have changed beyond recognition? From attending his twenty-year high school reunion and discovering another person’s face on his name badge, to splattering an urgent care room with blood à la The Shining, to being terrorized by a plague of gay frogs who’ve overtaken his backyard, Thomas provides the nitty, and sometimes the gritty, details of wrestling with the life he thought he’d left behind while trying to establish a new one.
With wit, heart, and hope for the future, Congratulations, The Best Is Over! is the not-so-gentle reminder we all need that even when life doesn’t go according to plan, we can still find our way back home.
About the Author
R. Eric Thomas is the bestselling author of Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America, a Lambda Literary Award finalist; and the YA novel Kings of B’more, a Stonewall Honor book. Both books were also featured as Read with Jenna book club picks on Today. He is also a television writer (Apple TV+’s Dickinson, FX’s Better Things), a Lambda Literary Award–winning playwright, and the long-running host of the Moth in Philadelphia. For four years, Thomas was a senior staff writer at Elle online, where he wrote the popular “Eric Reads the News” column.
“How is it possible that I liked this book even more than his last one? Phenomenal.”—Jenny Lawson, New York Times bestselling author of Broken (in the best possible way)
“I occasionally read another writer’s work overcome with equal parts delight and raging envy, and thus my reaction to R. Eric Thomas. How dare he! Congratulations, The Best Is Over! is some of his best work. The gay frogs story sent me so hard, I had to stop reading it on the plane. But then, like he does, other sections are beautifully fragile, so human and tender and dear. Read this book and thank me later.”—Jen Hatmaker, New York Times bestselling author of Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire
“Congratulations, The Best Is Over! is like having a late-night chat with your best friend in book form: all at once vulnerable, cuttingly funny, and ultimately life-affirming. R. Eric Thomas has written a book that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even crack your heart open as he shares his hard-won and hilarious wisdom.”—Tara Schuster, author of Glow in the F*cking Dark
“R. Eric Thomas is a once-in-a-lifetime voice. Funny, insightful, and hopeful, Congratulations, The Best Is Over! is a profound meditation on what it means to come home, and on finding your way again after the chaos of life takes you off your path.”—John Paul Brammer, author of ¡Hola Papi!
“Congratulations, The Best Is Over! is as thoughtful and poignant as it is funny—and it is very, very funny. I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud on just about every page while also moving me to tears. R. Eric Thomas is one of my favorite writers. Read this book, and he’ll be one of yours, too.”—Nicole Chung, author of A Living Remedy
“R. Eric Thomas finds hilarity in the quotidian—adulthood, marriage, suburbia, and even death—amid an unexpected, mid-life relocation back to Maryland. Chronicling his efforts to establish a new normal in an old home with irreverence, warmth, and laugh-out-loud social commentary, Thomas showcases a narrative voice that is anything but mundane.”—Dr. Eric Cervini, bestselling author of The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. The United States of America
“The unfailingly entertaining essays burst with personality and amount to a full-fleshed portrait of all the beauty and difficulty of coming home again. This tender memoir captivates.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The bestselling author of Here for It pens another hilarious and thoughtful essay collection. . . . A funny, poignant, astute collection.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Hilarious and insightful . . . Highlighting the power of reinvention at any age, [R. Eric] Thomas’s writing encourages all to enjoy the chaos and the magic of the present.”—Booklist
“[Thomas is] fun, funny, vulnerable and one hell of a storyteller.”—BookPage