Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fun Parts” as Want to Read:
The Fun Parts
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fun Parts

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,218 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
A boy eats his way to self-discovery, while another must battle the reality-brandishing monster preying on his fantasy realm. Elsewhere, an aerobics instructor—the daughter of a Holocaust survivor—makes the most shocking leap imaginable to save her soul. These are just a few of the characters you'll encounter in Sam Lipsyte's richly imagined world.
Featuring a grizzled and
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by FSG
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fun Parts, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Fun Parts

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 19, 2013 christa rated it really liked it
I’m testing a theory that where you fall on the Lipsyte-ometer can be determined by what this passage does to the reading parts of your brain -- specifically the last sentence:

“Ypsilanti was easy to leave. I wasn’t from there. I’d just landed there. The Michigan Eviscerations had begun in Manhattan. Martha was a junior at NYU, heiress to a fuel-injection fortune. I was a cheeky barista who kept penciling my phone number on her latte’s heat sleeve. Cheeky and, I should add, quite hairy. Martha f
Apr 21, 2013 RandomAnthony rated it liked it
I liked but didn't love The Fun Parts. But I was close. Three and a half-stars, I think, because of Lipsyte's talent with turning out subtle, funny phrases at a heady rate. None of the stories bored me, and a few neared transcendence (esp. the first one, with a young woman getting older, perhaps pining for the safety of a rich man with a son at the school where she's a teaching assistant, and the one with the male doula (doulo?) who starts to lose his mind. The dungeons and dragons story was gre ...more
Apr 29, 2013 Judy rated it it was ok
I picked this book up because reviews said he was funny. Since I'm always in the market for humor and short stories are a nice change of pace, I was all gung-ho to read this book. Having read it now, the two stars is a nod to his ability to write, not the content. Put me in the column of folks not impressed by tragi-comedy. These stories are flat-out depressing, at times gross, consisting of characters I cannot connect with at all. I'm impressed with Lipsyte's ability but nothing else.

More revie
Apr 26, 2013 Tuck rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
billed at hilarious, struck me rather as hysterical and cynical. perhaps it's a nyc thing? good stories though, with lots of rich detail and character and plot packed into 10 or so pages. here is a tiny bit from opening of "the republic of empathy"
But Peg really wanted another baby, said we owed Philip a bother or sister. That seemed like a pretty huge debt. What do you do for the second child? Have a third?
'Peg," I said. But I had no follow-up. Or was it follow-through?
Feb 22, 2013 Kevin rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny-stuff
I find it strange that whenever I read story collections that include pieces originally published in the New Yorker, I can usually tell. I found the NYer stories in The Fun Parts are actually the least fun of the bunch. And I feel the same way with George Saunders NYer stories most of the time too. What is it? Do the editors there suck something out of their stories before sending them to print?
Well, that being said, the REST of the new Lipsyte collection is 5-star action up the ying yang! "Snac
Emily Simpson
Feb 21, 2013 Emily Simpson rated it liked it
This is a generous three stars. Do I think Sam Lipsyte is a good writer? I do. Do I think this collection is representative of his full capabilities? I absolutely don't. For the most part in The Fun Parts, Sam takes people with problems (self-image or socially stemming ones, work-related gripes, or oftentimes all of these) and throws a wrench into their works. Fine so far.

It's mostly with his stylistic choices I take issue. Sam can spin an okay yarn in sense that he always grounds us on literal
Joseph Michael Owens
Apr 06, 2013 Joseph Michael Owens rated it it was amazing
pg. 101: "...[W]e earn our fee on the second day... Yesterday the Gottwalds were the stunned and grateful progenitors of a mewling miracle. Today [they] are the smug bastards they've probably always been. and the Gottwald baby, well, he, might be only two days old, but I can already predict he's going to be a miserable little turd."
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Dec 25, 2012 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it really liked it
Sam Lipsyte has an ability to make me laugh uncomfortably, the way you would do after having a shared awkward experience where someone loses it in front of you. The characters in his short stories are always out of place, trying to cope with reality, failing, and the author is not afraid to push their scenarios to the most outrageous conclusion.

My favorites - The Climber Room (for the ending), The Wisdom of the Doulas (is the male doula "doulo" crazy, or is the world?).

