The Fun Parts


Sam Lipsyte

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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A hilarious collection of stories from the writer The New York Times called “the novelist of his generation”

Returning to the form in which he began, Sam Lipsyte, author of the New York Times bestseller The Ask, offers up The Fun Parts, a book of bold, hilarious, and deeply felt fiction. A boy eats his way to self-discovery while another must battle the reality-brandishing monster preying on his fantasy realm. Meanwhile, an aerobics instructor, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, makes the most shocking leap imaginable to save her soul. These are just a few of the stories, some first published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, or Playboy, that unfold in Lipsyte’s richly imagined world.
     Other tales feature a grizzled and possibly deranged male birth doula, a doomsday hustler about to face the multi-universal truth of “the real-ass jumbo,” and a tawdry glimpse of the northern New Jersey high school shot-putting circuit, circa 1986. Combining both the tragicomic dazzle of his beloved novels and the compressed vitality of his classic debut collection, The Fun Parts is Lipsyte at his best—an exploration of new voices and vistas from a writer Time magazine has said “everyone should read.”

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Book Excerpts

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The sign in the Sweet Apple kitchen declared it a nut-free zone, and every September somebody, almost always a dad, cracked the usual stupid joke. The gag, Laura, the school director, told Tovah, would either mock the school’s concern for potentially lethal legumes or else suggest that despite the sign’s assurance, not everyone at Sweet Apple could boast of sanity.
Today, as Tovah leaned into the fridge to adjust the lunch bag heap, a skinny gray-haired man in a polo shirt, old enough to be the grandfather of the girl who called him “Papa”

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Sam Lipsyte on KCRW's The Bookworm

Michael Silverblatt ask Sam to read from "Nate's Pain Is Nowl"

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Sam Lipsyte reads on Dinner Party Download

Writer Sam Lipsyte’s pitch-black comedies - like the acclaimed 2010 novel “The Ask” - are filled with lovable lowlifes and schemers. His new short story collection “The Fun Parts” carries on the tradition - with punchlines and gut-punches flying fast and furious. Today we overhear an excerpt from the story “The Republic of Empathy” about the joys of parenting. (It has been edited for time.)

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Sam Lipsyte talks to Leonard Lopate on WNYC

Sam Lipsyte discusses his new book of short stories, The Fun Parts. A boy eats his way to self-discovery while another must battle the reality-brandishing monster preying on his fantasy realm. Other tales feature a possibly deranged male birth doula and a glimpse of the northern New Jersey high school shot-putting circuit, circa 1986.

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Praise for The Fun Parts

“Lipsyte . . . may be the most consistently funny fiction writer working today. Satire is second nature to him.” —Bryan Walsh, TIME

“[Lipsyte] can't be matched . . . Read [The Fun Parts] with The Ask if you really want to know how a mordant jokester with a madman’s imagination became a literary rock star.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“[Lipsyte] is producing some of the purest social satire written today.” —Matthew Love, Time Out New York

“Lipsyte expertly works the line between hilarity and pathos.” —Ben Fountain, The New York Times Book Review

“In this second story collection, fierce satire mingles with warmth and pathos as Lipsyte (The Ask) showcases his knack for stylistic variety and tangles with the thorny human experiences of moving beyond one’s past or shedding one’s personal baggage . . . Lipsyte’s biting humor suffuses the collection, but it’s his ability to control the relative darkness of each moment that makes the stories so engrossing.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In the Press

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Sam Lipsyte & Eric Chinski
Authors and Editors in Conversation Eric Chinski: In The Fun Parts you're returning to short stories after publishing a novel, The Ask....
- FSG's Work in Progress

'The Fun Parts,' by Sam Lipsyte - SFGate
ccording to Lipsyte, "Sad and Funny are both the world and how we withstand it," and nowhere is this more powerfully felt than in the fictional worlds he evokes. The author's latest work, a collection of short stories called "The Fun Parts," is populated by a motley cast of characters, all of them social misfits and at least a few downright creepy. Who's going to teach the boy to make faces, he wonders as he curls up next to the boy's crib, eyeing the moon through the window and readin
- San Francisco Chronicle

Satirical genius Sam Lipsyte flirts with disaster -
'The Fun Stuff' author Sam Lipsyte says of people, 'often what they do is inappropriate or mistimed or just badly executed.'
- Los Angeles Times

‘The Fun Parts,’ by Sam Lipsyte -
Satire mingles with warmth and pathos in Sam Lipsyte’s second collection of stories.
- The New York Times

An Interview With Sam Lipsyte, Author of The Fun Parts -
Sam Lipsyte's stories can be wickedly funny and wrenchingly sad, sometimes in the same sentence. His new collection is The Fun Parts. The writer previously wrote Home Land and The Ask.
- The Wall Street Journal

Sam Lipsyte’s The Fun Parts, reviewed. - Slate Magazine
Are losers interesting? Considering the herd of suburban strivers who crowd our fiction shelves, publishers seem to think not. You can almost picture them scribbling “Unlikeable!” on page after page of dark manuscripts, sidestepping tales of self-righteous day care workers with anger issues and depressed men engaged in affairs with...
- Slate

Review • The Fun Parts by Sam Lipsyte | The Coffin Factory
Lipsyte’s dark humor, paired with his intrigue in the mundane, brings to light the fruitless, embarrassing, pathetic, but edging on beautiful reality of ...
- The Coffin Factory

Have We Finally Caught Up With Sam Lipsyte? -- Vulture
A decade ago, publishers viewed him and his funny-bitter Gen-X alter egos as out of touch. A Times best-seller and new story collection, The Fun Parts, later, it’s clear the times have changed.
- New York

Sam Lipsyte Talks The Fun Parts, Being in a Noise-Band, and Giving a Shit - New York - News - Runnin' Scared
On a recent Friday afternoon in Morningside Heights, The Voice met the man routinely hailed as one of...
- Village Voice

Sam Lipsyte Interview The Fun Parts - Sam Lipsyte on His New Book - Esquire
Get the latest in pop culture as Stephen Marche and the writers of Esquire recap what's new in movies, TV, music, books and more.

Sam Lipsyte’s Book Bag: Five Bilious, Seriocomic Triumphs - The Daily Beast
The leading practitioner of the black comedy, whose new book is ‘The Fun Parts,’ picks his favorite humorous yet weighty novels.
- Daily Beast

Sam Lipsyte | Full Stop
I don’t think that self-loathing really gives you the pleasure that masturbation does.
- Full Stop

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Sam Lipsyte

Sam Lipsyte is the author of Venus Drive, The Subject Steve, Home Land, and The Ask, the latter two New York Times Notable Books, and, most recently, The Fun Parts. He won the first annual Believer Book Award and was a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow. He teaches writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Sam Lipsyte

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Sam Lipsyte

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Fun Parts
Sam Lipsyte


Bookish Best Books of the Year, Flavorwire Best Books of the Year


Farrar, Straus and Giroux
March 2013
ISBN: 9780374298906
ISBN10: 0374298904
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
February 2014
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250043597
ISBN10: 125004359X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
March 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466836051
ISBN10: 1466836059
240 pages

From The Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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