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

Home Land

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,444 Ratings  ·  354 Reviews
Welcome to the most twisted high-school reunion imaginable, from a rising star of American satire. 'Sam Lipsyte is a gifted stylist, precise, original, devious, and very funny.' Jeffrey Eugenides, author of 'Middlesex'
Published by Not Avail (first published February 16th 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Just like those ubiquitous Christmas newsletters that seem like so much bragging where you only ever hear about the GOOD THINGS that happen, relentlessly cheery alumni newsletters are only telling you HALF the story. I mean, not everybody can turn out to be a big success after graduation, right? Each class has to have some losers.

Meet Lewis Miner, aka "Teabag." Still hanging around town. Still single. Still marginally employed.

And now he's telling it like it is in the Catamount Notes alumni news
May 06, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The waste of talent on display here makes me angry. Lipsyte has chops for weeks, but he uses them not to tell a story, or create actual characters, but to show off, and show off, and show off. The dialogue is snappy. The setups are unique. The anguish is convincing. But Lipsyte cares so little about his characters that it's impossible to keep them straight, much less feel anything when their heads get bashed in with maces. And he cares even less about story. Page after perfectly calibrated page ...more
Jun 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovable losers
There are two kinds of readers in this country: those who know that Sam Lipsyte is the funniest writer of his generation and those who haven’t read him yet.

Lipsyte’s new novel Home Land is the epistolary tale of Lewis Miner, aka Teabag, a freelance writer of bogus FunFacts and self-appointed chronicler of the strange fates that have befallen the Catamounts of Eastern Valley High. The novel is written as a series of updates to the alumni newsletter, but in Lipsyte’s capable hands the form is fle
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If brevity is the soul of wit, then pithiness is the essence of satire.

Sam Lipsyte has the chops. He can definitely write - his dialogue is sharp, his prose is snappy and yes, he can elicit true LOL moments like few other authors. But holding together an epistolary satiric tour de force for 220 pages is like watching your favorite stand-up comedian do a 7 hour set. The center won't hold, and when all of the characters have similarly brilliant and hilarious rejoinders, something's got to give.

I a
Krok Zero
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spring-2010
God damned brilliant.

I wish there were more books like this--literary comedies that are at once laugh-out-loud funny, phraseologically intricate, and resonant on the level of the emotions and the psychology and the whatnot. Let's face it, Catamounts: most good writers aren't funny, and most funny people couldn't write a novel any more than some non-funny schmo like me could.

But this guy Sam Lipsyte, damn. He is the total package. And in Home Land, he's written a book that kinda needed to exist.

Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lipsyte is a master of the sentence. Like his fellow Lish-learned sentence experts (Gary Lutz, Barry Hannah, Dawn Raffel, Noy Holland, etc, etc, etc), Lipsyte pays extreme attention to the cadence, sounds, and layers of meaning in his language. When reviewing Home Land, one has the urge to simply create a list of the many wonderful lines between its covers. But that would not fairly represent the other most impressive quality of Lipsyte's prose: its humor. And this is where Lipsyte stands apart ...more
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were times I actually laughed OL. That’s really saying something when a book can do that to a middle-aged guy on a commuter train before his second cup. Every other page had something to smile at, whether it was self-mocking slacker wisdom or just plain funny ways of putting things. (E.g., Each of us walks to the beat of a different drummer. It’s just that some of these drummers suck.) You don’t read something like this for its plot, but the wry snippets and acerbic social scrutiny made fo ...more
Apr 04, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-enjoy
Well, Catamounts, I cannot say why I finished this book. Perhaps it had to do with the length or sheer stubborness, or perhaps because I was proscratinating to avoid the steaming turdpile of work I needed to do. Or perhaps it was destiny, that horrible sense that I couldn't do anything but finish this book.

And if you liked that brief review, you will love this book, especially if you mentally edit my brief review to contain a great deal of profanity, masturbation references, and dope-smoking - b
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Does this apply to our times? "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach him to corner the market on fish and be thankful for the small acts of philanthropy he may perform while depriving most of the world of fish."
Biting, gleeful and self-deprecating humor shoulder the load of a deep and honest examination of life in America circa now. Employing a technique that frames the novel as a series of submissions to that most vainglorious and banal of publications, the Class Notes' section of a high
Aug 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bailed-on-it
Well, it's been awhile since my last "bailed-on-it" offering. Guess it was time.

This book got so many great reviews (including one from Chuck Palahniuk), and the premise of it sounded amusing. It wasn't.

