The Sugar Frosted Nutsack
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The Sugar Frosted Nutsack

2.93 of 5 stars 2.93  ·  rating details  ·  598 ratings  ·  202 reviews
From the bestselling and wildly imaginative novelist Mark Leyner, a romp through the excesses and exploits of gods and mortals.
High above the bustling streets of Dubai, in the world's tallest and most luxurious skyscraper, reside the gods and goddesses of the modern world. Since they emerged 14 billion years ago from a bus blaring a tune remarkably similar to the Mister S...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 26th 2012 by Little, Brown and Company (first published February 24th 2012)
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The Sugar Frosted Nutsack is not easily explained. It's best just to dive in and have a look. Here is the opening paragraph,
There was never nothing. But before the debut of the Gods, about 14 billion years ago, things happened without any discernable context. There were no recognizable patterns. It was all incoherent. Isolated, disjointed events would take place, only to be engulfed by an opaque black void, their relative meaning, their significance, annulled by the eons of entropic silence that
3.5 stars rounded up for the sake of audacity and originality -- and the excitement/expectation/military-grade Gravy-like ecstasy I felt with my hands on a new Mark Leyner novel after a 15-year absence. I didn't mind that it's a looping, recursive epic, with excruciating redundancies, heavy-handed, stilted tropes and wearying cliches, overwrought angst, gnomic non sequiturs, off-putting adolescent scatology and cringe-inducing smuttiness, depraved tableaus and orgies of masturbation with all the...more
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway.

This book was making me literally lose my mind. My roommate had to talk me down from a mental breakdown while reading this....this...novel? It was so infuriatingly repetitive (which was intentional as the book actually used the phrase "excruciating redundancies" close to 100 times-if not more than).

For the first half, I was convinced that this was a capital 'I' Important book, but I had no idea why.
It was stressful and mind-numbing at the same time. I was...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Mar 28, 2012 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jacques Derrida, who I think recently married XOXO's second cousin.
Recommended to Nathan "N.R." by: DFW
Welcome back, Babe!

Five stars for our 21st century Homer. Blind, vagrant, drug-addled bards, indeed.

But I have a few complaints about this book:

a) The paper is too cheap. More of a mass market paperback paper than a nice cloth bound paper. Oh, and they trimmed the deckle edge. I hate that!

{NYT interview by Adam Sternbergh here which includes that classic Charlie Rose Show (which reminds me of the opening sequence of that documentary about Anvil) and a link to the Kakutani review of that contemp...more
David Katzman
Feb 21, 2014 David Katzman rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy artisanal bullshit
'Tis a book of opposites. Intellectual and low-brow. Erudite and juvenile. The Sugar Frosted Nutsack is in-your-face postmodernism and self-referential to the max. Reminded me, in some ways, of a book by Goodreads author and infamous Scottish whippersnapper MJ Nichols. If you are new to Leyner and his comedy of the absurd, I recommend you start with My Cousin My Gastroenterologist instead. I still find MCMG to be his best and most startling work. I have enjoyed all his fiction to one degree or a...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

It would not be off the mark to call Mark Leyner the "King of the Bizarro Authors," given that he is one of the only practitioners in the whole country of this "Monty Python meets Psychobilly" subgenre to regularly score lucrative contracts with large mainstream publishers, and to be featured in such natio...more
THE SUGAR FROSTED NUTSACK. (2012). Mark Leyner. *.
This got a fairly good review in the NYTimes Book Review, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why. I have to admit that it didn’t pass my 50-page sniff test, other than it smelled bad from the outset. The author devised a silly set of gods who do silly things for no apparent reason. After fifty pages of this rambling attempt at humor, I gave up. I should have known better. On the jacket cover, there is a blurb by Gary Shteyngart (whoever h...more
May 26, 2012 Jenna is currently reading it
I've never read Mark Leyner before, but I couldn't resist a title like The Sugar Frosted Nutsack. What a perfectly snarky phrase. Here's a sample from the opening chapter describing the arrival of the hungover elitist GODS to an empty earth.

And because they were omniscient and so tight knit, 
they could be very adolescent and pretentious in the way they
flaunted their superiority. It wouldn't be unusual for a God to use
Ningdu Chinese, Etruscan, Ket (a moribund language spoken by just
five hundred
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is just bad period. I really wanted to give this a try however maybe I made the mistake of reading this after reading one Stephen King book and then starting another one to keep my brain from running out of my ears. you know maybe if I read something good in between the pages that actually drove me to hit myself on the head because of the sheer stupidity or utter nonsense I could get to the point or end rather Sorry bud nothing doing. I do not think you are some huge genius because you use...more
Benjamin Obler
To say this is funny is to say that Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, is inconsiderate of his populace. To say this is original is to say that audio technicians for Olympics coverage occasionally use orchestral pieces with somewhat sentimental string parts.

