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I heard the author read of a segment of this book on the WTF podcast and had to try it out, and I have devoured the audiobook in record time.
It is a very funny, unflinching, and direct novel, and has the kind of edge to it that comes from a writer who is up for actually going with the truth. Also, for me personally, I really loved the way he captured the neighborhood of Astoria in Queens. So much of that rang true, and so many of his chapters went from enjoying moments of recognition, to being punched in the gut, like the end of chapter 8.
I am really glad I got this, and look forward to seeking out more from Lipsyte (who is also a very good reader, there is something about his pacing in the audiobook that strikes a perfect tone for the main character, so hopefully at some point more audiobooks of his prior work will be added to Audible).
David D. (via my wife and my shared account)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Lipsyte loves paradox, puns and all manner of wordplay, and this book is a real delight as far as that goes. The plot is satisfyingly convoluted, and well told. Every single character, except the protagonist, is insulting and murderously aggressive toward all the other characters; every character, except the protagonist, has reached adulthood with a more or less coherent identity based in aggression. Though amusing, in a nasty way, they all sound alike, and a tender soul is grateful her own world doesn't contain more than a few of them. The world of this book, however, contains nothing but. The protagonist, Miles, is struggling for maturity, decency and basic coherence against overwhelming self-loathing, self-pity, resentment, envy and paralysis. As a consequence, Miles is someone you don't want to spend 10 minutes with, much less 8+ hours. Still, the story rocks along, and I stuck with it, but perhaps I'm not sophisticated enough to enjoy cruelty, which is mostly what this book is about.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful