The Ask by Sam Lipsyte

The Ask

Sam Lipsyte

If you revel in dazzling wordplay, inventive turns of phrase and off-the-wall humour then this is for you! The saying 'if something can go wrong, it will' might have been written for Milo Burke. As the book opens, he is married, a father and part of a fundraising team for the Arts Department of a mediocre New York university. Soon, however, his comfortable, if unadventurous, life begins to unravel and Milo finds himself in a battle for survival.


An ask could be a person, or what we wanted from that person. If they gave it to us, that was a give. The asks knew little about the student work they funded. Who could blame them? Some of the art these brats produced wouldn't stand up to the dreck my three-year old demanded we tack to the kitchen wall. But I was biased, and not just because I often loved my son. Thing was, I'd been just like these wretches once. Now they stared through me, as though I were merely some drone in their sight line, a pathetic object momentarily obstructing their fabulous horizon. They were right. That's exactly what I was.

  • The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
  • The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
  • Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins

Books with similar mood

In Your Dreams

Charlie Ross

The Believers

Zoe Heller

Swift as Desire

Laura Esquivel

Half a World Away

Tom Bromley


Candace Carty-Williams

The Chilli Bean Paste Clan

Yan Ge

All Grown Up

Jami Attenberg

Past Imperfect

Julian Fellowes

The Paradise Trail

Duncan Campbell

Good Faith

Jane Smiley

Bread Alone

Judi Hendricks

All the Rage

Paul Magrs

This Book Will Save Your Life

A M Homes

Diva Book of Short Stories

Helen Sandler

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

Lorna Landvik

The Anatomy School

Bernard MacLaverty

In Office Hours

Lucy Kellaway

The Other Woman's Shoes

Adele Parks

Reader for Hire

Raymond Jean

Whatever Makes You Happy

William Sutcliffe

Twenty Thousand Saints

Fflur Dafydd


David Bezmozgis

Spelling Mississippi

Marnie Woodrow

Adios Muchachos

Daniel Chavarria

Any Human Heart

William Boyd

Larger than Life

Adele Parks


James Delingpole

Bitter Sweets

Roopa Farooki


Alison Miller

Almost Like Being In Love

Steve Kluger

One Day, Someday

Lynne Barrett-Lee

Class Act

Alison Norrington

The Freedom Thing

Phil Hogan

Goodnight Steve McQueen

Louise Wener

Life isn't all Ha Ha Hee Hee

Meera Syal

Lizka and her Men

Alexander Ikonnikov

The Immigrant

Manju Kapur

The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life

William Nicholson

And Now You Can Go

Vendela Vida

Getting Over Edgar

Joan Barfoot

Lucky Baby Jesus

Peter Bradshaw

Yocandra in the Paradise of Nada

Zoe Valdes

My Cleaner

Maggie Gee

The Wangs vs the World

Jade Chang

In Real Life

Chris Killen

The Emergence of Judy Taylor

Angela Jackson

Unsafe Attachments

Caroline Oulton

Land of the Golden Apple

Eve Makis

Coyote Blue

Christopher Moore