Remember that guy in high school who was, yes, intelligent, but never really quite fit in? You saw him at the 5 year reunion and he had this major chip on his shoulder surrounding those high school days. Another several years and a few more reunions later, that chip has turned into the Rock of Gi
Ryan Chapman
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It's an unbeatable comic premise: Lewis Miner, aka Teabag, writes a series of updates to his high school alumni newsletter not to brag about his latest promotion or recent marriage, but to provide shockingly honest diatribes on how he "did not pan out." He writes with a sort of exhilarating looseness of language, a Humbert Humbert with not enough ambition and too much weed, that matches his outsized delusions of grandeur.

And while parts of the book are truly hilarious, the conceit is barely mai
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-fic, humour
Oh! I REALLY liked this book! It was very original and had such a strong narrative presence! Though it was pretty dark, and rather bitter, it amounted to a surprisingly hysterical book. I found it really funny - though a bit disgusting in parts. I hope that my fiance will read this because the whole time I read it, I kept thinking of how he would find this even funnier than I did. The book had many great lines and was just terrific! I think that anyone who went to a public school in the suburbs ...more
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Homeland is Sam Lipsyte at his most baroque twisted hilarity. An epistolary novel straight from hell (I’m pretty sure no one was worried about that form, but is in fine health here if you can call any of this healthy) this features some eccentric ranting and raving, you will love and fear Lewis “Teabag” Miner and his Classmates (“Catamounts”). This is a satire featuring a lot of emotion along with its rage and blistering wit and an unusually strong set of characters and remains stylistically fre ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I dunno. I've really liked other books by Sam Lipsyte, but I found this one repetitive and frustrating. I may have just not been in the right place for it, but I won't be going back. One friend recommended that I *not* read it, and she was right! I swear the author has made me laugh though. Try The Fun Parts or The Ask instead of this one.
John Blumenthal
I loved the concept behind "Home Land" -- a down-and-out alumnus of a high school writes bulletins to his high school newsletter, mocking and insulting fellow students as well as the administration, especially the principal, and details the dismal failure of his life. The style of the writing is hip and funny. But there's' no plot and the narrator is way too relentlessly whiny and cynical. As a result, I just couldn't finish it.
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd like to write a lot more about this. And will when I have time. If you dig the blackest kind of humor you'll like this. (Although one weakness of this particular sub-genre is that everyone is crazy and everyone speaks in crazy poetry.)
Héctor Genta
Il non-giovane Holden.
Lipsyte scrive bene. Molto bene. Arguto, intelligente, corrosivo... E poi lo stile: moderno, fluido, ricco di inventiva; pagine che scorrono con facilità, cariche di immagini e situazioni frutto di una fantasia infinita. Detto questo, aggiungo che mi piacerebbe vedere Lipsyte alla prova con qualcosa di più impegnativo, di qualcosa che non fosse il solito "standard" sul quale sembra appiattirsi gran parte della recente generazione degli scrittori americani. Per quanto possa
May 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my flaws as a reader is that when I pick up a book that's touted as being side-splitting, hilarious, etc., I spend the first 40-50 pages finding everything about it that's not funny, thinking about how the jokes aren't working, and generally just not enjoying myself. I can't explain why I do this, although I do think a lot of allegedly funny authors just are not funny at all.

Point is, it took a while before I started laughing, because some of the attempts at humor just seem so badly stra
Feb 23, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to read this book because the reviews all mentioned the off-the-wall narrative and hilarious point of view. And that aspect of the novel didn’t disappoint. But, otherwise I wasn’t crazy about this book. Maybe it was because not only could I not relate to the main character, Lewis Miner, AKA Teabag, but I didn’t like him at all.

Lewis is writing nonsensical, ridiculous and often offensive class notes for this high school’s newsletter. Of course they are not being published, so
Anne McAneny
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's told from the perspective of a former, somewhat bullied high school boy who, at age 30 or so, is sending updates to his high school newsletter. The honesty (or total fabrication -- one never knows) of the updates is refreshing and hilarious. If not for the comedic aspect, it might come across as sad, but Sam Lipsyte knows exactly how to deliver the right balance of self-deprecation from the protagonist, as well as make us appreciate his astute observations and high level ...more
Jim Leckband
Very funny book of a slacker in a northeastern suburb a few years after his high school graduation. The chapters are ostensibly his contributions to the Alumni Newsletter. These chapters of his life as he lives it and the characters he has surrounded himself with would never be printed in said newsletter as they are so over-the-top.

