Lake Success

Lake Success

Book - 2018
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When his dream of the perfect marriage, the perfect son, and the perfect life implodes, a Wall Street millionaire takes a cross-country bus trip in search of his college sweetheart and ideals of youth. Myopic, 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 3 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, whom he hasn't seen or spoken to in years. Meanwhile, reeling from the fight that caused Barry's departure, his super-smart wife Seema--a driven first-generation American who craved a picture-perfect life, with all the accoutrements of a huge bank account--has her own demons to face. How these two imperfect characters navigate the Shteyngartian chaos of their own making is the heart of this biting, brilliant, emotionally resonant novel very much of our times.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780812997415
0812997417
Branch Call Number: F SHTEYNGART
Characteristics: 338 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

“Shteyngart delivers another painfully funny novel about ambition, disappointment, and the darker side of the American dream. For fans of witty, offbeat, satirical humor.”

Jennifer Alexander, St. Louis County Public Library, St. Louis, MO


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k
kennethek
Jan 25, 2019

So why no buzz about this rollicking AND thought provoking satire that might very possibly be real? A straight ahead road trip of a man in search of himself. Reminiscent of Tom Wolf but better.

g
GummiGirl
Dec 31, 2018

Another fine satire by one of my favorite authors, much less broad than his previous works. It features the best Greyhound road trip since "Last Bus to Wisdom."

DPL_Graham Dec 21, 2018

What is success? Is it billions of dollars in the bank? Is it a good relationship with your son? Maybe it is connecting with the common man, the one-eyed Mexican man who sleeps on your shoulder on the Greyhound bus. For Barry, “the friendliest guy on the Street,” the challenge of connecting with his autistic son is just too much. Lost to drunkenness on 20k dollar whiskey and tricked by his neighbor into bragging about his hedge fund scam money, Barry panics. Fight turns to flight and the next thing Barry knows he’s throwing up in a Greyhound bus station waiting for the next bus out of his current life.

Barry runs from his inability to connect with his wife and his autistic son. However, as we get to know Barry we see many of the autistic traits in his child, the obsessions and lack of social ability, mirrored in Barry. Barry is running from his own nature and the fabricated story of “Barry” he’s spun. He desperately believes in himself and yet can’t trust any of his finance experiences. Only the land of the Greyhound bus and the people he meets along the way are really real. Even as his strange journey unfolds Barry knows he’ll be telling this story the rest of his life.

If you enjoy “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “American Psycho” you’ll enjoy this novel. I found myself cringing and laughing at every step of Barry’s journey. Barry tries so hard, believes in himself so fully, that his action are horribly exposing yet loveable. If you’ve ever liked “Curbed” you’ll enjoy this fun, interesting, and insightful read about a self-taught “American Psycho” with the heart of a crack smoking teddy bear.

For all the awkwardness throughout Barry’s journey, the ending is satisfying and sweet, an after dinner chocolate and coffee that soothes the stomach. Barry’s redemption is possible, but maybe not in the wholesome American bus trip philosophy he imagines.

l
lhaddix
Oct 23, 2018

If you are looking for an of the moment social commentary about the financial industry this is the book for you. It focuses on a hedge fund multi-millionaire with a minority trophy wife who is more than he bargained for. The main character is at a crossroads in his life, facing marital struggle and possible jail time. He decides to escape his reality and seek out his past life. It takes you on a cross country trip that is a total contrast to his Manhattan high life. He encounters experiences and people that bring in touch with the America that he is not part of.

b
blcwrites
Oct 09, 2018

Maybe it's the times we're living in. Or maybe offbeat humor about the 1% isn't my cup of tea any longer. I read the first 5 pages, flipped to page 50 and dropped in for a spell...nope - not my cup of tea. I'd rather re-read The Living by Annie Dillard and drop into the founding of Bellingham than hang out with this modern-day crowd.

b
babbette51
Sep 26, 2018

A fun, intelligent & interesting read...it keeps the reader engaged.
The main character is immensely clueless and lives in his own fantasyland, yet somehow manages not to be totally ridiculous.
Look forward to reading other books written by this author.

debwalker Sep 17, 2018

Wall Street one per center flees his marriage and autistic child on a Greyhound bus. Sad funny satire of modern life.

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