Daily Archives: March 22, 2010

by Sam Lipsyte

Ask

 

Milo Burke, the middle-aged, failed artist protagonist of Sam Lipsyte’s new novel, is the kind of New Yorker you like to visit but don’t want to live with.  For the first 75 pages of The Ask, I had to ask myself if I really wanted to spend the next 225 pages with the class smartass that is Burke.  Sure, Milo is often hilarious (think Groucho Marx let loose in a diversity-training class), but geez, too much of that can send you screaming to the wheat fields of Kansas.

But gradually, inexorably, Lipsyte adds substance to his story.  There’s more to Milo than his dead-end job at a “mediocre” college fundraising office, and his interactions with his drifting wife, an amputee Iraq war vet, and a rich friend from his college past transform The Ask from mere screwball ranting into something deeper and more satisfying.

 

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Thunderbolt

 

In 1974, Clint Eastwood was fresh off the success of Dirty Harry, not to mention all those spaghetti Westerns he starred in.  Jeff Bridges was … well, the son of that guy who starred in Sea Hunt on TV.  Inexplicably, Eastwood was paired with Bridges for Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, an out-of-nowhere comedy-drama about a thief (Eastwood) teaming up with a drifter (Bridges) to locate some hidden loot.  So guess who steals the movie?  Watch it free by going  here.

 

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