The Fun Parts | Granta

  • Published: 07/03/2013
  • ISBN: 9781847088048
  • Granta Books
  • 240 pages

The Fun Parts

Sam Lipsyte

A boy eats his way to self-discovery while another must battle the reality-brandishing monster preying on his fantasy realm. Meanwhile, an aerobics instructor, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, makes the most shocking leap imaginable to save her soul.

Bold, hilarious and darkly affecting, Lipsyte’s stories combine the tragicomic dazzle of his beloved novels and the compressed vitality of his classic debut collection. The Fun Parts is Lipsyte at his best – an exploration of new voices and vistas from a writer Time magazine has said ‘everyone should read’.

[A] sour and scintillating new collection of short stories... The dialogue constantly sparkles and unsettles, with strange seismic shifts going on beneath the surface of the prose. You won't read finer sentences this year

Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

An idiosyncratic, hyperactively rendered collection where words and ideas collide to dazzling effect... dementedly imaginative... Sharp and deeply, blackly funny


Sublime mayhem! Lipsyte expertly works the line between hilarity and pathos... Revelation, wisdom, inner peace - they come hard in Lipsyte's world, if they come at all, which doesn't keep these stories from being a hoot... He delivers plenty of funk, spunk and fizz

Ben Fountain, New York Times

The Author

Sam Lipsyte was born in 1968. He is the author of the short story collection Venus Drive and three novels: The Subject Steve, Home Land, and The Ask, which was a New York Times Notable Book. He teaches at Columbia University in New York. His short story collection, The Fun Parts, was published by Granta Books in 2013.

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From the Same Author


Sam Lipsyte

‘A pure joy to read’ Guardian

‘…a dastardly hysterical take on modern day rhetoric and the eternal ridiculousness of it all. More than a ‘must read,’ Hark is a ‘must believe!” Paul Beatty, author of The Sellout

‘Madcap and full of love, laughter and unexpected beauty (not to mention the world’s greatest bone marrow smuggling scheme), if Hark doesn’t make you stalk Sam Lipsyte and try to break up his marriage, then you are not human.’ Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

‘The world needed more Sam Lipsyte and Lipsyte, knowing this, perhaps, has given us Hark. It’s a stellar work by a great satirist, an uncanny observer, a keen stylist, a truly fine and thrilling writer.’ Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers

In an America convulsed by political upheaval, cultural discord, environmental collapse and spiritual confusion, many folks are searching for peace, salvation, and – perhaps most immediately – just a little damn focus.

Enter Hark Morner, an unwitting guru whose technique of “Mental Archery” – a combination of mindfulness, mythology, fake history, yoga, and, well, archery – is set to captivate the masses and raise him to near-messiah status. It’s a role he never asked for, and one he is woefully underprepared to take on. But his inner-circle of modern pilgrims have other plans, as do some suddenly powerful fringe players, including a renegade Ivy League ethicist, a gentle Swedish kidnapper, a crossbow-hunting veteran of jungle drug wars, a social media tycoon with an empire on the skids, and a mysteriously influential (but undeniably slimy) catfish.

In this social satire of the highest order, Sam Lipsyte, author of the bestselling novel The Ask and master of the form, reaches new peaks of daring in a novel that revels in contemporary absurdity and the wild poetry of everyday language while exploring the emotional truths of his characters – men, women and children seeking meaning and dignity in a chaotic, ridiculous and often dangerous world.

Sam Lipsyte on

In Conversation | The Online Edition

Sam Lipsyte and Diane Cook in Conversation

Diane Cook & Sam Lipsyte

‘The bewilderment was productive, and relit a good fire under my instinct, which I didn’t have to conflate with certainty.’