I had read mixed reviews about The Ask and many a friend said they had started but struggled so my expectations were pretty low. And while I can’t purport to understand everything that Lipsyte was trying to say, I did love the way he said it. Such a fast-taking smart-arse prose; every breath filled with bitter cynicism and disappointment.
Having worked in a university, I think the take on universities scrabbling for money was spot on, and even though the protagonist Milo Burke is depicted as a bit of a loser, and super bad at his job, and not so great at friendships, marriage and parenting, he wasn’t a “bad” guy but was really quite funny, intelligent and caring, in a Milo Burke kind of way. He also had a soft spot for people which won me over, and a realisation that no matter how bad your life is, someone is always doing it tougher.
Not everyone will love this book but that is the joy of books.
My rating: ★★★★