An intense, mordantly funny collection of short fiction from the author of Home Land and The Ask.
A man with an "old soul" finds himself at a Times Square peep show, looking for more than just a little action. A young man goes into some serious regression after finding his deceased mother’s stash of morphine. A group of summer-camp sadists return to the scene of the crime. Sam Lipsyte’s brutally funny narratives tread morally ambiguous terrain, where desperate characters stumble over hope, or sometimes merely stumble. Written with ferocious wit and surprising empathy, Venus Drive is a potent collection of stories from "a wickedly gifted writer" (Robert Stone).
The Picador paperback edition includes an excerpt from The Ask.
You could touch for a couple of bucks. The window of the booth went up and you stuck out the bills. They might tell you not to pinch, but I was a stroke type anyway. Some guys, I guess they want to leave a mark. Me, I just like the feel.
I went over there on the way to see my sister. There was a lit-up eye with an eyebrow over the door, a guy in front with a change belt, an apron that said Peep City. Peeptown was up the block. They didn’t have an eyebrow over the eye over there.
Why do they make these places so dark? I like to cop tit in the light. Guess I have
“Not for the faint of heart (or soul), Venus Drive explores the complexity of despair with poignancy and sly wit.” ---Christine Muhlke, The New York Times Book Review
"I like it when short stories--metaphorically speaking, of course--smack me in the face, kind of like what Kafka said about art being like an axe. And so that’s what Sam Lipsyte’s stories do--they come at you like a fist, they knock you around, they make you wince, they make you look away, and then they make you look back."--Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!
"These are torqued-up, enthusiastically black-hearted stories by a grimly cheerful author. And the damned things are queerly rather loving and lovely as well. Bukowski meets Paley."--Padgett Powell, author of The Interrogative Mood
"Lipsyte captures flashes of his characters’ complex, addled humanity and smashes a window into their hopelessness.... It’s fascinating to read a writer who can bring you so efficiently to such uncomfortable places."--James Hannaham, The Village Voice (rated one of the Voice's top twenty-five books of the year 2000)