The Ask by Sam Lipsyte: stock image of front cover.

The Ask by Sam Lipsyte (Paperback, 2010)

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The Ask by Sam Lipsyte

When Milo Burke, a balding, slope-bellied 'donations' officer at a minor New York university, has a disastrous run-in with a rich undergraduate, he winds up on the unemployed scrap heap. Grasping at odd jobs to support his wife and young son, he's offered one last chance - he must reel in a potential donor - a major 'Ask' - who, mysteriously, has requested his involvement.

It turns out that the Ask' is Milo's sinister college buddy Purdy Stuart, and the 'give' won't come cheap. Before long Milo finds himself serving as a queasy mix of factotum, bagman, client state and sounding board to Purdy, who assigns him the task of delivering hush money to his secret illegitimate son, a legless and spectacularly embittered Iraq War veteran...

Can Milo win back his job, reclaim his manhood and do justice to his marriage, or is he destined to chug down the gurgler, becoming yet another sad statistic of modern-day America? Skewering modern-day themes including work, war, sex, class, child-rearing, romantic comedies, cooking shows on death row and the eroticisation of chicken wire.

The Ask is a burst of genius by a young American master who demonstrates that truly provocative and important 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 25 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 Queens, New York City.


Format: Paperback | 296 pages

Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4  x 2.2 | 428g

Publication Date: 01 Apr 2010

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Imprint: Picador

Publication City/Country: Sydney, Australia

Language: English

Edition Number: 1

ISBN10: 0330403729

ISBN13: 9780330403726


Condition: Good

An ex-library book that has been read but is in good condition. Some minor, but obvious, damage to the cover including very minor scuff marks along the edges, and a large crease on the top-left corner of the back cover, but no holes or tears. The book has a clear plastic dust jacket, and the usual library stickers found on library books. The majority of pages are undamaged with very minimal creasing but no tearing. No pencil underlining of text, no highlighting of text, no writing in margins. The first page has a read stamp on it reading: WITHDRAWN. No missing pages. Still a very clean, solid, and readable copy.