Incoming: New Lipsyte

October 2nd, 2009

Sam Lipsyte’s scaldingly dark comic novel, Home Land, caused me to vomit with laughter (laughter, as the saying goes, is the best emetic.) So it was with grabby, snortling glee that I recently received a galley of his new slab of scabrousness, The Ask. It’sĀ  coming out in March from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and it concerns a recently-fired development officer at a mediocre university who, re-hired, must reel in a potential donor–a major “ask.”

A taste:

“Autodidactic vigor is darling in a little boy. Give him forty years, though, a beer gut, leather vest, bandana, granny glasses, and picture him the poor slob known as the Professor in a biker bar off the thruway, the arrogant but harmless turd humored for his historical factoids about extinct warrior societies and mots justes about the bankruptcy of liberal democracy, humored, that is, until some severe, silence-craving patron, maybe a thug who made his living garrotingĀ  wives and business partners for high three-figure fees, suddenly didn’t find the Professor’s disquisitions edifying, kicked his neck in, then it wasn’t so charming.”