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My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,214 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Welcome to Mark Leyner's America, where you can order gallium arsenide sushi at a roadside diner, get loaded on a cocktail of growth hormones and anabolic steroids, and support your habit by appearing on TV game shows. Here is fiction the brain can dance to, by one of the funniest and most subversive young writers of this, or any other, decade.
Paperback, 154 pages
Published March 24th 1990 by Harmony Books (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,118)
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MJ Nicholls
Mark Leyner is not, according to the latest reports, a fictional character created by DFW parodying the sort of 1990s hipster prose artist that writes books composed entirely of rhythmical free-association surrealism riddled with medical terminology. Apparently, this dude wearing the hilarious red-spotted tie on the cover and sporting shades on the inside pic, lowered so we might peer into the artist’s mesmeric eyes, is in fact a real person who wrote this real book. Strange world. Leyner’s pros ...more
Brent Legault
Mar 03, 2008 Brent Legault rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the undervocabularied, the overegotistical
I had a crush on this book when I was a kid. The book, not the man behind the book. I remember reading the story, The Suggestiveness of One Stray Hair in an Otherwise Perfect Coiffure, in my head -- in the bookstore before buying it -- and laughing like a friendless madman. And I sort of remember reading it out loud at a party or at several parties and laughing like a drunken, friendless madman. Girls really dig me, I sort of remember thinking. Those were the days.

I still laugh when I bother to
...more
Carrie
Aug 27, 2007 Carrie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: college freshman who want their new friends to think them clever
Shelves: booksiveloved
It is more fun reading this book than watching Frank Sinatra gently grate cheese over a head of hair before garnishing it with a sprig of parsley. (It's been 12 years since I've picked the book up, but I swear, there is a line somewhere in it referencing such a scene.)

This is one of the few books that was so precious to me that I could not bring myself to recommend to anybody. That, and the fact that any friend of mine who read it would immediately know how much of my conversation was plagiarize
...more
Rand
Jun 30, 2014 Rand rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yeast
Recommended to Rand by: p r o b i o t i x
File under "fnord" and / or "reasons to go Gluten Free" , "foggy notion" .
Michael
Dec 16, 2011 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: College students, Burroughs fans, literary rebels
Recommended to Michael by: Tom Maddox
Shelves: literature, poetry
I read this book half a lifetime ago, while I was in college. If goodreads had been around then, I would probably have rated it five stars, or at least four. Going through it to prepare for this review, I debated giving it two - I might have if I had re-read the whole thing. This reflects the ways we change as we grow older, as well as how what we want from literature changes. The book hasn't changed, but I sure have. People in their early twenties are often trying to figure out the rules of the ...more
Nick Black
An awful lot of fun. The first half of the collection is noticeably better than the second. Loved the use of E-13B IDAutomationMICR for the chapter number font, which I (maddeningly!) couldn't place until this morning -- I kept thinking "space invaders" for some stupid reason. The text itself is of course just logorrhea and farrago, but the best of its kind. Found myself laughing so loudly at times that I worried I'd wake my roommate.
----
Discovered in David Foster Wallace's essay "E Unibus Plura
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I gave this book four stars because of the sheer fun it is to read. It is like every word is equally important or not important at all, depending on what you are feeling at that particular moment.

It is interesting that this edition of the book actually says "A novel" as the subtitle because I'm not sure it is, more of a group of short stories, only not really. It is true that the gastroenterologist makes more than one appearance.

I feel like this made the most sense when I looked at it sideways,
...more
Patrick
Pretty much impossible to read, but I did anyway.
kaelan
I heard about Mark Leyner's My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist from my girlfriend, who herself heard of it from a David Foster Wallace essay—although she couldn't quite be sure if Wallace's appraisal was positive or negative. Indeed, it's a tricky book to assess. On the one hand, it's clearly pretty fucking stupid. Yet on the other, might this be the result not of Leyner's sophomoric inanity, but rather of his satirical genius?

Allow me to supply you with an example, although please be aware that t
...more
Matt
This is a rare document. An experimental postmodern fiction artist named Mark Leyner makes crazy word collages, byzantine temples of thought in a nihilistically symbolic universe. Be careful not to get your head caught! I read this in brief spurts while I worked in a bookstore and it is a definite headfuck, like an experimental drug. The wordplay is wild and you are definitely going to get some comical and disturbing images. I don't even remember the plot.

Word on the street was that this guy ha
...more
Tony
46. Leyner, Mark. MY COUSIN, MY GASTROENTEROLOGIST. (1990). *. If you read this book, you will probably think that one star is too high of a rating – and you would be right. It’s hard to describe. There is no plot line, per se. There are no characters of any importance – besides the author/narrator – that you can follow, so there is, obviously, no character development. The setting is mostly New Jersey, but it could be anywhere, so there is no sense of place. Maybe a series of quotes will give y ...more
Mike Hetteix
Jan 29, 2008 Mike Hetteix rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: po-mo pop-culture gonzo ironists
Leyner writes hyperkinetic gonzo prose which is a mutant hybrid between William Burroughs at his most schizoid and Dave Barry at his most laugh out loud. This is gag-a-minute writing for A.D.D. addled avant guardists drenched in the toxic jetsam of pop culture. I'd post some exceperts but I lent the book out and unsurpsingly never got it back. While Leyner's book is one of the rare few that can make me laugh out loud, my enjoyment has been tempered by David Foster Wallace's pointed criticism of ...more
Kathy
From a blog post I wrote in 2005:
Some readers may think I like every book I read. Well, this book disproves that theory. Author Mark Leyner's book was described as "Brilliant mutant prose" by the San Francisco Examiner. I think a more accurate description is "Nonsensical drivel."

