Hardcover ô Lake Success Epub Ô

Lake Success In Lake Success, Gary Shteyngart channels what Philip Roth called the indigenous American berserk with sympathy, humor, and pathos Always funny, Shteyngart encapsulates his deep understanding of contemporary America into the lives, loves, and failures of Barry and Seema Cohenduring the year 2016, at the start of the First Summer of TrumpBarry and Seema live in rarefied Manhattan in which the mother of a three year old boy worries thatIf he doesn t do well, forget Hunter, forget Ethica In Lake Success, Gary Shteyngart channels what Philip Roth called the indigenous American berserk with sympathy, humor, and pathos Always funny, Shteyngart encapsulates his deep understanding of contemporary America into the lives, loves, and failures of Barry and Seema Cohenduring the year 2016, at the start of the First Summer of TrumpBarry and Seema live in rarefied Manhattan in which the mother of a three year old boy worries thatIf he doesn t do well, forget Hunter, forget Ethical Heritage, we re talking maybe Bright and Happy Schoolhouse And their HYPMS is what PMS Seema asked innocently HYPMS Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford The good schools can already tell you what percentage of their kindergarten class get into one of those five Brearley s is thirty seven percentBarry s aa man with 2.4 billion dollars of assets under management, an owner ofa batch of the forty eight year old Karuizawa single cask whiskey thirty three thousand dollars a bottle, if you can find it and he s a veritable market basket of obsessions He s from a modest middle class background, Princeton educated, and self made due to a combination of his obsessive determination to learn how to make friends and his obsessive mathematical skills Barry s no natural with other people referring to the Hong Kong born physician who invited Barry and his wife to dinner,in the five hours they would spend together, Barry would never remember her name he never remembered women s namesHe takes pride in mentoring the bros who work for him in his hedge fund, perhaps eventhan in his hedge fund s once outstanding AUM and RoI s He seeks solace in his obsessive collection of unimaginably expensive wrist watches his Universal Gen ve Tri Compax from the early 1940s, his Nomos Minimatik, his Audemars Piguet pink gold Royal Oak, his Patek Philippe Calatrava 570, his F P Journe, and his Bao Dai Rolex Unfortunately for Barry, the IWC Pilot s Watch that he yearns for just isn t for him, because despite hiswide swimmer s build, his thick shouldershe hashis two feminine wrists, a liability at any point in history, but neverso than during the year 2016Kicked out of his home, injured, bleeding, Barry wanders to Manhattan s Port Authority bus terminal in the middle of the night I mean, who in their right mind would go there in the middle of the night Barry s falling apart and knows itLike your first ankle monitor bracelet or your fourth divorce, the occasional break with reality was an important part of any hedge fund titan s biographyBarry embarks on a 2016 road trip like none other, from New York City to Balti, Richmond, Raleigh, Atlanta, El Paso, and then to Phoenix and finally San Diego, all on the omnipresent Greyhound buses, survivingon pork rinds and off brand coffeeandlearning about Americaall the way Until the very end of Lake Success, Barry findscomfort trying to recreate his memories of the past than forging a new life Barry s an interesting and nuanced character, with his obsessions, his rigid rules for making friends, his touching desire to connect with his son and his former girlfriend s lonely son by teaching them to swim, and his cockamamie idea to start anUrban Watch Fund for inner city kids morphing intoa map drawing program for shy suburban kidsBut Shteyngart s true triumph in Lake Success is Barry s wife Seema, her parents, their relationships with each other, and with Seema and Barry s son Shiva, a boy who snot just on the spectrum but on the severe end of itSeema s a Yale Law School graduate, clerking for the Eastern DistrictUnlike white wives, she could wear many grams of gold around her neck, the miraculous hue of her skin catching its glow She was, Barry sometimes noted in disbelief, a twenty nine year old beauty with whom only one person in the universe had failed to fall desperately in love, that person being himselfSeema s mother, an immigrant from south India like her husband, displays the ethnic status hyperawareness so typical of striving immigrant and first generation parentsFreshman year in high school she had drawn Seema a chart of the social acceptability of her friends Jews and WASPs fared at the very top, one had money increasing and the other social power decreasing The Asians were separated into several tranches, with the Japanese who had bought up so much of our country just the previous decade leading the pack Tamils hovered several blank spaces above Hispanics, who themselves rested on the shoulders of blacks Her mother circled Jews times and wrote accessible, liberal, emotional, and sober next to itSeemaloved her mother just enough she loved her father ninefoldIn Lake Success, Seema s father with his innate ability to relate to Shiva and understand his totally Americanized daughter may be the father that we all yearn for and the father that we want to be And Seema s mother represents the mother so familiar to many of usOh, Mommy, Seema said, I wish you could say a nice thing right now Try to be a better daughter, her mother said That s not a nice thing Nice is not my specialty Call your father if you want to hear something niceAnd then there s Seema herself who, after Trump s elected, finds thatWith her country