A dark, modern comedy with ruined-relationship ends strewn through old friendships and fiendish colleagues, Milo Burke goes through life in a seemingly endless game where he's suddenly rehired at his old job, specifically to successfully lure a big donation from an old friend.
Lipsyte's second most-used weapon is using the protagonist as a simple prop to display interesting characters and milieus, but his forté is wordplay; sometimes, he seems to me a bit like an old man trying to play younger than he really is:
<blockquote>He was the kind of man you could picture barking into a field phone, sending thousands to slaughter, or perhaps ordering the mass dozing of homes. People often called him War Crimes. By people, I mean Horace and I. By often, I mean twice.</blockquote>
Other times, he mashes words into something new:
<blockquote>"I mean," I said now, "I used to know him." "Well, that's just swell," said Cooley, rose, petted his mustache with a kind of cunnidigital ardor.</blockquote>
Yet, when at his seemingly least lucid, he conjures up magnificent sentences using quite a few words:
<blockquote>I felt as though I were snorting cocaine, or rappelling down a cliffside, or cliffsurfing off a cliff of pure cocaine.</blockquote>
Lipsyte's writings about Milo's connection to his child and his estranged wife range from so-so to excellent; diamonds are found in the rough.
The same goes for Milo's connection with his old friend Purdy, the former school-mate who made a fortune in IT.
All in all, the humor is tight and the flow is good. It's a recommendable book which needed more editing....Continua
La trama è assurda. Anzi, non c'è trama, solo un'accozzaglia di personaggi più o meno fuori di testa che devono deliverare gli one-liner. C'è un bambino che se la fa ancora sotto che parla come un cinquantenne cinico. C'è un IoNarrante epocalmente sfigato che fa battute irresistibili, ma di cui non t'importa niente (del personaggio, perché le battute fanno ridere parecchio). A volte, ci sono anche "scene" che fanno strabuzzare gli occhi per la bravura (è un po' tipo Pynchon minore in più prettamente umoristico, ma anche più tetro).
Esempio del Lipsyte-wit, applicato alle tendenze letterarie odierne:
"I don’t know if you can say people are doing any one thing in particular. We might be post-trends, a little. It’s similar to clothing. I see groups of people hanging out and one person has a huge Mohawk and a Negative Approach t-shirt and another is in disco gear and another is doing some kind of Olivia-Newton John in Xanadu number and somebody else is Brad Davis in Querelle and here come the banker and the lumberjack and it’s all fine, there are no warring philosophies here. Everybody is finally only judged on their ability to fulfill their goals. She’s into Richard Yates, he adores Mary Robison, his friend loves Joseph McElroy, the other guy writes like Alice Munro. The Barthelme, Sebald, Bolano, and Denis Johnson contingents will be over in a minute. The launch party starts in an hour. I’m all for it. The camps are stupid. They mattered once but they are stupid now. You can’t do without realism and you also can’t do without the advances of certain formalists, metafictionists, post-modernists, either. They are all just techniques. If you ignore one or the other completely you’re bogged down in some very old mire. The only onus on the writer is to be fucking outstanding. To be undeniable. I think a lot of good journals would take a similar view." (tratto da Viceland)