Here's an excerpt:

"tonight at madison square garden the new york rangers disemboweled the boston bruins' goalie, brought a hibachi onto the ice, roasted his intestines and served them on toast points to the howling homet
...more
Kye Alfred Hillig
Mark Leyner is a literary anarchist. His stories are wild creatures that evolve like bursting fireworks. He seems to care little for delivering some kind of straight forward story structure and opts to instead just have fun. Some of Mark's stories are so funny and clever that it is hard to picture someone sitting their writing it. The work is smart and it is truly poetic. Leyner proves that a story doesn't have to have any character development to pull you through it. I absolutely could not wait ...more
Jemiah Jefferson
This book gets me high. Honestly. I go into a completely different cerebrospinal temporospatial state of being when faced with the breathless mastery of these stories, as well as hyperventilating from laughing so hard for over a hundred pages. Mark Leyner is one of the greatest national treasures this nation has ever produced, and why he's not ruling over this hemisphere from a 45-foot-tall throne made up of discarded Jacob the Jeweler pimp cups, NuvaRings, frozen Charleston Chews, and gold doub ...more
Julia Long
MC, MG definitely lives up to what DFW thought about it--it reads like TV. I like that. I think that makes it relevant. I think the writing style is itself a breed of commentary.
I also think Leyner is funny, sharp and witty without being super conceited like tons of postmodern and post-postmodern authors. I hate when the author's conceit comes across in the fucking book, like hold the fuck up. So annoying. Chill out about your own brilliance. Leyner doesn't do that/isn't like that. He's just g
...more
Thomas Armstrong
This was a mildly amusing book. There was only one page which really got me laughing full throttle (p. 99 - the TV show ''A Tumult of Pubic Hair'' ... it also stars..''). The major flaw in the book was it's lack of any real meaning. It seems like he's just trying to yank our chain, amuse us with out-of-the-box phrases, and startle us with wacko paragraphs. There's a certain amount of inventiveness here which must be acknowledged, but it would have been so much better as a book (or series of sket ...more
Benjamin
Possibly the best bad book I've ever read. For starters the paper it was printed on was cheap and flimsy, and the text was badly printed, which made it difficult to read, even apart from the overblown vocabulary, complete lack of a coherent plot, and inconsistent, some might say experimental, formatting.

Oddly enough, the book was enjoyable to read. Think the bastard child of Videodrome and Natural Born Killers, written by Bret Easton Ellis on a bad drug trip. My advice is to let go of any attemp
...more
Oliver Bateman
I was initially quite skeptical of this collection of short "stories," but Leyner does pomo fiction the right way: with tongue planted firmly in cheek. It's impossible to explain what happens in here, save for the fact that the phrase "my cousin, my gastroenterologist" appears in nearly every piece. A few of Leyner's gags fall flat, but most of his sentences are among the saddest and funniest I've ever read.
Ryan Dilbert
Oct 15, 2007 Ryan Dilbert rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of words
what a wonderful nutjob Leyner is. he breaks every kind of rule with his writing and has a great time doing it. some of these are wow-worthy and others just too crazy but seeing the man shoot for the stars everytime is inspiring. he shoots words at you with a machine gun, puts you on his rollercoaster and injects you with liquid vertigo all at the same time.
Nicky
I have no idea when I read this - senior year of high school, I think. I bought a signed copy in Cambridge on a college visit. What I remember most about this novel is the phrase "vigilate squirrels are coming to get you." That has stuck with me since. I guess I've always had a thing for vigilantes and squirrels, and once combined my life was never the same.
Ben
Genius, like plastic vomit, like fingers wearing olives for hats, like olive hats girded in pepperoni for a brim.

Like reaching through a sewer grate for a dollar and coming up with a thorough understanding of thermodynamics instead, and using that knowledge to invent a child-safe flamethrower.

You have a car bomb.

I KNOW!!
Kate
Jul 25, 2007 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people on a break from seriousness
Shelves: own-currently
The great thing about Leyner is that you have a blast reading the books, and then immediately forget everything you just read. So they're just as fun the second time around! In fact, I'm not even sure which of his I've read, or even how many unique ones I read. Now I'm thinking it was just Et Tu, Babe.
Donald Armfield
This book is out there, so hopefully all you people out there read this book.
I was sad to come to the conclusion of this book, strange world where Mark Leyner is the mayor...Im just sayin any one who likes strange humor needs to read this.
Carrie The Wade
Not much of an avant garde lit fan, but this one was pretty fun to read. Sketches had a lightness and playful attitude, which made it much more bearable than similar shit I've read.
Steve
Funniest Leyner, very fucking funny unless you are one of those people who "don't get" humor when it barrels out of bounds. Simmering surreality!
Renee
Dueling Librarians! Read the first review of 2013!
Cynthia Varady
Dueling Librarians January 2013 duel is up!
regina
Feb 27, 2015 regina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of sedaris who crave harder drugs
The surreal scenes that Leyner paints are so twisted yet believable. This is a satirical look at our future.
Sean Condon
I had never read anything like this when it came out; it was stunning. And so funny I almost died.
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4414
Mark Leyner is an American postmodernist author.

Leyner employs an intense and unconventional style in his works of fiction. His stories are generally humorous and absurd: In The Tetherballs of Bougainville, Mark's father survives a lethal injection at the hands of the New Jersey penal system, and so is freed but must live the remainder of his life in fear of being executed, at New Jersey's discret
...more
More about Mark Leyner...
Why Do Men Have Nipples?: Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini Et Tu, Babe Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex? More Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Whiskey Sour The Tetherballs of Bougainville The Sugar Frosted Nutsack

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