dying, she found herself wanting to be a little less American and a littleIndian, to search for her roots the way her mother had her whole life She needed to nail down who she was Barry wasn t the only one who could pursue that privilege She tried to learn Sanskrit for the millionth time, attempted to memorize her father s favorite slokas, and took a car service out to Flushing once a week to feast on upma at the Ganesh Temple CanteenLake Success is full of wonderful bits, some comic, some perfectly reflective of today s America Barry s relieved when he discovers that Seema s lover the novelist has an ranking 1,123,340 and after reading one page of his novel, Barry could see how the ranking came to beAnd here s an exchange in Atlanta between Jeff Park, Barry s hedge fund colleague, and BarryThat guy didn t even care about ogling my car in front of his girlfriend I wasn t a threat to him, because I m an Asian man It took a while for Barry to unpack that statement In this town, you re either black or you re white, Jeff Park said With Lake Success, Gary Shteyngart has created a memorable and uncategorizable novel well suited to the contemporary U.S., part satire, part comedy, part acute social observation, and all compelling and affecting I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House for providing me with an e copy of Lake Success in exchange for an honest review.PS I was fortunate to attend Shteyngart s reading to a full and appreciative audience from Lake Success The event started with screening of the Random House book trailer featuring Shteyngart and Ben Stiller Both the trailer, which I highly recommend, and Shteyngart s reading and discussion featured the comedic aspects of Lake Success It is an uniquely novel, but the pathos, sadness, and insight into the dynamics of two very different families that I remember best from my reading of it Shteyngart was charming and generous in his comments, responses to questions, and his signing Shteyngart and I share an unlikely academic background, so it was especially enjoyable for me.4.5 stars Adjust your expectations when you pick up Gary Shteyngart s Lake Success His new book is not insanely funny nor hilariously absurd.It s better than that A mature blending of the author s signature wit and melancholy, Lake Success feels timely but not fleeting Its bold ambition to capture the nation and the era is enriched by its shrewd attention to the challenges and sorrows of parenthood.Barry Cohen, the glad handing protagonist of Lake Success, repels our sympathy even while laying cl Adjust your expectations when you pick up Gary Shteyngart s Lake Success His new book is not insanely funny nor hilariously absurd.It s better than that A mature blending of the author s signature wit and melancholy, Lake Success feels timely but not fleeting Its bold ambition to capture the nation and the era is enriched by its shrewd attention to the challenges and sorrows of parenthood.Barry Cohen, the glad handing protagonist of Lake Success, repels our sympathy even while laying claim to it Barry is a 40 something hedge fund manager who lives high in the clouds of his own narcissism He sips 20,000 a glass whiskey and imagines that his palatial Manhattan existence is well deserved The very incarnation of white male privilege, Barry is the friendliest dude, made all theexasperating by his misimpression that he s a man of deep moral wisdom and empathy, despite the vampiric nature of To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post https www.washingtonpost.com entert To watch the Totally Hip Video Book Review of Lake Success, click here https www.washingtonpost.com video Narcissistic, hilariously self deluded, and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge fund manager Barry Cohen overseesbillion 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, 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 thePercent, a poignant tale of familial longing and an unsentimental ode to what really makes America greatLONGLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION We ve all gone to look for America Okay, not all of us But Barry Cohen, the spectacularly wealthy and self made hedge fund manager Barry Cohen has He leaves his beautiful young wife, Seema, the daughter of immigrants, and his young son who is on the spectrum, and disappears on a Greyhound bus to see if he can rediscover the man he once was or perhaps the man he wanted someday to be Barry and Seema are delusional, self absorbed, and utterly perfect Each is a mess, and I cared deepl We ve all gone to look for America Okay, not all of us But Barry Cohen, the spectacularly wealthy and self made hedge fund manager Barry Cohen has He leaves his beautiful young wife, Seema, the daughter of immigrants, and his young son who is on the spectrum, and disappears on a Greyhound bus to see if he can rediscover the man he once was or perhaps the man he wanted someday to be Barry and Seema are delusional, self absorbed, and utterly perfect Each is a mess, and I cared deeply about them and their son, and Seema s parents and virtually everyone Barry meets on his journey Gary Shteyngart is a satirist, but like a lot of satirists, his heart is big and his soul is kind I loved this novel Bonus I was fascinated by Barry s watch collection and googled a LOT of wristwatches Nope, I can t do it I can t continue to try to read this book that I hate I despise the characters and the story isn t captivating at all I ve tried to give it a chance, but when I look at the book and try to read another page it is painful to think about Definitely not the book for me Maybe for someone else.I don t get them at all Rich and snobby Completely withdrawn from their child because