Mark Leyner is daring and talented and that rarest of literary figures: the iconoclast respected by all the stalwart critics. Try something new and different. Try this "fucked-up caffeinated cacophony...with all its excruciating redundancie...more
If you've never read Mark Leyner, this book is not the place to start. Having stepped away from fiction writing for 15 years, this work feels like Leyner is running as fast as he can to catch-up with his last work (which I found pretty amazing) "The Tetherballs of Bouganville". There were a few times in the book where I just gave up on everything: the story, the characters, the irony, the satire - it just felt like the jumbled mind of a lunatic.

If it is true that there is a razor's edge between...more
I won The Sugar Frosted Nutsack in a giveaway and was very excited because it sounded so interesting. After I won, I realized that it only had 2 stars here on Goodreads and all the reviews talked about how horrible it was...

Me? I thought it was awesome and gave it 4 stars. I'd give it 5 stars if my vocabulary was better. If Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and a thesaurus got stoned (on Gravy) and had an orgy, The Sugar Frosted Nutsack would be the result. Forget your expectations and just sit back a...more
I understand this is not supposed to be a "normal" book. I get the symbolism of the repetitive nature, making it sound like the chorus in a real song, the references to Freud, etc. I get that nonlinear storytelling is "cool" these days. I get that mile-a-minute pop culture references are supposed to pass for humor. And I get the dichotomy between the completely vapid content and the stuffy language of the faux-academic analyses. This book is trying to be edgy and hip and different. But what it's...more
Mar 15, 2012 Justin added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I won this book and wasn't going to read it and I wish I didn't waste 10mins of my life trying to. This book is just absolutely horrendous. From the beginning I was totally lost and 15 pages in I was like there's no way I'm reading anymore of this. It's total garbage and just a bunch of random crap with no logical reasoning of being mentioned whatsoever. I can be random but this guy abuses the privilege. The fact that a guy got this published and yet I as an author continue to struggle makes me...more
This book is wild. I don't think there is any other way to describe it. Inventive, metafictional, strange, funny, insightful, and such would all be good choices as well though. There are so many weird things linked together in this novel, god myth structures, pop culture mass consciousness, and more. It's impossible to classify yet it is amazingly enjoyable to read. Leyner is truly writing out on his own here, though it is a blast to follow along.
oh dear God. No. Just, no. I feel like someone just bleached my brain. I think I'll stick with Douglas Adams and Dirk Gentry for my nonlinear absurdia.
"Even those who consider all this total bullshit have to concede that it's upscale, artisanal bullshit of the highest order." - p199
I'd like some of whatever the author ingested. Somewhere in the "Weird" section of your local bookstore lies the intriguing titled but not executed "The Sugar Frosted Nutsack". The book hints at Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" with its heavy use of silly names and false anthropology (instead of aliens as in "Hitchhiker's" the beings messing with humans and each other are gods). The book also hints at William Burrough's non-linear, often sexually charged trippy imagery instead o...more
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack sits on the bookseller’s shelves, its stalwart spine erect, its freshly pressed pages waving gently in the air conditioning in a silent artifice of shikantaza as panting bibliophiles masturbate on the floor from the broadest horizon of the vanishing point as they imbue The Sugar Frosted Nutsack with the pearly shimmer of their devotion.

The Sugar Frosted Nutsack is a self-aware entity of infinite transmogrifying digressions emanating from two or three concrete images whi...more

This review was originally posted on Melissa's Midnight Musings:

One of the most bizarre, utterly ridiculous books I've ever read.

I don't even know how to begin this review. First off, let me tell you that this book is one of the most ridiculous, pointless things I have ever read.

