Venus Drive: Stories and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$3.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: This book has already been well loved by someone else and that love shows. It MIGHT have highlighting, underlining, be missing a dust jacket, or SLIGHT water damage, but over-all itâ€TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Venus Drive Paperback – May, 2000


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, May, 2000
$2.49 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
Best%20Books%20of%202014
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Open City Books (May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890447250
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890447250
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,061,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Sam Lipsyte's Venus Drive is tightly wound in more ways than one. Peopled by walking-wounded hipsters with crummy jobs, drug fiends in varied stages of addiction, and kids sent away to summer camp who act on their worst instincts, these sharply written short stories crackle with crafty, streetwise dialogue. Their first-person narratives place engaging, unstable people into seedy yet believable situations in a way that might remind the reader of Denis Johnson, Robert Stone, or Lynne Tillman. Perspectives vary from tale to tale, but these are characters engaged in compulsive pursuits who find themselves pushed to limits they didn't know they had. At his best, Lipsyte writes the way Miles Davis played trumpet--with a few lines, and some silence, he makes everything cohere. One of the gifts of this debut collection is its unsentimentality; the various vignettes come together to show us that "life on the edge" is uncannily similar to any other lifestyle choice. For some, fantasy and reality are just different channels on the same TV set. --Mike McGonigal

From Publishers Weekly

Lipsyte's first short story collection gathers together 13 ferocious, truncated sketches, parading before the reader various semi-addicts, telemarketers and others suffering a terminal disconnect between their skills and their status. Not that Lipsyte's characters are going to choose the traditional American way out of their economic impasse, i.e., some mixture of sycophancy and labor. Disconnection, here, is style. Lipsyte's winners tend to achieve ephemeral glory as punk rockers or e-zine magnates before burning out. The narrator of "My Life, for Promotional Use Only" is a worn-out postpunk legend now working for his ex-girlfriend, Rosalie, in an office where everyone is eager to advance. "The people I work with are human r?sum?s. They are fluent in every computer language, boast degrees in marketing and medieval song. They snowboard on everything but snow. They study esoteric forms of South American combat and go on all-deer diets." The '90s prosperity is perceived as an alien excrescence. From "Admiral of the Swiss Navy" or "The Drury Girl," where the dark view of suburban childhoods predominates, to "Old Soul," the first story, about the narrator's sister's death from cancer, these people take the world much too seriously and yet risk things much too lightly. In "Beautiful Game," Gary is out on parole for possession; though he makes a living selling coke, he was actually arrested for trying to stop a cop from beating a street vendor. His mother wants him to meet a girl she's invited to a party. This almost invisible plot suggests a world of attitude. Gary, for instance, who is obviously wasting his life, won't waste an O'Douls because "it'd be wrong." Such collateral ironies make these stories simultaneously funny and disheartening. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Sam Lipsyte is the author of Venus Drive, a collection of short stories to be published by Flamingo in Dec 2002. His work has appeared in The New York Times and The Quarterly. He was born in 1968 and lives in New York City. This is his first novel.

