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on April 4, 2013
I really enjoyed this unpredictable and unusual book from Sam Lipsyte. The story is told from the perspective of letters written by a high school guy "who didn't quite pan out." You never know if you can trust the content of the letters, but the content is hysterical. That said, the content might be sad if not infused with Sam Lipsyte's astute observations, witty retorts, and strong writing. I personally liked the protagonist's never-say-die attitude, and despite the circumstances of his life, he comes across as an optimist who is the ultimate winner over all of those high school classmates who flood the world with news of their wonderful lives. At times, it's hard to keep track of the characters (referred to at various times by their names, their nicknames, or their afflictions) but each sentence is enjoyable in and of itself, so I didn't mind being lost for a few sentences. I'll be reading more from this author.
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VINE VOICEon May 25, 2011
I wanted to love this book. I wanted to laugh aloud. I wanted to recommend it to all my friends. Instead, I tolerated it, snickered occasionally, and will suggest it to people who like Palahniuk and Copeland. Here's the deal:

What I Can Appreciate
- There is some successful attempts at humor.
- Being somewhat random myself, I at times enjoyed his tangents (like when he says that instead of placenta, women should deliver a loaf of sourdough bread- sure, okay).
- If you enjoy the "slacker" genre, than this is probably right up your alley. Grown men acting like kids? Check. Unemployment? Check. Drug and alcohol abuse? Check. Sidekick? Check. If you like those Jay and Silent Bob movies, this is your thing. Personally, I don't, but in the interest of objectivity I know that these things probably appeal to people who like this area of literature.
- Sam Lipsyte is an intelligent guy, and it shows in his writing.
- The novel's frame is interesting, that of the set-up of a high school reunion newsletter.

- The entire time I wanted to scream, "Get a job, stop wasting your money on pot and booze, keep your junk in your pants, and grow the heck up." This is me, though- I am a woman in her late twenties- I have a hard time relating to this mentality. And, in fairness, I put this as a positive too.
- It's been done before. I mentioned Copeland and Palahniuk, both men that have done the same thing, if not better. It's a rant, but it's really not successful at portraying anything new, or anything in a new way.
- Sometimes I think Lipsyte shocks for shock's sake (hey, speaking of Palahniuk...). I'm fine with profanity, sexuality, things of the disgusting nature if they have purpose.
- I just wanted it to be over- I wasn't attached to the characters or the writing style.

I really, really think that the reader matters here- this isn't a universal read by any means.
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on June 20, 2006
People will think you're crazy when you start laughing like a maniac. I could relate to many of the situations described here. It reads like some of the better Blogs out there (true diamonds in the rough those are, but they are worth the effort to look for).

I loved this book, truly and honestly. Although my school life was never as bizzare as that of the characters in this future classic, this is definitely the funniest book I've ever read where Home Land was the title.

Okay, it's only the second book I've read with sucha title, the other being Homeland by R.A. Salvatore (Book 1 in The Dark Elf Trilogy) and that one wasn't intended to be funny.

One complaint I do have though. Why no audiobook version? Honestly, if you were to do one and couldn't get the author, Marc Maron or Chasing Amy's Jason Lee would be perfect.
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on March 22, 2005
The funniest novels I have ever read are *A Confederacy of Dunces* (by John Kennedy Toole), *Lucky Jim* (by Kingsley Amis), and *Portnoy's Complaint* (by Phillip Roth). When I started *Home Land* I thought for a bit that it would join the list, but about one fourth way through I could see that this book probably wasn't going to make the "all time funniest" list, although the book is hilarious and worth reading.

Lipsyte's ranting narrator, Lewis Miner, is one funny guy:

"Each of us walks to the beat of a different drummer. It's just that some of these drummers suck"

The characters in this book, some of whom, it seems, have written reviews of this book here on Amazon.com (including Dr. Stacy Ryson) are a lot of fun. Miner's fixations are hilarious - he calls one of the characters Jazz Loretta because she was in the Jazz Dancing Club. He describes his ex-wife Gwendolyn as "that doe-eyed, elklike beauty." I'm still trying to imagine that. Lewis Miner, a.k.a. "Teabag," was pretty unsuccessful in high school, just about the lowest in the social hierarchy, so now he's stuck there writing obsessive, ranting contributions to the alumni newsletter, "Catamount Notes," and he can't even get them to print any of them.

About half way through I became discouraged and almost quit because the book just sort of floundered. Even the author is aware of this, he becomes discouraged and writes of his so-called updates, "There are no themes, no leitmotifs. There is no story."

I'm glad I stuck with it, though, because the book just keeps getting funnier even as the plot becomes sillier. Just look at the picture of the author on the back cover. I can imagine the photographer saying, "Okay, c'mon! Quit screwing around! Let's take the picture already!"

Highly recommended not for classic novel form but for intelligent humor.
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on June 21, 2016
In my top ten
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on May 29, 2016
Just not my thing, I suppose. Writing felt juvenile and forced.
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on March 29, 2015
Brilliant satire, extremely well-written, dark and hilarious.
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on April 3, 2015
I love Sam Lipsyte. Great fat man. Great writer.
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on March 2, 2005
Oh the humor, the passion, the revulsion. Laugh out Loud funny and sickly sweet. I loved this book so much that I'm sad that it ended.

Now onto "The Subject Steve"....
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on March 18, 2014
Laughed so hard at times I had to put the book down. Funniest book I've read in years. Read this soon.
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