OVERRIDE

The Fun Parts

Stories

Sam Lipsyte

Picador

A boy eats his way to self-discovery, while another must battle the reality-brandishing monster preying on his fantasy realm. Elsewhere, 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 characters you’ll encounter in Sam Lipsyte’s richly imagined world.

Featuring a grizzled and possibly deranged male doula, a doomsday hustler who must face the multi-universal truth of “the real-ass jumbo,” and a tawdry glimpse of a high school shot-putting circuit in northern New Jersey, circa 1986, Lipsyte’s tales combine the tragicomic brilliance of his beloved novels with the compressed vitality of Venus Drive. The Fun Parts is Lipsyte at his very best—a far-ranging exploration of new voices and vistas from “the most consistently funny fiction writer working today” (Time).

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

the CLIMBER ROOM
 

 
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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MEDIA

Watch

  • 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.)

  • Sam Lipsyte on KCRW's The Bookworm

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

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REVIEWS

Praise for The Fun Parts

“[Fuses] angst and slapstick in a way unseen since Nathanael West walked the earth. Lipsyte’s like a darker, funnier George Saunders, but not without that same core of warmth or kindness.”—Esquire

“Lipsyte is a brilliant wordsmith, and evidence of his skill is plentiful in this book, even more, arguably, than in his earlier works....Exquisite.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Lipsyte’s sentences are exhilarating in the way only truly desperate things can be, a perfect soundtrack to our exhausted, entropic times.”—The Boston Globe

“Lipsyte has cultivated a sensitivity to the ways that economic swings and social uncertainty make desperados of us all....Downright transformative. Modern scribes of satire: Meet your Bucky Schmidt.”—Slate

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

“Lipsyte can’t be matched...A literary rock star.”—The New York Times

“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
Satirical genius Sam Lipsyte flirts with disaster - latimes.com
'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 - 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
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.
- Equire.com
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
'The Fun Parts,' by Sam Lipsyte - NYTimes.com
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 - WSJ.com
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

Reviews from Goodreads

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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. 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 © Robert Reynolds
    Sam Lipsyte
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Fun Parts

Stories

Sam Lipsyte

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

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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