The Ask by Sam Lipsyte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Usually after I check out a pile of books from the library, I read the first chapter of each one to try to figure out where to start. After I read the first chapter of The Ask, I was hooked and didn't want to put it down! There were several moments in the beginning where I laughed like an idiot.
Here are a few:
"I'd ask for American flags, stick them on upside down in protest against our nation's foreign and domestic policies."
This is probably only funny because I do the exact same thing, and had no idea anyone else thought this way. Passive protest!
Sometimes it is just the word choice:
"Cooley rose [and] petted his mustache with a kind of cunnidigital ardor."
Yeah, pretty sure I've never seen cunnidigital in print before.
The book starts out funny. And then it gets painfully funny. Milo, the protagonist of sorts, is kind of a loser. At first it is funny and entertaining, but then it turns darker and gets harder to laugh about. I think in the end the humor balances back out again, but you have to be willing to really wade through it with him.
"It's when they stop trying to destroy you, my mother once said, that you should really start to worry."
And the best moment:
"We are going to eat ice cream and we are going to eat shit. The trick is to use different spoons."
I will definitely be reading other books by Sam Lipsyte.