Get Hooked on Lipsyte

Get Hooked on LipsyteOnly a month until Sam Lipsyte’s third novel, The Ask, drops on FSG. I can promise you the novel is fantastic, but if you don’t believe me is hosting a long excerpt to get you hooked yourself. Here is an excerpt of the excerpt:

The night before I left for college, my father gave me his Spanish dueling knife. This was huge, the kind of intimate bestowal for which I’d always yearned.

“Take this,” said my father, from where he stood at the edge of my basement room. I had moved down there, near the gas meter, to become a man. Soon I would depart the cold cinder walls lined with Scotch-taped postcards of my icons, Renaissance thugs and alcoholic crybabies from the Cedar Tavern. My own boozy, plaintive triumphs awaited, surely.

“Wow, thanks,” I said.

The blade bordered on sword. We studied its Castilian chasings.

“A beaut, right?”

“I never knew you had this.”

“Didn’t want you to know about it. Thought you and the neighbor boys would sneak it out, behead each other. Then I’d really be screwed.”

“Probably a good call. Where did you get this? It really is something.”

“If I told you I won it in a card game in a cathouse in El Paso, would you tell your mother?”

“Do you think she’d want to know?”

“She always seems to want to know. Maybe it’s better if you picture me in a gift shop near a hotel.”

“Okay, that’s how I’ll always remember you, Dad.”

Lincoln Michel keeps a personal blog at and tweets @TheLincoln. His work appears or is forthcoming in Tin House, Oxford American, The Believer, NOON, Bookforum, and elsewhere. He is more


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