he is Autistic They are shallow and nothing is making any kind of sense at all I m just not sur Nope, I can t do it I can t continue to try to read this book that I hate I despise the characters and the story isn t captivating at all I ve tried to give it a chance, but when I look at the book and try to read another page it is painful to think about Definitely not the book for me Maybe for someone else.I don t get them at all Rich and snobby Completely withdrawn from their child because he is Autistic They are shallow and nothing is making any kind of sense at all I m just not sure there is a point There has been a lot of talk about what constitutes the American novel but for my money, Success Lake is the American novel for these times.Although the Trump election is not front and center it pervades everything it s a time when amorality and greediness are punished by a slap on the wrist Into this poisonous atmosphere leaps Barry Cohen, a hedge fund manager of a This Side of Capital lifted from F Scott Fitzgerald s This Side of Paradise By all outward appearances, Barry lives the Ame There has been a lot of talk about what constitutes the American novel but for my money, Success Lake is the American novel for these times.Although the Trump election is not front and center it pervades everything it s a time when amorality and greediness are punished by a slap on the wrist Into this poisonous atmosphere leaps Barry Cohen, a hedge fund manager of a This Side of Capital lifted from F Scott Fitzgerald s This Side of Paradise By all outward appearances, Barry lives the American dream a beautiful immigrant wife, an adorable 3 year old son, billions of assets under management andBut scratch the surface and it s all a mirage his wife fancies someone else, his son is severely autistic, and the SEC is breathing down his back.So Barry takes off on a Greyhound bus journey to discover the real America He believes he is having authentic experiences but in fact, the real America is severely divided, hopelessly lost and struggling to survive And, much as Barry wants it to, it is not a mirror to his past or future.Alternating between satire and poignancy, Gary Shteyngart never makes the mistakes of throwing his characters under the proverbial bus The yearning and emptiness redeem Barry and his wife Seema to some extent This accurate portrayal of America on the brakes a faulty America that confuses capitalism with success and possessions with meaning is spot on And, the ever present wristwatches that Barry collects and hoards is tangible evidence that time is marching on and cannot be possessed Like your first ankle monitor bracelet or your fourth divorce, the occasional break with reality was an important part of any hedge fund titan s biographyGary Shteyngart, Lake Success Like great Indian food, I m not exactly sure why this novel works for me, but GOD this book was delicious OK, so I know SORTA why it works It is brilliantly absurd, and sharp enough to almost immediately, and almost painlessly, draw blood I kept thinking that this novel was like a mirror presenting this ridLike your first ankle monitor bracelet or your fourth divorce, the occasional break with reality was an important part of any hedge fund titan s biographyGary Shteyngart, Lake Success Like great Indian food, I m not exactly sure why this novel works for me, but GOD this book was delicious OK, so I know SORTA why it works It is brilliantly absurd, and sharp enough to almost immediately, and almost painlessly, draw blood I kept thinking that this novel was like a mirror presenting this ridiculous reflection that seems a bit freaky, distorted, and ugly You think it is funhouse mirror from a carnival, but there is a moment of clarity when you realize the mirror is FINE The reality is just that you ARE a bit freaky, distorted, and ugly Shteyngart s novel arcs like Bellow s The Adventures of Augie March mixed with a bit of Kurt Vonnegut and Paul Beatty While I can t say it was as literary or timeless as Bellow s Great American Novel of exploration and identity, it still hummed with some of that same wild, kinetic energy Lake Success contained only a few characters to love Shiva, Jonah, Seema s father, and a couple others , but many, many to learn from The obvious two are the protagonists Seema and Barry They are the super rich,.01%, Lucy and Ricky, of America in the 21st Century They aren t the protagonists we need, but the protagonists we deserve.And then there are the watches, and the pimp juice, and the crack, and the maps, and the sadness So so much sadness If I say any, I ll just f it up and ruin the surprise and melancholy joy No, no Not joy really Pleasure Hell no experience trip Maybe that this novel was Thank you Mehrsa for recommending it Hmm It s either a brilliant Candide esque satire of the clueless wealthy idiots who got us into our current mess maybe they didn t vote for Trump but they thought about it , etc or it s a tone deaf straight white liberal male asking questions about how we got here And if you finish a book and wonder which one it is chances are the answer isn t going to be positive.Gary Shteyngart is the first of his cohort to bang out a proper Trump responding novel although this only tangentially conne Hmm It s either a brilliant Candide esque satire of the clueless wealthy idiots who got us into our current mess maybe they didn t vote for Trump but they thought about it , etc or it s a tone deaf straight white liberal male asking questions about how we got here And if you finish a book and wonder which one it is chances are the answer isn t going to be positive.Gary Shteyngart is the first of his cohort to bang out a proper Trump responding novel although this only tangentially