Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Really a 3.5, if that helps
on 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.