Laugh it up with Sam Lipsyte

If you've yet to read Sam Lipsyte's The Ask, we have just one question: What's the hold-up? One of the funniest books of 2010, the story concerns Milo Burke, a struggling father and husband who is given one last shot at keeping his job as a development officer at a university if he can woo a mysterious potential donor. The only catch is: The donor has a difficult favor to ask him as well. As our Rob Harvilla said in his review: "If you're the sort of person who underlines amusing or thought-provoking lines in books, you best gird yourself, as Lipsyte is an inexhaustible fount of eloquent prurience, deftly mingling high- and low-mindedness." Tonight, join Lipsyte and the book's editor, Lorin Stein (also the editor of The Paris Review), at the launch party for the paperback edition of The Ask and the re-release of Lipsyte's The Subject Steve. Drinks will be served.
Tue., March 1, 7 p.m., 2011
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This book failed on several levels. It was crass, it lacked momentum at the end, and I get the feeling it served mainly as a repository for Lipsyte's sexual and scatological baggage. There is much better dystopian neutorica out there, e.g., Shteyngart's super sad true love story. Take free advice for what it's worth, but this book is long, and not in pages.

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