connects to our 45th President, mainly taking place over the 6 or so months leading up to the 2016 election and while the book displays everything you d expect from a Shteyngart novel humor, pathos, lovely sentences , it just feels misguided Barry, the main character, is too dumb and too naive to truly be engaging and the supporting cast is almost universally reduced to a single if not stereotype then pretty damn close And everything about Barry s journey reeks of the how did this happen series of questions that clueless liberals over the age of 40 have been asking for the last 18 months I wish I could ve loved this bookand I ll bet that it ll get a great run of reviews in all the right places, not to mention commercial acclaim But this was a misguided novel from start to finish and here s hoping it s the only one we have to deal with because, so help me, once Franzen and Eugenides et al get into the game, we ll deserve everything coming to us Compensating For EverythingIt s been about 30 years since Sherman McCoy in Bonfire of the Vanities and Patrick Bateman in American Psycho satirically demonstrated the excesses promoted by wealth in the financial industry of New York City Both books followed hot on the heels of the real Ivan Boesky s Greed is Good commencement address at UC Berkeley and, of course Gordon Gekko s equivalent speech in the film Wall Street Barry Cohen in Lake Success is a resurrection of the type insanely arr Compensating For EverythingIt s been about 30 years since Sherman McCoy in Bonfire of the Vanities and Patrick Bateman in American Psycho satirically demonstrated the excesses promoted by wealth in the financial industry of New York City Both books followed hot on the heels of the real Ivan Boesky s Greed is Good commencement address at UC Berkeley and, of course Gordon Gekko s equivalent speech in the film Wall Street Barry Cohen in Lake Success is a resurrection of the type insanely arrogant, relationally challenged, acutely brand conscious, withclass sensitivity than the most rabid Marxist So we can be confident of a literary continuity at least in the culture of the American ber rich who are to be found at the right time of year in their densest concentration on the island of Manhattan.But Gary Shteyngart has spotted, I believe, a profound if subtle change in that culture Three decades ago the protagonists were socially distasteful and morally aberrant but confident They were, despite their bad behaviour, at ease with the authority of their position in the pecking order of American civilization Their educational superiority, unfailing dedication to business over family, political acumen, and sheer hours put in to work provided a feeling of entitlement which left no psychic space at all for self doubt They may have lacked the manners and taste of the Great Gatsby but they did share his personal views about self with the conviction of religion Undoubtedly many still do.But Barry Cohen is another matter He is a social and economic ideal of the masses rather than an aberration and he lacks a stable identity much less one he can be confident about He has failed, in his own judgment, by succeeding He is neurotic, unhappy, and a professional as well as human failure and he knows it He sits at the top oraccurately just below the top Rupert Murdoch owns the three floors above his But he has a running fantasy about the roads not taken the college girl friend, the writing career, the comforts of casual, non predatory friendships The severe handicap of his autistic infant son is not something that immense wealth can touch This is not the cause of his regrets but it is their catalyst Through the intransigence of his son s condition, Barry is confronted with his fundamental lack of control over existence.And, an evensignificant literary difference over three decades, Shteyngart provides a female perspective It isn t just Barry having a knock out fight with buyer s remorse about his life choices Seema, Barry s shiksa, non white, trophy wife is alsothan a bit disappointed in the results of her assiduous social climbing and the lack of things that money can t buy Her feelings too are catalyzed by her son s severe autism but for reasons different than Barry s She loves the child intensely She suffers with the child, not because of him Their wealth for her is mainly just a series of domestic administrative duties that distract her from caring for the boy, as well as stopping her from understanding her own motivations.References to Trump, mostly perjorative, are frequent throughout Lake Success I don t think these are there merely to provide local colour Trump is significant because he is the authentic face of the contemporary wealth culture of New York City gauche, petty, ill read, and tasteless There of course have been any number of such wealthy New Yorkers But it was Trump in his presumption to political office and his constant public exposure of the banality of his thoughts which allowed, required in fact, that the rich see themselves in him If Trump is the apex of American society and culture, does any of their effort, reputation, and status have any meaning whatsoever It s a bit like discovering oh, I don t know that God is an out of work carpenter being supported by a gang of ladies of questionable repute It takesfaith than most people have to maintain the conviction.In other words, Shteyngart seems to be suggesting that the cultural scorecard is changing Barry and Seema haven t lost their identities so much as discovered that the ones they have aren t worth having If I m reading this right, Shteyngart s subject is not so much the disaffected rich but the entire culture of compensation of which they are emblematic According to