Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

It’s Confession Time, Catamounts: Sam Lipsyte’s Home Land

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The Believer called it the book of the year. I don’t know about all that, but Sam Lipsyte’s Home Land is pretty great. The Believer awards page excerpts the first page, which should give you a sense of the Letters from a Nut epistle-style the book uses. Lewis Miner, known to all of East Valley High as Teabag, writes unpublished and unpublishable updates on his daily life for his high school alumni notes. The book is funny, the book is sad, the book is very true.

No one has done bitter alienation this well since Confederacy of Dunces, since Salinger, maybe since Kafka. My only regret is that I didn’t read Lipsyte’s other books (The Subject Steve and Venus Drive) first, because they use some of the same characters. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, Catamounts; if I hadn’t known that Lewis, Gary, et al appear elsewhere, I’d have never guessed — but knowing about it, I couldn’t help but wonder what had come before.

Definitely recommended, especially if that high school reunion you don’t plan on attending is drawing uncomfortably near.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 18, 2005 at 3:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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