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1 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

The Ask

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The Ask Cover

ISBN13: 9780374298913
ISBN10: 0374298912
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Awards

Staff Pick

The Ask takes an unassuming (and seemingly unfunny) premise about a dude who wrangles large financial donations for a school and turns it into an outright laugh riot. Not only is this just as funny as his amazing Home Land, but it also showcases Lipsyte's amped-up ability to deliver killer sentence after killer sentence. This might turn out to be my favorite book of 2010. Yeah, I'm already saying it.
Recommended by Kevin Sampsell, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Milo Burke, a development officer at a third-tier university, has "not been developing": after a run-in with a well-connected undergrad, he finds himself among the burgeoning class of the newly unemployed. Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, Milo is offered one last chance by his former employer: he must reel in a potential donor — a major "ask" — who, mysteriously, has requested Milo's involvement.

But it turns out that the ask is Milo's sinister college classmate Purdy Stuart. And the "give" won't come cheap. Probing many themes — or, perhaps, anxieties — including work, war, sex, class, child rearing, romantic comedies, Benjamin Franklin, cooking shows on death row, and the eroticization of chicken wire, The Ask is a burst of genius by a young American master who has already demonstrated that the truly provocative and important fictions are often the funniest ones.

Review:

"Lipsyte is a comedian with a rant for every facet of city life." Library Journal

Review:

"The author's most ambitious work yet — a brilliant and scabrously entertaining riff on contemporary America." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Seriously funny, Lipsyte sits alongside such illustrious Daves as Gates, Eggers, and Foster Wallace on the self-conscious shelf, but with a heartfelt brilliance all his own." Booklist

Synopsis:

Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, university fundraiser Milo Burke is offered one last chance by his former employer: but he must reel in a potential donor — a major ask — who turns out to be Milo's sinister college classmate. And the give won't come cheap.

Synopsis:

Probing themes from work, war, and sex to child rearing and the eroticization of chicken wire, The Ask is a perfect blend of provocative and funny.

Synopsis:

Milo Burke, a development officer at a third-tier university, has “not been developing”: after a run-in with a well-connected undergrad, he finds himself among the burgeoning class of the newly unemployed. Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, Milo is offered one last chance by his former employer: he must reel in a potential donor—a major “ask”—who, mysteriously, has requested Milos involvement. But it turns out that the ask is Milos sinister college classmate Purdy Stuart. And the “give” wont come cheap. Probing many themes— or, perhaps, anxieties—including work, war, sex, class, child rearing, romantic comedies, Benjamin Franklin, cooking shows on death row, and the eroticization of chicken wire, The Ask is a burst of genius by a young American master who has already demonstrated that the truly provocative and important fictions are often the funniest ones.

Synopsis:

A New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice

Milo Burke—husband, father, development officer at a third-tier university—has just joined the burgeoning class of the newly unemployed. Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, Milo is relieved to get another chance from his former boss. All he has to do is reel in a potential donor who, mysteriously, has requested Milos involvement. Exploring such themes as work, war, sex, class, child rearing, romantic comedies, Benjamin Franklin, cooking shows on death row, and the eroticization of chicken wire, The Ask is a hilarious tour de force from a writer who has already shown that the deepest fictions are often the funniest.

About the Author

Sam Lipsyte was born in 1968. He is the author of the story collection Venus Drive (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and two novels: The Subject Steve and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the first annual Believer Book Award. He lives in New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

Margaret Shindler, October 5, 2011 (view all comments by Margaret Shindler)
Lipsyte's characters in "The Ask" speak to one another in an up-to-the-minute style of quips. If you read the internet news, are in your 30's or 40's and don't think most literature reflects reality, read this. The narrator,Milo Burke is the most self deprecating protagonist I can recall. He will leave you un-angry, ready to stop and breath into the present,and permission to laugh at the people who think they are better than you because of money. With unique humor, and right on ironies, I can see why this is on the Powells promising writers list.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
eoinsh, January 7, 2011 (view all comments by eoinsh)
The Ask is Lipsyte's best so far, no small achievement given the quality of his other books. He seems incapable of writing a dull sentence.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
eoinsh, January 7, 2011 (view all comments by eoinsh)
The Ask is Lipsyte's best so far, no small achievement given the quality of his other books. He seems incapable of writing a dull sentence.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 7 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374298913
Author:
Lipsyte, Sam
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
Satire
Subject:
College administrators
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 CDs, 8 hours
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.55 x 6.46 x 1.03 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Ask Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374298913 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Ask takes an unassuming (and seemingly unfunny) premise about a dude who wrangles large financial donations for a school and turns it into an outright laugh riot. Not only is this just as funny as his amazing Home Land, but it also showcases Lipsyte's amped-up ability to deliver killer sentence after killer sentence. This might turn out to be my favorite book of 2010. Yeah, I'm already saying it.

"Review" by , "Lipsyte is a comedian with a rant for every facet of city life."
"Review" by , "The author's most ambitious work yet — a brilliant and scabrously entertaining riff on contemporary America."
"Review" by , "Seriously funny, Lipsyte sits alongside such illustrious Daves as Gates, Eggers, and Foster Wallace on the self-conscious shelf, but with a heartfelt brilliance all his own."
"Synopsis" by , Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, university fundraiser Milo Burke is offered one last chance by his former employer: but he must reel in a potential donor — a major ask — who turns out to be Milo's sinister college classmate. And the give won't come cheap.
"Synopsis" by ,
Probing themes from work, war, and sex to child rearing and the eroticization of chicken wire, The Ask is a perfect blend of provocative and funny.
"Synopsis" by ,
Milo Burke, a development officer at a third-tier university, has “not been developing”: after a run-in with a well-connected undergrad, he finds himself among the burgeoning class of the newly unemployed. Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, Milo is offered one last chance by his former employer: he must reel in a potential donor—a major “ask”—who, mysteriously, has requested Milos involvement. But it turns out that the ask is Milos sinister college classmate Purdy Stuart. And the “give” wont come cheap. Probing many themes— or, perhaps, anxieties—including work, war, sex, class, child rearing, romantic comedies, Benjamin Franklin, cooking shows on death row, and the eroticization of chicken wire, The Ask is a burst of genius by a young American master who has already demonstrated that the truly provocative and important fictions are often the funniest ones.
"Synopsis" by ,

A New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice

Milo Burke—husband, father, development officer at a third-tier university—has just joined the burgeoning class of the newly unemployed. Grasping after odd jobs to support his wife and child, Milo is relieved to get another chance from his former boss. All he has to do is reel in a potential donor who, mysteriously, has requested Milos involvement. Exploring such themes as work, war, sex, class, child rearing, romantic comedies, Benjamin Franklin, cooking shows on death row, and the eroticization of chicken wire, The Ask is a hilarious tour de force from a writer who has already shown that the deepest fictions are often the funniest.

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