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.
Bastards 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.
Praise for The Subject Steve
“I laughed out loud--and I never laugh out loud.” —Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and Choke
“Sam Lipsyte [is] scabrously, deliriously, piss-yourself funny.” —Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Review of Books
“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
“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
“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