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Publisher's Summary

Named one of the Best Books of the Summer by Lit Hub, The Millions, Refinery29, and Hey Alma.

“Hilarious, wise, wicked, and tender.” (Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, The New York Times best-selling author of The Nest)

Janet works at a rundown dog shelter in the woods. She wears black, loves The Smiths, and can’t wait to get rid of her passive-aggressive boyfriend. Her brain is full of anxiety, like “one of those closets you never want to open because everything will fall out and crush you.” She has a meddlesome family, eccentric coworkers, one old friend who’s left her for Ibiza, and one new friend who’s really just a neighbor she sees in the hallway. 

Most of all, Janet has her sadness — a comfortable cloak she uses to insulate herself from the oppressions of the wider world. That is, until one fateful summer when word spreads about a new pill that offers even cynics like her a short-term taste of happiness...just long enough to make it through the holidays without wanting to stab someone with a candy cane. When her family stages an intervention, her boyfriend leaves, and the prospect of making it through Christmas alone seems like too much, Janet decides to give them what they want. 

What follows is life-changing for all concerned — in ways no one quite expects. Hilarious, bitterly wise, and surprisingly warm, Sad Janet is the depression comedy you never knew you needed.

©2020 Lucie Britsch (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Lucie Britsch has crafted a biting, pitch-perfect novel about one woman’s desire to stay true to herself in a world that rewards facile happiness. Hilarious, wise, wicked, and tender, Sad Janet is a dazzling debut and Britsch a singular and necessary new voice.” (Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times best-selling author of The Nest)

“I know sad Janet. Sometimes I am sad Janet. At some point in our lives, we could all be a Janet. In her wonderful debut novel, Lucie Britsch celebrates a formerly unheralded state of being: sadness. Embrace your sadness, watch TV, pet a stray dog, masturbate, don't answer the phone. And if you don't feel like taking that pill, try reading Sad Janet instead. It might make you happy.” (Marcy Dermansky, author of Very Nice

“In Sad Janet, Britsch has created a slacker heroine with the exuberant weariness of a Melissa Broder poem and the provocative non-conformism of an Ottessa Mosfegh character. From her pulpit in the anarchist dog shelter that also shelters her, Janet has veracious and darkly comic things to say about the real cost of artificial glee. A timely and trenchant debut.” (Courtney Maum, author of Costalegre

Editor's Pick

A dark, comedic look at depression
"Janet is a potty-mouthed, gloomy young woman who prefers dogs to people and refuses to become an over-medicated zombie like everyone around her—until one day, her doctor reveals that ''…they've finally made a pill perfect for you–it will help you get through the holidays.'' Typically, this isn’t my kind of listen but the blurb mentioned dogs, dark humor, and The Smiths, so I dove in. Dark it is, but I ended up LOVING Sad Janet! Lucie Brtich’s debut novel is witty, blunt, and not for younger listeners. Janet’s deadpan deliveries and her cynical musings on sex, her family, co-workers, and on-again and off-again boyfriends won me over so much that I found myself LOL’ing and cracking smiles while I rode my bike listening to narrator Kristen Sieh’s spot-on performance. The humor in Sad Janet isn’t for everyone, so make sure that you love your comedy dark before you listen."—Edwin D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Sad Janet

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Utterly brilliant

Original and relentlessly clever, this author is like (as Liz Phair once said) “Like relieving a headache.” If your audiobook collection is feeling stale and repetitive, you are a smart woman, or just smart, or just a woman, you will have a good time with this one. The narration is one of the best I have heard. The only thing I found distracting is the subtle and not so subtle British references, with an American narrator and no allusion to where they were. Maybe it was intentional. Had to be. Just confused me a little.

PS there is almost no info online about the author which is both cool and mysterious and completely annoying.

8 people found this helpful

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Stream Of Conscienceness

Be warned--This is experiential not your typical development of story. If you experience depression it's cathartic if you don't but would like insight this is a good way to go. Otherwise, move along nothing to see here, you've been warned, no need to leave bad reviews if it's not your cuppa.

5 people found this helpful

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Hehehe......

Who would have thought depression could be funny? I so enjoyed this book. It took me away from all the chaos of life and into the world of one messed up young woman who lays it all bare, and for some reason I found myself relating to her. I picked this one up with no reviews....I took a chance.....you should to......its weirdly funny...heehehe

5 people found this helpful

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Vapid

I could not relate to the author’s version of depression on any level. I’m a therapist.

2 people found this helpful

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If you're in the mood to be sad, pick this up

I really wanted to like this book. I listened to almost three hours of the book and nothing ever happens, Janet is still sad and very happy being sad. There are some great one liners in the book, "I told the doctor I'm both overwhelmed and underwhelmed simultaneously"

I couldn't listen to the constant "I'm sad and I'm okay with it" mantra any longer and will be returning the book.

2 people found this helpful

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Very funny

This is a somewhat dark, but very funny book. I would love to be friends with the main character, except she probably doesn't want any friends. The narrator for the audiobook was perfect for this book. How I wish there was a real "Christmas pill." I hesitated buying this book when I read that she works at a shelter for dogs since I can't stand reading (or especially listening) to detailed accounts about animal cruelty, but rest assured, there is nothing like that in this book.

1 person found this helpful

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What can I say, it worked for me.

I really liked the whole silly sad story. I don't know precisely why. The narration was perfect for the characters. The characters seemed all whole even the minor ones. I am not a sad person but who could not relate to at least some of Janet, or some of her observations of others, if we are honest with ourselves. And so, it was entertaining, I cared about the characters and would've liked it to be longer. That is my justification for 5 stars.

1 person found this helpful

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Quirky and real

I enjoyed this story and the narrator. The main character is sarcastic and quirky, and it is well written. It is sometimes a little sad, hence the name, but all in all it was a fun listen and kept my attention throughout. I would definitely read another book by this author.

1 person found this helpful

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Stupid

What was the point of this book? No honestly? I wanted to like it really I did but it was too vulgar right off the bat. I think the author was trying to be funny but it seemed liked she was trying too hard.

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Not my cup of tea

Too negative for me. I thought it would be more about the dogs from the shelter.