Barry Cohen has his own hedge fund, a faltering marriage to a beautiful woman, and a beloved and bewildering son who was recently diagnosed with autism. When it all gets to be too much for him, he retreats to his favorite daydream of hitting the open road in a Greyhound bus to reunite with his college girlfriend. It would be a trip filled with authentic, folksy poor people and their humble, yet fulfilling food. He would be enriched by his temporary crouch to their level. And after a spectacularly unsuccessful dinner party, that's exactly what he does. The journey that follows is just as mortifying and strange as one would expect from a man who describes himself as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal." But there is a seam of vulnerability that runs through Barry, touching glimpses of the lonely child he used to be that softened me, just a little. His wife, Seema, on the other hand, is a clear-eyed realist. Her chapters made for a refreshing chaser to Barry's delusions, but I was pulled in by them both. Lake Success is a dazzling mixture of The Great Gatsby, On the Road, and Wall Street — only Gary Shteyngart could pull it off! Recommended By Lauren P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
“Stupendous...a novel that seems to have been created in real time, reflecting with perfect comedy and horrible tragedy exactly what America feels like right this minute.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
The bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story returns with a biting, brilliant, emotionally resonant novel very much of our times.
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.
“In Lake Success, Gary Shteyngart hears America perfectly: its fatuity, its poignant lament, its boisterous self-loathing. Its heartbeat. Reading him sometimes makes me want to scream — with recognition and with pure hilarity.” Richard Ford
“As good as anything we’ve seen from this author: smart, relevant, fundamentally warm-hearted, hilarious of course, and it has a great ending.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Shteyngart’s latest is a hilarious, melancholic, and rapier-sharp tale for our times.” Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Shteyngart does slapstick as well as ever, but he stakes out new terrain in the expert way he develops his characters’ pathos....[Lake Success is] a stylish, big-hearted novel. Shteyngart made his name as a sharp satirist, and he’ll undoubtedly widen his appeal with this effort.” Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Gary Shteyngart is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Little Failure (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist) and the novels Super Sad True Love Story (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (winner of the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction). His books regularly appear on best-of lists around the world and have been published in 30 countries.
Gary Shteyngart on PowellsBooks.Blog
is the story of Barry Cohen, a hedge fund guy whose fund is being investigated by the SEC, and who flees his failing marriage, autistic son, and imploding career on a Greyhound bus, searching for his college sweetheart across America. Meanwhile, the year is 2016, so some, um, interesting things are about to happen electorally...