Also - don't have kids. W
Sep 23, 2014 Rayroy rated it really liked it
Sam Lipsyte is great a post 9/11 Yankee Barry Hannah with an eye for mordern life like Don DeLillo. Very fine stuff here. Top shelf.
Josh Friedlander
With respect to the New Critics, Sam Lipsyte is best understood as a product of two formative influences: an Ivy League background (he attended Brown and currently teaches at Columbia) and a major, drug-fueled starving-artist period in the '90s Brooklyn punk scene, as a part of the band Dungbeetle. His stories are full of brilliant one-liners and elegant descriptions, but at the broader level, they fail to cohere, often switching tack abruptly. Is he getting bored by his subject material? Is the ...more
Dec 10, 2014 Alessandra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
questi racconti hanno una copertina magnifica. Peccato che per il resto io li abbia trovati incomprensibili. E' come se, sotto ognuna delle storie strampalate, ci fosse uan sublime e profonda morale che ci permette di capire meglio l'ipocrisia borghese dei nostri tempi.. ma devo essere stupida, e mi sfugge.
Lasciati a metà.
Mar 13, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Sometimes great, sometimes just too clever. With short story collections, I'm used to finding one story a hit and the next one not so much. Here, the first part of a story would dazzle me, and then the rest would disappoint. Some brilliant dialogue, though. A 3.5 star for me.
Matt Holloway
Mar 31, 2013 Matt Holloway rated it liked it
Sam Lipsyte is the funniest, most lyrical prose writer alive today. That said, he's clearly rushed this one out to benefit his growing family. Well, Sam, congrats on the kid. For the next book, please try harder.
Bill Breedlove
Jun 26, 2013 Bill Breedlove rated it it was amazing
I read some of the other reader reviews with dismay, but to each his/her own and all that, I guess. I was not familiar with Mr. Lipsyte's work, having only read the leadoff story--"The Climber Room"--in the New Yorker. I recalled enjoying that story when I read it, but not being motivated enough to look up the author and seek out other works--although I tend to read the New Yorker before bed in the evening, and by the time I get to the fiction, after reading very long, very detailed articles, I ...more
Jenny Shank
Mar 18, 2013 Jenny Shank rated it really liked it

Book review: ‘The Fun Parts,’ by Sam Lipsyte
By JENNY SHANK Special Contributor
Published: 16 March 2013 11:26 AM

The warm reception for Sam Lipsyte’s most recent novels, Homeland and The Ask, enhanced his reputation for savage and profane satire. But if you’re the sort of reader who craves endearing characters along with wild scenarios and funny dialogue, Lipsyte’s stories might be the place to start.

The 13 stories in The Fun Parts delve into the lives of hi
Justin Dobbs
Dec 01, 2012 Justin Dobbs rated it it was amazing
This is a review of the title and cover, since I have not read the book. I have not read the book because it has yet to be released. I have no complaint in regard to the book not yet being released, I only mention it to absolve myself of the responsibility for the reading of a book in its entirety.

Now on to the meat of the "review.":

I think it is a very clever cover and the title is even more clever than I had anticipated, even from Lipsyte, so much that I had said to myself, "Leave it to Sam Li
Po Po
Jun 09, 2014 Po Po rated it really liked it
Crude, debauched, and 110% outrageous. Every character is bloody rotten to the core.

Phrases I now want to use:
"stinky sweet snapper hole" and "teen poot"

A snippet:
"But life gets really murky sometimes."
"It's true, honey. Like a fish tank nobody cleans. Just fish shit and dead fish. But that's how you know it's life."

Not a book I would suggest to my parents, or any old(er) sensitive folks.
Shaun Bossio
Nov 23, 2014 Shaun Bossio rated it liked it
The stories range from good, to solid, but the book was worth $14 just for a copy of The Worm in Philly. One of the best short stories I've ever read, simply put.
Rob Bockman
Jan 12, 2016 Rob Bockman rated it liked it
Exhausting and frenzied, but a lot of fun.
May 08, 2015 Amy rated it it was ok
I really liked about half of the stories in this book, particularly "The Dungeon Master," "The Wisdom of the Doulas," and "Snacks." Sometimes Lipsyte's weird, knotty phrases were hilarious or insightful or heartbreaking. But sometimes the effort of deciphering his wadded-up word blobs just wore me out (WTF, "The Real-Ass Jumbo"?).

The punch in the gut:

"Really," the Dungeon Master calls again. "No hard feelings."

It must be the dumbest thing he's ever said. No hard feelings? What could ever be ha
May 12, 2014 Melinda rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
I have mixed feelings about The Fun Parts . I do enjoy Lipsyte's humor - dry, sarcastic, hidden innuendos, and sometimes just plain funny. I chuckled out loud several times and enjoyed it as a whole. A few standouts - "The Climber Room" is the story of Tovah Gold, a 36-year-old pre-K teacher who yearns to write poetry. The central character in "Deniers," the best story in the book, is Mandy Gottlieb, a 30-year-old woman who teaches cardio ballet at the Jewish Community Center in her New Jersey ...more
Apr 05, 2014 Dulina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nel leggere il titolo, "La parte divertente", mi aspettavo di ridere, almeno un pochino. Mi aspettavo storie magari anche macabre, ma con un lato leggero, e magari con un pizzico di speranza.
Tutto questo però, a parte nel primo racconto, non l'ho visto nemmeno col binocolo.
E ho anche capito che io e i libri di racconti non siamo fatti l'uno per l'altra.
Passi il fatto che si fa fatica ad appassionarsi ai personaggi, sia perchè, appunto, di lì a poche pagine la storia finisce, sia perchè sono anni
Apr 03, 2014 Alex rated it liked it
I don't know what "twee" means. I've heard it used to describe things, and those things are usually a combination of cute and snarky, and they seem to emanate from Brooklyn. Which is exactly how I think of The Fun Parts, with many of its cute and snarky stories taking place in and around the city.