The hilariousness/sadness of this is reflected in the title of the book "Home Land". (I'm a sucker for ferreting out the larger significance in the naming of a book).
i don't know if i'm just over holden caulfield or if sam lipsyte was only half paying attention when he wrote this. the blurbs on the inside cover make the comparison to salinger and it's easy to see why. there is absolutely no denying that lipsyte is smart, talented and can write some snappy dialoge, pinning down all the angst and horrible funny things that can happen in a day, or a lifetime. Lewis Miner,a.k.a. Teabag is supposed to be that lovable asshole. the guy that tells the truth, even wh ...more
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oz told me about this book and I liked it quite a bit. I started reading it during the "retreat" after first getting to costa Rica, I thought it might stir some soul searching as I finish out my twenties, but not really. I had a lot of weird reactions when people asked me about the book (Dude writes angry updates to high school newsletter!), some people asked me if it was fiction and others probably got a little weirded out.

That is pretty much what the author does, reflect on his life and perce
Mar 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am completely in awe of Sam Lipsyte's command of language, most pointedly in terms of humorous usage. I am not exaggerating when I say many passages in Home Land (in fact, pretty much one per page on average) had me chortling with glee, if not at their sheer funniness, than at least at the sheer joy that comes with seeing fabulous words on the page, beautifully used. I tend to write too much in these stupid comment fields, so I'll just leave you with one of my favorite Lipsyte blurbs, and also ...more
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another outstanding comic novel from Sam Lipsyte. Written in the form of a updates to a high school alumni newsletter by someone who "didn't pan out," this book proves Sam Lipsyte's ability to toe the line between morose and uproarious all while maintaining an enviable consistency of tone and humor.

Though the pacing of the story can be a little haphazard (sometimes falling all over itself, while the sections that unfold more deliberately leave a greater impact), it's definitely worth taking to
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely an entertaining book. I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it before. The format is interesting, updates from a fuck-up to his alumni newsletter that he doesn't even expect them to publish. To say it is imaginative would be an understatement. Still, I expected the main character to be more insane. Maybe I'm just more messed up than I thought, but he seemed like a pretty normal guy to me by the end. You'll excuse me now, I need to go write a letter to my high school ...more
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The conceit here is very promising -- a burnout starts writing realistic letters to his high school alumni bulletin and tells stories, in real time, of his interactions with former classmates. But after a while it got tiresome, the malaise of a overweight, white, 30 year old suburban fuckup becomes repetitive, and the satire isn't absurd enough to carry it through. Lewis starts out as a lovable protagonist, but by the end of the book, the reader is just as annoyed with him as everyone else is.
There are parts of this book that convinced me that Lipsyte is a genius, that's how funny it can be. But I found that halfway through, I had zero interest in the story at all, and was reading solely for the jokes (The good news is that there are a lot of amazing jokes). The end salvaged a lot of that for me, the final rant is hilarious and pointed, and the final chapter managed a degree of actual human sadness that I liked.
Ryan Williams
Line by line Lipsyte is obscene, snarky, exact, and brilliant. He throws out spot-on observations and acidic one-liners at a positively indecent rate. His short stories and articles play to his strengths; he can blaze away and quit while he's still ahead. Not so in a novel, alas. Plotting has never been Lipsyte's strong point, hence the crushing feeling of reading the same chapter several dozen times.
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completely brilliant and hilarious book that takes the form of letters written by an admitted loser named "Teabag" to his high school alumni newsletter. It's amazing that Lipsyte is able to pull this off. In lesser hands it would be a one-joke, 1500 word short story, but he turns it into a hilarious, affecting riff on growing older and dealing with our shitty pasts, and all kinds of other stuff. Read it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Stories in the Worst Way
  • The Amalgamation Polka
  • The Tetherballs of Bougainville
  • Ovenman
  • Nice Big American Baby
  • Lightning Field
  • Atomik Aztex
  • Letters to Wendy's
  • Ray
  • The Verificationist
  • The Dart League King
  • Lenny Bruce is Dead
  • I Am Not Sidney Poitier
  • Beautiful Blemish
  • Next
  • The Braindead Megaphone
  • Winner of the National Book Award
  • Reader’s Block
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...
“I knew I was in the vicinity of a serious lesson, if not about how to live life, then at least how to put some poetry into your craven retreat from it.” 5 likes
“Is this what Principal Fontana meant by the phrase 'well-rounded'?

It’s fucking spherical, Catamounts.”
More quotes…