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The Ask

by Sam Lipsyte

If you revel in dazzling wordplay, inventive turns of phrase and off-the-wall humour then this is for you! The saying 'if something can go wrong, it will' might have been written for Milo Burke. As the book opens, he is married, a father and part of a fundraising team for the Arts Department of a mediocre New York university. Soon, however, his comfortable, if unadventurous, life begins to unravel and Milo finds himself in a battle for survival.

Extract

An ask could be a person, or what we wanted from that person. If they gave it to us, that was a give. The asks knew little about the student work they funded. Who could blame them? Some of the art these brats produced wouldn't stand up to the dreck my three-year old demanded we tack to the kitchen wall. But I was biased, and not just because I often loved my son. Thing was, I'd been just like these wretches once. Now they stared through me, as though I were merely some drone in their sight line, a pathetic object momentarily obstructing their fabulous horizon. They were right. That's exactly what I was.

Parallels

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
 

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