Many Privileges and Zero Skills

Finally read Sam Lipsyte’s The Ask, another novel fronted by an over-educated, under-employed male malcontent who makes shitty decisions and is sparked to real action only from crisis and calamity. That probably reads as if I hated the book, and the odd thing is I didn’t. Far from it. Maybe it speaks to a deep-seated self-loathing that I can enjoy and identify with these somewhat contemptible protagonists like Milo Burke. You know the ones, the spear-side of a lineage traceable to the works of J.D. Salinger, Joseph Heller and John Cheever, among others. I had a similar experience while reading Joe Pernice’s It Feels So Good When I Stop, a novel about running away from commitment and tending to pet obsessions. There’s clearly an accessibility (not to mention self-awareness) to the emotionally-stunted narcissists that populate a majority of the fiction that I’ve been reading lately. It’s almost like they’re my friends. Actually, they are like my friends. Jesus.

One thought on “Many Privileges and Zero Skills

  1. Pingback: Underground Film Links: September 26, 2010 | Underground Film Journal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s