The Subject Steve A Novel

Sam Lipsyte




Trade Paperback

256 Pages



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Meet Steve (not his real name), a Special Case, in truth a Terminal Case, and the eponymous antihero of Sam Lipsyte’s first novel. Steve has been informed by two doctors that he is dying of a condition of unquestioned fatality, with no discernible physical cause. Eager for fame, and to brand the new plague, they dub it Goldfarb-Blackstone Preparatory Extinction Syndrome, or PREXIS for short. Turns out, though, Steve’s just dying of boredom. The Subject Steve is a dazzling debut—by turns manic, ebullient, and exquisitely deadpan—Sam Lipsyte is in company with the master American satirists.


Praise for The Subject Steve

“Sam Lipsyte [is] scabrously, deliriously, piss-yourself funny.”Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Review of Books
“A spot-on DeLillo-like excavation of our consuming consumer culture, and the ultimate fear—the fear of death—that lurks behind it.”San Francisco Chronicle
“Falls somewhere between Chuck Palahniuk and George Saunders. Let’s throw Vonnegut in there as an influence too. And Pynchon . . . This is Satire with a capital S . . . An enormously likable first novel.”Esquire
“I laughed out loud—and I never laugh out loud.”—Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and Choke

“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 Middlesex

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Items #1Bastards said they had some good news and some bad news.“Stop,” I said. “I’ve heard this joke before.”“What joke,” said one of them, the Mechanic.“He means that joke,” said the other, the Philosopher.“That bit about the doctors. He thinks we’re doctors.”“Aren’t you?” I said.They had white coats, their own wing.“This ain’t no joke, Jack,” said the Mechanic.My name’s not Jack.My name’s not Steve, either, but we’ll get to that.“We have some good news and some
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  • Sam Lipsyte

  • Sam Lipsyte was born in 1968. He is the author of the story collection Venus Drive (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and three novels: The Ask, The Subject Steve and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the first annual Believer Book Award. He lives in New York.
  • Sam Lipsyte © Robert Reynolds
    Sam Lipsyte