Milo Burke, a development officer at a third-tier university, has “not been developing”: after a run-in with a well-connected undergrad, he finds himself among the burgeoning class of the newly unemployed. Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, Milo is offered one last chance by... show more
Milo Burke, a development officer at a third-tier university, has “not been developing”: after a run-in with a well-connected undergrad, he finds himself among the burgeoning class of the newly unemployed. Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, Milo is offered one last chance by his former employer: he must reel in a potential donor—a major “ask”—who, mysteriously, has requested Milo’s involvement. But it turns out that the ask is Milo’s sinister college classmate Purdy Stuart. And the “give” won’t come cheap. Probing many themes— or, perhaps, anxieties—including work, war, sex, class, child rearing, romantic comedies, Benjamin Franklin, cooking shows on death row, and the eroticization of chicken wire, The Ask is a burst of genius by a young American master who has already demonstrated that the truly provocative and important fictions are often the funniest ones.
Publish date: March 2nd 2010
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages no: 296
Edition language: English
The addition of this and Pastoralia to my TBR list comes courtesy of this quote from "Art of Fielding" author Chad Harbach, who says, "Since 2000, the battle for Funniest Writer in America has been a mano a mano mountaintop clash between Lipsyte and George Saunders, and everybody else just stands ar...
A very clever novel. I will write more when I am able to. Sam did a great job with this book. Well worth reading.
Witty and shallow, but not in the right proportion. It felt like Lipsyte was performing acrobatics in humor in order to please himself with his own skill. Sometimes the humor worked, sometimes it didn't. I was hoping for some meaningful social satire out of this book, but it didn't quite reach th...
This book is two parts hilarious, three parts wonderfully written, and four parts annoying. I suppose that puts it closer to a 3.5 stars, but it will take me a while to get over the whining of the main character Milo.Did you ever work with someone with a continuously depressed attitude? One of those...
When you try to be cute by writing a book with a detestable protagonist and include dialogue exchanges like this:"I'm not very likable, am I?""You're likable enough.""No, I mean, if I were the protagonist of a book or a movie, it would be hard to like me, to identify with me, right?""I would never r...