The Subject Steve

The Subject Steve

by Sam Lipsyte
5.0 2

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Subject Steve 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't really know what 'rara avis' means either, but if it's anything to do with 'unique,' or 'rare,' or 'stupefying act of genius,' then it's the right Latin term for 'The Subject Steve.' Lipsyte is that rarest of literary creatures: the writer who is so funny that you don't notice that something profound is happening, really, until it's happened. 'The Subject Steve' is entirely without pretension, but at the same time is something entirely new; it's almost shocking that a book so funny can also be a serious and innovative new step in literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Subject Steve is dying of something that bears a suspicious resemblance to the human condition--but not just yet. Searching not so much for a cure, as for some sort of settlement, he sets out on a tour of the dark alleyways & cobwebbed corners of the American psyche. This is broad, biting, satire; black as night and bright as the sun. Think Barry Hanah. Think Stanley Elkin. Think Celine. Think Saunders, Wallace, Lutz, and other writers who are changing what the novel means, and what it can do for us. Who remind us that there are still things the novel--and nothing else--can accomplish. This is a bleak book... and a real reason for hope. The language is coiled, the story keeps threatening to shoot off over the horizon. What keeps it together is the author's take on human relationships--specifically, male relationships. Friends, fathers, sons, and mentors are picked apart, spun around, examined w/a cold eye that may not give off the warmth of sentimentality (this is not a book to give your parents, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it savaged and loved by reviewers, with nothing in between), but blazes with the light of revelation. You might not want to admit it, but you'll recognize yourself in this book. Venus Drive, the strongest story collection of the previous year, gave us a clue as to what Lipsyte can do; here, he's taken a giant step towards doing it. If writing is a crime, this guy is driving the getaway car.