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My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist: A novel Paperback – May 10, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (May 10, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679745793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679745792
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

These 17 loosely linked short stories are intelligent, funny and incredibly bizarre. Though not all are science fiction, each displays a supercharged cyberpunk writing style jam-packed with elements of tabloid journalism, bits of advertising slogans, references to kung fu films, literary allusions, television trivia, deadpan non sequiturs, puns and poetry. The fiercely imaginative Leyner ( I Smell Esther Williams ) announces: "Dad was in the basement centrifuging mouse spleen hybridoma, when I informed him that I'd enrolled at the Wilford Military Academy of Beauty." He also discusses the difficulty of finding a haberdashery near the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard and speculates on a televised encounter between Tennessee's youngest member of the House of Representatives and 17th-century metaphysician Baruch Spinoza. Squads of displaced, armed and dangerous combatants inhabit a young boy's bedroom in the marvelous "In the Kingdom of Boredom, I Wear the Royal Sweatpants." It's an exuberant, adventurous and audacious collection. Some of the pieces were originally published in Esquire, Harper's and Fiction International , among other magazines.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"I really, really liked it. It's like nothing else. I laughed out loud in the bathroom." -- David Byrne

Welcome to Mark Leyner's America, where you can order gallium arsenide sushi at a roadside diner, get loaded on a cocktail of growth hormones and steroids, and support your habit by appearing on TV game shows. Welcome to a wildly post-Einsteinian fictional universe where the locals include a speech pathologist with a waterbug fetish, a kamikaze airline pilot, and the lead singer for Brazil's most notoriously nihilistic samba band.

My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist is fiction the brain can dance to, by one of the funniest and most subversive young writers of this or any other decade.

"Most current fiction is as well made and exciting as floral wallpaper; but here is a writer willing to decorate the room with the contents of his own dynamited head."

-- Entertainment Weekly

"Reading this is like fishing in some hallucinated lake of the subconscious. No telling what term, idea, or thing you'll pull up next."

-- Houston Post

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

I am looking forward to his new novel in 2012!
Marco
The dialog is crisp and, well weird, but in a droll way.
x_bruce
Makes one wonder why anyone would read stuff like this.
Nita Banerji

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By x_bruce on April 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
In the hyperkinetic style of writing, one Leyner has been doing for well over a decade now you have to take what happens as a fever dream or the author inviting you into his acid flashback world.
Mark Leyner has a gift for prose and uses it along with cultural icons to create smart, if sometimes near-incoherent fiction. I remember reading this to a class of computer music students after class and they were laughing so hard they were near tears.
Perhaps it is a love/hate thing but there is no denying Leyner can conjure up some witty situations and absurdist comedy. It isn't that Leyner is a bad writer, rather it is readers expectations that make "My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist" polarizing. Leyner's metaphors are great fun, he does not spend much time with scenic description unless it has significant import to the story. The dialog is crisp and, well weird, but in a droll way. His choices of charaters and their stories are funny and merit re-reading.
If you can check the book out try the first page or two. If you find it funny or engrossing you probably won't be let down. If it makes no sense you might as well put the book down as it's not going to get any easier to deal with.
To the right minded reader this book is a treasure.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "gelatinporn" on February 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
In a world of hate and war, we must take a look back on this book. "My Cousin" was the first book by Leyner I read.
And, I still read it. This tome of delightful, poetic anarchy is not for everyone; But, if you can be distracted by the rantings of a stick figure in a Jhonen Vasquez comic, then this should definetly be a treat for you.
I recommend "Enter The Squirrel".
I say "Ole`!" to this author. (That's a good thing.) And, I recommend this book to everyone I meet, pass by, or steal from.
My rating?
Two fists up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
As you can see from the assortment of past reviews, people either love Mark Leyner or hate him (I wanted to use "get him" or "don't get him" but then this becomes snooty, and I'm trying to avoid snooty). He's different, what can I tell you? If you're a traditionalist who demands plot, theme and some semblence character development, you'll do better to move on past. However, if you fancy something a bit different, where the words and imagery take precedence over literature style-points, you've got to give Leyner a shot. I've found him to be especially popular with those who enjoy contemporary poetry, if that's more helpful. "My Cousin" was the first Leyner book I ever read and my mouth hung agape the whole way through- I never realized that anyone could get away with writing like that and be so great at it! Anyway, keep in mind, he's not for everyone, but if he's for you, you won't be sorry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 1997
Format: Paperback
A tangy blend of sex, violence, and everything you should havelearned in Chem but they wouldn't teach you, My Cousin combinessubjects that were always afraid of each other in a way that makes just enough sense to keep you reading. By the middle of the book, you will be enough in tune with Leyner's message to laugh when Yogi Vithaldis's eye lands in the styrofoam coffee cup. In addition to its taboo subject matter, My Cousin covers the seemingly inconsequential with viscious detail, while easily skimming over anything that might become a plot. The dialog is indiffererent and cynical, indicative of the world where Leyner lives, where phone sex happens on the answering machine and a man is a man is an android. This book paints an exiciting and depressing picture of the future, a time when all the priorities will have changed. My advice to the reader: read twice, once to laugh and ask "why the hell..." and once to see "why" and to put it together.

Lynne Plettenberg
PS: Makes great quotes to throw off your friends in conversation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donsan E. Henley on June 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Picked up a copy in a gift shop at Chicago O'Hare airport. Laffed my way Albany, via Pittsburgh. Throughly enjoyed the ridiculous and oft times "confusticating" cyber-punk. At first it struck me as the private musings of a terminally bored and out of work english major but indeed impressed me for what it was in the end. A cynical, silly, ridiculous and at times much more serious than you might think collection of short stories. The 4th star was for the cover art. Huzzah.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Angel Dog on April 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Very very clever and full of anarchic wordplay. Enjoying the absurdity of the wordplay is enough to give these stories meaning. despite a previous reviewer saying it was infantile - it think in this era of sappy books designed to enlighten people, which hardly seems to be saving society as we know it - a dose of weird and crazed thinking may do more to impact the way people think than a straightforward native with a "moral." Dig it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Tired of being popular? Want to sharpen your alienation skills? This is the book for you. The weirdos self-help guide and 12 step program. No self-respecting cynic can live without its powers. Guaranteed to contain at least 3 gestalt shifts per book or get your sanity back free.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam S. Beslove on July 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read by the pound and am not easily impressed by the output of most wordsmiths. Leyner is at his hyperactive best here, delivering insanely comic bits peppered with his broad knowledge of culture, tech, medicine and car bombs. I'm on my third copy of this book because I lend it out and it never comes back.
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