Lipsyte is absurdly talented - there is not doubt about that. Some of his sentences seem so convoluted that I shouldn't understand them, and yet I do. He gets the current cultural zeitgeist - his charac
James (JD) Dittes
Jun 12, 2014 James (JD) Dittes rated it it was ok
Shelves: cool-writings, 2014
I've never been to Brooklyn.

I have seen Brooklyn from across the East River several times on visits to The City that never lasted longer than two days, walking along the riverfront, posing for touristy photos with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.

But I've never been to Brooklyn. I don't claim to be a history or even garden-variety sophisticate in any manner other than some of the [ages of books that fly past my eyeballs.

This is just to say that I didn't get the humor in this book. I could s
Nov 03, 2014 Jon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

My opinion of this book improved as I passed the half-way mark, but ultimately it wasn't very good.

The biggest problem in my opinion was that the all of the stories fell victim to the author's desire to be edgy. There were some interesting insights and scenarios, but the voice was off. The narrator puts so many of his own thoughts into the characters that the end up being interchangeable and generic--functioning only as tools for the author to push his confused, self-important, and moderate
Eric T. Voigt Voigt
Mar 18, 2013 Eric T. Voigt Voigt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spring-thirteen
I tried to explain how 'The Wisdom of the Doulas' spirals out of control to a co-worker. I couldn't. I kept giggling. When I think back to any line I can think back to I start to smirk like a dumbass. I was telling my parents about 'The Fun Parts' and couldn't come up with very good synonyms for "dark comedy" so I stuck with "it's just crazy." Such a bleak, yet hilarious and batshit nuts world Lipsyte writes. Way great.
David Winters
Mar 02, 2013 David Winters rated it really liked it
Lipsyte has always been at his stylistic best in the short form. While The Fun Parts does contain a couple of overcooked duds (e.g. "The Republic of Empathy"), they don't really detract from this cruelly funny collection. My review is here.
Mar 25, 2013 Randa rated it it was amazing
Loved this collection. My faves were "Deniers," "This Appointment," "Snacks," and "Wisdom of the Doulas." "The Worm in Philly" and "Expressive" were goddamn brilliant.

Great sentences, decadent humor, excellent masturbation scenes- it's all here.

Wish there were more contemporary collections like this one.
Hank Stuever
Jun 25, 2013 Hank Stuever rated it it was amazing
Fan-f***cking- tastic. So enjoyed these short stories by a writer I've always deeply admired and flat-out envied. Nice to see what it looks like when he's just noodling around. Not a sentence wasted-- the discipline is as striking as the humor. Saved it for vacation this week and so happy I did. Bravo.
Jun 27, 2015 Kittaroo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Che palle. Avrò letto decine di raccolte di racconti così. Tutti con lo strillo "il migliore (nuovo/giovane/sorprendente/esilarante/promettente/...) scrittore d'America.
In realtà sono lo stesso personaggio. Non me lo spiego altrimenti. Sono tutti nati intorno agli anni 79, 40/50enni, hanno pubblicato un paio di romanzi e poi i racconti. E tutti parlano della stessa umanità disagiata da provincia americana. La stessa umanità meschina, ignorante, disperata.
Mai un guizzo, mai uno strappo alla rego
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
"The Republic of Empathy" help 2 5 Oct 08, 2014 09:44PM  
  • Middle Men: Stories
  • The Miniature Wife and Other Stories
  • The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories
  • Long, Last, Happy: New and Collected Stories
  • Spectacle: Stories
  • What's Important Is Feeling: Stories
  • Damage Control: Stories
  • The Emerald Light in the Air: Stories
  • We Others: New and Selected Stories
  • Hot Pink
  • Gryphon: New and Selected Stories
  • The Isle of Youth: Stories
  • I Want to Show You More
  • Middle C
  • Leaving the Sea
  • Divorcer
  • The Collected Stories
  • Battleborn
Sam Lipsyte was born in 1968. He is the author of the story collection Venus Drive (named one of the top twenty-five book of its year by the Village Voice Supplement) and the novels The Subject of Steve and Home Land, winner of the Believer Book Award. Lipsyte teaches at Columbia Universitys School of The Arts and is a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow. He lives in Manhattan.
More about Sam Lipsyte...

Share This Book

“Yes, we could solve for why, but we could also eat another slice of coconut cake.” 1 likes
“You think you know yourself, the world. You believe you've got a bead on everybody else's bullshit, but what about your own?” 1 likes
More quotes…