Customer Reviews

Unfortunately, I am not into that kind of stuff.
marcko
Lipsyte is an incredibly talented writer with a devilish sense of humor, which serves him well.
Roland Goity
Don't care to subject myself to misogynistic points of view.
Laura C. Lippman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sam Lipsyte writes very funny stories about very painful things. This is a *forceful* book - Lipsyte's characters are gripped and ripped by forces the writer brings alive with language that describes things words can barely contain: an apartment building full of old women waiting for death; a summer camp that mirrors, in mysterious ways, the cruel workings of concentration camps; a tele-marketer's face-off with loneliness... The subject matter can be shocking, and is often quite dark; the book is full of death, drugs, and abandoned dreams. Here's a passage from "My Life, For Promotional Use Only," in which a failed rocker turned dot-commer describes his new life:
"Once in a while, though, in the elevator at work, someone will stop me, a man my age with a cell phone, a portfolio case. He will ask me if I am who I am, recall with wonder something I did on stage with safety razors, mayonnaise. Maybe it's some dim gift I've given him, some phony idea that he's reached into danger long enough for one life. Now he can make some calls, do some deals. But neither of us knows what danger is. Neither of us is sinking fast through lake weeds."
But it's worth repeating that these stories, which reveal life with an honesty you'll see in few first-time collections, are often hilarious. Far from the fast (or slow) sink so much of today's fiction has become, this book - free of parlor tricks and cheap sentimentality, and full of small, hard, truths - is the triumphant surfacing of a fresh, and glorious, new voice.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patrick O'Henry on August 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Venus Drive might be a street or it might be an admonition to a woman in the getaway car after a bank robbery, but this book is one long riff on how folks get by. Not so much in how they get and spend their money, but in how they spend their lives. Life is currancy, and these people are flush.

If you like your books hot and twisted, read Rabid: A Novel by Kenyon, Tree of Smoke: A Novel by Johnson, The Pugilist at Rest: Stories by Jones, and Fight Club: A Novel by Palahniuk.

The Bookeater!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jason McBride on May 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sharp, taut, seriously funny and tremendously sad. Comparable in many ways to Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son, but with greater range. A beautiful book that I just can't stop reading and re-reading.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Lipsyte uses the short story genre like the masters (Pynchon, Delillo etc) use the epic novel: to create fiction that exists on its own stylistic plane. The reader truly does enter his world while reading these stories. A reviewer suggests the book be read in one sitting. I disagree, and would opt for a slow reading and re-reading to fully appreciate Lipsyte's use of language and development of characters. Know going in these are not minimalist tales about happy people dealing with relationships, bosses or other trivialites of every day life. Lipsyte is going for something a lot deeper here, and he seems to have succeeded well.
A great book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lukas Jackson on February 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is dark and ugly. While reading it, I felt like I was wallowing in excrement, much like Renton did in the outhouse in "Trainspotting." The narrator fondles his dying sister and shoots up his mother's remains. What's next: his dad, a plunger, and a well-oiled gerbil?!
There's some good writing here, especially the story about the poor fat kid ruthlessly tortured at summer camp. But this book is the ugly runt cousin of books like "Jesus' Son," and maxxed out my limit on smack-shooting sibling-molesting misery.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Truffaut015 on September 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I may just be growing a little cynical, but I found the constant focus on immature, self-obsessed protagonists intensely boring. The stories read a little like classic late seventies/early eighties "dirty realism" (see Granta 8: [...] for example) minus the insight and empathy and lack of condescension that rendered so much of the older writing so moving and illuminating. Lipsyte writes as lucidly as many of his predecessors, but he seems far too seduced by his characters to probe their lives in any depth.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Roland Goity on April 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd read a lot of good things about Sam Lipsyte so when he appeared recently at my local bookstore I got to meet him and picked up this--his early collection (republished)-- and his latest novel, The Ask.

Lipsyte is an incredibly talented writer with a devilish sense of humor, which serves him well. The stories in this collection often include depressing and morbid themes but Lipyte's word acrobatics and writing flair make most a treat to read. I'm a slow reader but plowed through thi...more I'd read a lot of good things about Sam Lipsyte so when he appeared recently at my local bookstore I got to meet him and picked up this--his early collection (republished)-- and his latest novel, The Ask.

Lipsyte is an incredibly talented writer with a devilish sense of humor, which serves him well. The stories in this collection often include depressing and morbid themes but Lipyte's word acrobatics and writing flair make most a treat to read. I'm a slow reader but plowed through this book, finding 10 of the 12 stories rather exceptional. Rarely do I enjoy so many stories in a collection.

Not all reader will appreciate and enjoy the characters or subject matter as they can be pretty base and gritty. But if the idea of Hubert Selby storylines told by Groucho Marx sounds like a good time, then pick up Venus Drive
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?