Review: The Fun Parts

Even if Sam Lipsyte’s The Fun Parts is aptly named I’m curious to see what the rest of his writing is like.  What’s here is wonderfully character-driven mayhem that is great fun to read.  Because this is not happening to you.

Lipsyte walks a fun line creating characters that are both chaotic and small.  They’ll screw up the lives of those around them and themselves with grand emotion and petty scale (as an internet acquaintance once quipped). None of these folks are villains, but all of them are screwed up in some semi-comical way.

There are real tragedies in here as well, but even the foregone conclusions and dire destinies are the stuff of comic opera.  Each of these characters is an embodiment of a non-obvious but twisted aspect of our culture.  Things could be dire in some cases, but Lipsyte provokes a wry smile and a “what are you going to do” shrug more often than despair.

These are a lot of demented fun.


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