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The Subject Steve: A Novel Paperback – March 1, 2011
"Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It"
Read the new book by bestselling author Grace Helbig. More by Grace Helbig.
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The eponymous Steve (who claims his name is not Steve) is a mild-mannered 37-year old ad man who pens slogans celebrating the "ongoing orgasm of the information lifestyle." Unfortunately, he's dying, but "he's dying of something nobody has ever died of before: he's actually going to die of boredom." The scientists (who may not be scientists although they do wear white coats) "calculate that there can be no calculations" about how long he has left to live. Faced with this eventuality he embarks on a particularly wayward sexual, narcotic, and religious odyssey. Lipsyte fills Steve's journey with so many oddball doctors, multimedia weirdoes, dysfunctional gurus, and bizarre sexual encounters that it's actually rather difficult to imagine anyone dying of boredom. Exhaustion, perhaps. Ludicrous and occasionally even a little bit sick, Lipsyte's surreal, intelligent black comedy proves that death really can be a laughing matter. --Travis Elborough, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
David Foster Wallace has this essay about the difficulty today's novelists have competing with mediated reality. Roth wrote this essay first, and Franzen's written it since (and has now written a novel following Wallace's advice) But despite W's literary catholicism, his fictions wallows in exactly the same stuff he abhors. And, of course, that's what makes it great, and it's what most fortysomething novelists spend a lot of time thinking about. I'd guess that Lipsyte's just get that this is stuff you learned in college--mediated reality is just a given.
This book is usually descibed as satire, and I guess that's true because it reminds me of Nathanial West--it manages to be scathing and poignant at the same time, and it's very human. It's also very--and I mean, <i>very</i>funny. It's like some sin not to be a realist today, but it's also not like the book is particularly difficult or anything (it's moving, but that's another story). I mean, it feels silly to recommend this book--you just want to thrust it into people's hands. On the other hand, this just might be a book that should have "this book is not for you" sticker slapped across the shrink wrap. You're always laughing at stuff that is real, which hurts. Which makes it so cool. Which also hurts.
I guess you all know this book is about a dying man whose condition is universal. Which is funny, because explains why something which reminds me of the best ever episode of the Simpsons has been reviewed as if it were an episode of ER. But it's not at all a morbid book. Steve-not-Steve (see?Read more ›
Personally, I found the book abhorrent. Central character development is inconsistent, and dialogue is filled with calculated non-sequiturs, monosyllabic questions, and frequent dead ends. If these conversational dead ends piqued the interest of the reader (as I can only assume they must be intended to), the technique could be interesting, but unfortunately the result is simply dizzying and dull.
To his credit, Lipsyte develops the adolescent media-paranoia of the first half of the book into what is almost a full-fledged social commentary at the end--complete with a FAQ sheet and faux web links in the text--but the character development of Steve has been so sparse that you simply don't care what happens to him.Read more ›
"Home, I threw away my watches my clocks, my clock-radios. I kept my Jews of Jazz Calendar up on the kitchen door. The knowledge of days was crucial, I decided, the marking of hours a mistake."
"I called up my daughter at the School for disaffected daughters."
"I readied myself for the period in which I'd have to get ready. I waited for the time during which I'd have to get ready. I waited for the time during which I'd have to wait. I tied up loose ends, tidied up my accounts, put my papers in order, called old friends. I didn't really have any papers.
I did have friends.
I had Cudahy.
I called Cudahy.
'I'm coming to see you,' said Cudahy.
'Come soon,' I said.
I called my ex-wife, nothing if not a loose end, or at least a bit of untidiness, what with all we had left unaccounted for. .
'I knew you'd call,' said Maryse. 'I had a dream about you last week. You were walking through the pet food aisle at the supermarket and a kind of viscid bile was streaming down your chin.'
'It wasn't a dream,' I said. 'I'm dying.'
'I know, baby. I'm dying, too. But we've tried so many times already. We just have to learn to live with things the way they are. Things are not so bad. Truth be told, I'm not unfilled by William.'
'William's a very good fellow,' I said.
'He's not you,' said my ex-wife, 'but then again, you're not him.'
William had once been my hero. Then he whisked away my wife. Now he was a very good fellow, a f**cker, a thief.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very schizophrenic. Hard to keep track of what was going on. Characters come in and out and I'm not really sure what the message was, or if there was one.Published 9 months ago by AndreaV
Howie Weener Unclogged [...] has a similar response as Lipsyte........Love it or hate it......Laugh uproariously or purse lips with disdain. Both authors go for it! Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by Comedy Snob
I loved The Ask so I decided to pick up Subject Steve. Unfortunately, this book just left me cold. The premise of the book is great and there are some genuinely funny and original... Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by P. Conrad
I'm a huge fan of Lipsyte's Home Land, which was brilliant, hilarious and original. The Subject Steve is also unique and funny at times, but somehow lacks the same punch. Read morePublished on April 6, 2010 by Michael J. Lennon
I love these morons who are reading one of the darkest and funniest books in recent times -- as satirical as anything by Evelyn Waugh -- complaining about a lack of "sympathetic"... Read morePublished on November 30, 2006 by Michael Leone
I was intrigued within the first 50 pages or so because of the direction it seemed to be heading. Then it got bland in the middle . Read morePublished on May 31, 2004 by T. Carlin
Relax, I was hungry when I wrote that. The book really helped once my wife diced up some Chinese pillaries. They help the apoplexy, really. Read morePublished on April 24, 2004 by J. Mason
It's sad that the work of a writer as extraordinarily gifted as Sam Lipsyte (and let's be honest: the man is a genius; there is nobody else on earth performing with his level of... Read morePublished on April 14, 2004
I've been feeling a little dispair myself, but not with matters literary. The problem I've been having, sigh, is with my old Henckels Birch Cutting Board, which unfortunately... Read morePublished on April 5, 2004