The first thirty pages talk over and over about various gods who are in charge of random things, lik...more
I've been contemplating how I'd actually review this book for a while. It has some undeniable genius, some of the funniest/most absurd scenes I've ever read anywhere (My personal favorite: "Once the God named Koji Mizokami had a small teratoma—a tumor with hair and teeth—removed from one of his testicles. He took it home and fashioned it into the composer Béla Bartók."), and a truly original format: blind, drug-addled bards are telling the tale of Ike Carton, and the story mutates with each tell...more
Oliver Bateman
My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist, with its tricky sentences and utter lack of purpose, was a work of semi-genius. This is something less than that, but Leyner--who has written everything from best-selling books to TV scripts--can still be counted on for a well-turned phrase or three. TSFN has a central plot, but it's nothing to write home about: wifebeater-clad butcher Ike Karton is some kind of messiah/sex symbol/cult hero whose life is of great interest to a pantheon of bizarre, temperamental...more
Brenton Gilmore
Maybe I just dont get it. I usually can appreciate "originality" and "creativity" when it comes to writing a novel that is not the generally accepted format. Leyner's randomness and inexplicable vocabulary seem completely overdone...any hilarity is lost on me. I do not see it as clever, more like the ranting of a speed-riddled, thesaurus-flipping proselytizer who fears that everyone else isn't being quite creative enough.

TO be fair, i only made it through 50 pages and gave up hope that it would...more
Dave White
Mark Leyner's The Sugar Frosted Nutsack is about a metatextual epic that absorbs and incorporates everything that comments on it, to the point where the only thing left of the original are fragments buried in reams of nonsensical pomo lit theory jargon. It's an interesting premise, but one that doesn't really lend itself to a novel-length exploration. By the time you reach page 30 it's already starting to feel a bit sweaty, by page 240 it's definitely outworn its welcome. At times I was nonpluss...more
Jordan Gregory
Sep 29, 2013 Jordan Gregory rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Schizophrenics, Sarahs-Plain-and-Tall
It's entirely reasonable to hate this book.
I don't hate it, but I can understand.

Mark Leyner has unleashed upon the world a version of American Gods, but as told by that one guy on the bus dressed in bed sheets. It's a dense, near-incomprehensible look at the world as created by a van of misfit gods and goddesses after the mother of all hangovers. Their obsession, and the focus of this oral tale performed by drug-addled bards, is Ike Karton, an unemployed butcher who dreams of suicide-by-cop an...more
I suppose I am just too old and uneducated to understand this book. Far from being a prude, but this is the most foul mouthed book I have ever listened to. If you don't like several curse words thrown together in one sentence and repeated time and time again, don't read this. I picked it out of the web library looking for a book to listen to in one day at work. There were a couple funny parts here and there but for the most part my head was shaking in disbelief most of the time.

Here's one exampl...more
Daniel Jensen
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack has the distinction of being as close to "metafiction" in a pure sense as one is likely to ever get, with recursive fractal curlicues redoubling constantly such that, as with some poetry, you can anticipate entire stanzas, but also constantly filling in more detail, as in discussions of Mandelbrot and the infinitely long coastline of Great Britain.

But there is also a heart at the center, suggesting that the closest movie analogue is actually Mulholland Drive rather some...more
Jim Brucker
Classic Leyner, as if 1995 has returned in full force. His fiction requires a healthy dose of submission, particularly when it becomes clear that "plot" isn't going to unfold in any traditional sense. Leyner is a stand-up comic, though, and his humor is consistent. The language isn't quite as dense as his earlier work, but, again, this is exactly in line with his "novels." If you enjoyed "Et Tu, Babe," this will ring true. If you found it to be hogwash, then this will do no better. Overall, much...more
there are those who get it and there are those who do not. you will know into which box you fit within the first 3 pages. for those who get it - welcome. for those who do not - move along, nothing to see here.
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Mansfield Public ...: The Sugar Frosted Nutsack Review by N.M. Lerman 1 2 Aug 09, 2013 08:15AM  
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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 My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex? More Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Whiskey Sour The Tetherballs of Bougainville

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“It's the same thing that makes all pop music so heartbreaking. Even when Miley Cyrus sings "So I put my hands up, they're playin' my song / The butterflies fly away / I'm noddin' my head like 'Yeah!' / Movin' my hips like 'Yeah!'" in her song "Party in the U.S.A." It's that chirping mirth against a backdrop of despair, that juxtaposition of blithe optimism against all the crushing brutalities and inadequacies of life. The image of an ineffably beautiful butterfly flitting by the shattered windows of a dilapidated, abandoned factory is not so poignant because it highlights the indomitable life force. To the contrary, the butterfly (and the pop song) is like a PowerPoint cursor; it's there to whet our perception of and strengthen our affinity for what's moribund, for what's always dying before our eyes. Loving the moribund is our way of signaling the dead from this shore: "We are your kinsmen...” 2 likes
“fate is the ultimate preexisting condition.” 2 likes
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