Lake Success a novel

by Shteyngart, Gary, 1972-

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Summary
"Spectacular."--NPR * "Uproariously funny."-- The Boston Globe * "An artistic triumph."-- San Francisco Chronicle * "A novel in which comedy and pathos are exquisitely balanced."-- The Washington Post * "Shteyngart's best book."-- The Seattle Times

The bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story returns with a biting, brilliant, emotionally resonant novel very much of our times.

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MAUREEN CORRIGAN, NPR'S FRESH AIR AND NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review * NPR * The Washington Post * O: The Oprah Magazine * Glamour * Library Journal * Kirkus Reviews * Newsday * Pamela Paul, KQED * Financial Times * The Globe and Mail

Narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded, and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge-fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed by an SEC investigation and by his three-year-old son's diagnosis of autism, he flees New York on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler, more romantic life with his old college sweetheart. Meanwhile, his super-smart wife, Seema--a driven first-generation American who craved the picture-perfect life that comes with wealth--has her own demons to face. How these two flawed characters navigate the Shteyngartian chaos of their own making is at the heart of this piercing exploration of the 0.1 Percent, a poignant tale of familial longing and an unsentimental ode to what really makes America great.

LONGLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION

"The fuel and oxygen of immigrant literature--movement, exile, nostalgia, cultural disorientation--are what fire the pistons of this trenchant and panoramic novel. . . . [It is] a novel so pungent, so frisky and so intent on probing the dissonances and delusions--both individual and collective--that grip this strange land getting stranger." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Shteyngart, perhaps more than any American writer of his generation, is a natural. He is light, stinging, insolent and melancholy. . . . The wit and the immigrant's sense of heartbreak--he was born in Russia--just seem to pour from him. The idea of riding along behind Shteyngart as he glides across America in the early age of Trump is a propitious one. He doesn't disappoint." -- The New York Times
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Shteyngart's acidly prescient novel Super Sad True Love Story (2010) looked to the near-future. This rambunctious tale of a morally challenged, on-the-run New York hedge-fund manager takes place during the incendiary 2016 presidential campaign. A deft satirist, Shteyngart revels in describing Barry Cohen's ludicrously elite environs and calculated strategies based on his belief that a hedge-fund manager must be a storyteller first and last. Barry's anxious striving stems from his unhappy adolescence in Queens, while a vestige of his abandoned literary dreams is found in the name of his fund, This Side of Capital, a cockeyed tribute to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Barry is proud of his gorgeous, smart, younger wife, Seema, a former lawyer and the daughter of Tamil immigrants from India, as though she was a rare, priceless work of art, and he had hoped to multiply his investment with children. After IVF procedures, their son, Shiva, was born; now three, he has severe autism. Barry worships perfection; his one true passion is collecting vintage luxury watches, taking comfort in their elegance, heft, and orderliness. He cannot cope with Shiva's extreme sensitivity, and, after a terrible commotion, he flees with a suitcase full of absurdly expensive timepieces and a hazy idea about finding his college girlfriend. Abandoning his bubble of privilege and tossing out his cellphone and credit cards, he travels the country on Greyhound buses. Barry is absurdly impractical, deeply deluded, and epically selfish, but he is also omnivorously observant, gutsy, and very funny. His grimy, picaresque journey, presented with a warmhearted drollery reminiscent of that of Stanley Elkin, takes him through the South, across the Texas borderland, and on to California. Barry finds himself in intimate contact with a diverse array of characters, from the down-and-out to the stubbornly hopeful cash-poor travelers who inspire fear, lust, humility, and a desire to do good. Which is ironic, given the slowly revealed and dismaying financial and legal trouble our hero is in. Meanwhile, Seema, who unlike her volatile, rudderless husband, is in ferocious control of herself, diligently oversees her son's team of caregivers, and conducts a desultory affair with the novel's least convincing character, a writer who serves primarily as a vehicle for Shteyngart's anemic mockery of literary and academic pandering. Shteyngart's storytelling is otherwise electric in its suspense and mordant hilarity; his characters are intriguingly and affectingly complex, and, while the action never stops, he still digs deeply into our perceptions of self and family, lies and truth, ambition and success, greed and generosity, love and betrayal, and, most touchingly, what we deem normal and how we respond to differences. Lake Success is a big, busy, amusing, needling, and outraging novel, one to revel in and argue with, a nervy and chewy choice for book discussions. And the many loaded topics it boldly addresses connect it to an array of other novels. Tom Wolfe's indelible attack on avarice and posturing, The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987), comes to mind first, poignantly enough in the wake of Wolfe's recent death. Financial analyst and corporate attorney turned novelist Cristina Alger offers a lighter, more contemporary take on Wall Street hubris in Little Darlings (2012) and The Banker's Wife (2018). Barry's escape from New York and subsequent adventures resembles a plotline in Sue Halpern's Summer Hours at the Robbers Library (2018) and key aspects of Anne Tyler's Clock Dance (2018). The raucous political milieu, dubious financial machinations, a family's fate, ties to India, and autism are also elements in Salman Rushdie's much grander saga, The Golden House (2017). Readers taken with Shteyngart's sensitive portrayal of Shiva may also appreciate young characters with autism in Ginny Moon, by Benjamin Ludwig (2017); Harmony, by Carolyn Parkhurst (2016); and Language Arts, by Stephanie Kallos (2015). Barry didn't know how to harvest love out of sorrow. Will he learn? Will Seema find love? What will become of Shiva? For all his caustic critique and propulsive plotting, Shteyngart is a writer of empathic imagination, ultimately steering this bristling, provocative, sharply comedic, yet richly compassionate novel toward enlightenment and redemption.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Marital conflict -- Fiction.
Midlife crisis -- Fiction.
Electronic books.
Satire.
Publisher [Place of publication not identified] :Random House Publishing Group2018.
Edition First edition.
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Format: OverDrive Read
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Description 1 online resource
ISBN 9780812997422
Other Classic View