- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Flamingo (16 February 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 000717036X
- ISBN-13: 978-0007170364
- Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 3 x 16.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 381 g
- Customer Reviews: 24 customer ratings
Home Land Hardcover – 16 February 2004
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Praise for ‘The Subject Steve’:
‘Sam Lipsyte is a wickedly gifted writer.’ Robert Stone
‘Sam Lipsyte is a gifted stylist, precise, original, devious, and very funny. In a time when the language of most novels is dead on arrival, this book, about a dying man, is startlingly alive.’ Jeffrey Eugenides, author of ‘The Virgin Suicides’
‘I laughed out loud – and I never laugh out loud. You’ll want to rest up before reading this one. And after. Thank you, Sam.’ Chuck Palahniuk, author of ‘Fight Club’
‘A brilliant novel, in every conceivable way.’ Toby Litt
‘An original voice: smart, savvy…intensely funny.’ TLS
‘The best thing since George Saunders last broke cover…Kind of Beckett meets “Six Feet Under”, comedy doesn’t come much blacker than this.’ Uncut
‘Rowdy, shocking and lyrical…very funny.’ New Yorker
'Lipsyte is certainly not without talent' Norman Mailer
'Sam Lipsyte can get blood out of a stone… I gripped this book so hard my knuckles turned white.' Edmund White
About the Author
Sam Lipsyte is the author of ‘Venus Drive’, a collection of short stories, and two novels, ‘The Subject Steve’ and ‘Home Land’. His work has appeared in the New York Times and the Quarterly. He was born in 1968, and got married in 2003.
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Top international reviews
with nothing else to read. Pretentious rubbish in my opinion,not funny and virtually unreadable. Didn't
bother bringing the book home with me.
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.
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.
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.
What starts out to be an amusing series of tart "letters" written by main character Lewis Miner, aka "Teabag", to his high school newsletter turns into a tedious drag of pointless narrative. The story? There really is none. Where do the characters go? Nowhere. You've read this book before: late 20-ish, early 30-ish character ruminates on the pointlessness of his slacker life and drags you through all of his navel gazing, stoop hanging and pot smoking. High school is hell! High school reunions are hell! Oh, the crushing disappointment of not making it big after college! Oh, the tragedy of not making it through college at all! Blah.
I'll give Lipsyte this much: his prose is distinct and interesting. There's a worthwhile style in his novel...it's just desperately looking for subject matter that can make use of it.
Now onto "The Subject Steve"....