the s of this culture personal wealth is appropriate compensation not primarily for one s talents and efforts but rather as a reward for giving up the other uses to which those talents and uses could have been put the opportunities for the good life that have been forgone This suggestion about the implicit compensatory theory of personal wealth is made fairly obvious in the case of Barry who recognizes it in his historical self This is reinforced by his failed attempt to justify his career in finance as having anything at all to do with adding value, a standard ideological criterion for wealth creators Barry knows he takes 2 percent from his clients assets every year for losing them six percent His only real skill is the projection of a faux friendliness, a skill he employs over and over with the same unsatisfying result every time Paradoxically, it is then this additional feeling of professional uselessness that also must be compensated for He can t even describe his work as prostitution because no one but him gets any satisfaction.So the Trump trope I know, I know blame Shteyngart is, I think, central to the book Does wealth, fabulous wealth far beyond what is useful for reasonable comfort and security, compensate for having to be a Trump not to mention a Melania He is important because he and she makes the costs of a particular kind of success obvious As Barry says,You have to train yourself to be wealthyThat means gradually accepting a life which is not life promoting And, conversely, unlearning a great deal to return to an intrinsically rewarding life Those at the other end of the economic spectrum from Barry or Trump might not understand that simply because they do not approach even minimal standards of comfort and security But the relatively well off are at least in a position to get it I can only hope that Shteyngart is as prophetic as I perceive him to be Perhaps greed is no longer what is was cracked up to be, not even for the.01% Barry takes great care to dismiss inherited wealth as at best irrelevant and at worst, paradoxically, socialist This is a cultural inversion which occurred starting in the 1950 s in New York City and is chronicled in the novels of Louis Auchincloss See for example This is aacademic analysis of the same phenomenon biographical footnote I was raised from infancy in the same New York suburb and in a similar family background to Barry s There is a real if minute Lake Success close by I consequently can recognize many of the same drives and aversions which Shteyngart ascribes to Barry in my own personality And,important, I also identify with the way youthful ideals can become distorted into their opposites through the desire to achieve I too ended up on Wall Street and the international finance gig This phenomenon of corrupted idealism is, I suspect, particularly common in the finance industry in which thought itself is the only real commodity Evenso than in academia, in order to succeed, thought must be sold, not merely presented The effects are often devastating, not only for the quality of the thought but also for the character of the thinker 3.5 starsLet me start off by saying the main character, Barry, is a total and complete asshole If you don t like books where you dislike the main characters, this is one to steer clear of Barry, to me, was fingers on the blackboard grating I mean, what is it with the bloody watches This is someone you want to feel something for, in a positive way, but I couldn t His son is on the severe end of the autism spectrum All those dreams of a normal family have gone away He s incapable of even te 3.5 starsLet me start off by saying the main character, Barry, is a total and complete asshole If you don t like books where you dislike the main characters, this is one to steer clear of Barry, to me, was fingers on the blackboard grating I mean, what is it with the bloody watches This is someone you want to feel something for, in a positive way, but I couldn t His son is on the severe end of the autism spectrum All those dreams of a normal family have gone away He s incapable of even telling people his son isn t normal And he s an investor in the mold of Martin Shrekeli, making money off other people s problems I had mixed feelings about this book There are some great points made, some thoughts that I totally understood But Shiva would be a permanent immigrant His encounters with the world would always contain the unexpected Even his young mother s love would need subtitles But I struggled with it It s like the author was trying to have a private joke between himself and the reader about a rich guy trying to leave his life behind to go find himself but still couldn t jettison the outward accoutrements of that life I knew when it was attempting to be humorous, but I didn t find it funny More pathetic This is bitter humor Although I did find the epilogue humorous, especially when it pertains to folks believing he had learned his lesson That reminded me all to much of those banks that gave Trump loan after loan despite all his bankruptcies I am definitely in the minority in not loving this one But that s not to say I didn t appreciate it I found myself thinking about it A lot And it definitely grew on me as it went on My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book


About the Author: Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart is an American writer born in Leningrad, USSR he alternately calls it St Leningrad or St Leninsburg Much of his work is satirical and relies on the invention of elaborately fictitious yet somehow familiar places and times.His first novel, The Russian Debutante s Handbook 2002 , received the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top