If there's nothing new under the sun, can anyone be original without lying? Would truth still be stranger than fiction if people were honest in real life? This fast-paced simulacrum of a commercial novel is not out to please the critics. I finished it in a day.
Lipstein asks the timely question: does one possess sole title to one's own story? A sharply written, headlong romp.
Authenticity and possession of stories are the surface themes of Last Resort, but it is really about ambition and emptiness, about a callow young man with nothing to say self-destructively looking for shortcuts in literature and life. But the great irony is that Andrew Lipstein's impeccably written debut has quite a lot to say, and, as with the best comic novels, his semi-hero's misadventures have an undertow of real sadness.
If Less by Andrew Sean Greer left a hole in your life, good news: Last Resort will fill it. Fast and funny, it feels like a backstage pass to the book world.
A darkly comical thriller about writers and publishers, emulation and betrayal, written in an excitingly careful, clear, and original prose style.
A brilliant take on what it means to be an artist in a world of endless compromises. Look out, Faust, there's a new sheriff in town.
A delightfully nightmarish satirical chronicle of one young author's reckoning with the consequences of his own blind ambition. Caleb's journey had me cringing with pure pleasure.
Last Resort is witty, profound and blisteringly intelligent. Andrew Lipstein asks major questions about ambition and authenticity and artistic ethics, while keeping me frantically turning the pages to see what happens next. A fantastic, fast-paced and deeply funny novel.
With its seductive, chilled intelligence and frictionless style, Last Resort plunged me summarily into a one-sitting read. I came up for air awed by this sophisticated, high-stakes moral drama.
Last Resort raises incisive questions about authorship, the tension between art and commerce, and the elusive nature of self-fulfillment, all while unspooling a compelling story with humor and great suspense. I didn't want it to end.
Last Resort is a strange and beguiling book about the contrivances, connivances and mysteries of creation, with an especially visceral depiction of male anxiety and an absolutely blistering end. A terrific debut.
Last Resort is a witty, propulsive and often mesmerizing novel, a kind of creative-class thriller, full of wry social observation and subtle emotional textures, and it builds beautifully toward a bracing showdown between knowingness and self-knowledge. With its insular milieu and quality lit namechecks, not to mention its quasi-satirical anxiety of auto-fictional influence, Andrew Lipstein plays a risky game, and he plays it superbly, with feeling.
A darkly comical thriller about editors and agents, friends and acquaintances, lovers and strangers, written in an excitingly careful, attentive, and original prose style.
A propulsive tale of American literary ambition, this novel exposes the status-hunger that motivates plenty of writing-far more than writers like to admit. A keenly observed and sharp-witted debut that's assured from first page to last."
I loved Last Resort. It takes so many surprising and brilliant turns: it is fun and witty, and rollicks through the pains and joys of writing and having your name on a book jacket (or not). And Caleb Horowitz is exactly the kind of character I love to hate: self-justifying but reflective, self-centred but loving.
Last Resort is one of those novels about writing guaranteed to make every novelist who reads it blush with its unsparing portrayal of greed, obsession and smug superiority. Wickedly funny: I loved it.
Sometimes, a character falls in step with you, invades your thoughts, disrupts your dreams and challenges your choices. You don't so much read Caleb Horowitz's story as be beguiled, bothered and bruised by it. This brilliant book is elegant, messy, sharp, blunt, sad and funny all at once. So good!
Sharp, witty, and gleeful. A wry, brutal dissection of male authorship and ambition at a time of #metoo. Think Salter, but without his cold gaze, and written with such verve and gusto it will leave you holding your breath. Just when you think it can't get worse, it does. And some. Not a romp, more a riot, as Lipstein lays bare the petty jealousy of his protagonist, Caleb Horowitz, and his relentless pursuit of the right to be "known" and to own what is "his". What Caleb creates, he destroys; all that is good, is trampled, in a message that seems to speak beyond the book to question what it is to be male today. Honestly, I can't wait to read what Lipstein writes next.
So horribly delicious that the reader (especially the reader who is also a writer) won't even dream of looking away.