A dark, modern comedy with ruined-relationship ends strewn through old friendships and fiendish colleagues, Milo Burke goes through life in a seemingly endless game where he's suddenly rehired at his old job, specifically to successfully lure a big donation from an old friend.
Lipsyte's second most-used weapon is using the protagonist as a simple prop to display interesting characters and milieus, but his forté is wordplay; sometimes, he seems to me a bit like an old man trying to play younger than he really is:
He was the kind of man you could picture barking into a field phone, sending thousands to slaughter, or perhaps ordering the mass dozing of homes. People often called him War Crimes. By people, I mean Horace and I. By often, I mean twice.
Other times, he mashes words into something new:
"I mean," I said now, "I used to know him." "Well, that's just swell," said Cooley, rose, petted his mustache with a kind of cunnidigital ardor.
Yet, when at his seemingly least lucid, he conjures up magnificent sentences using quite a few words:
I felt as though I were snorting cocaine, or rappelling down a cliffside, or cliffsurfing off a cliff of pure cocaine.
Lipsyte's writings about Milo's connection to his child and his estranged wife range from so-so to excellent; diamonds are found in the rough.
The same goes for Milo's connection with his old friend Purdy, the former school-mate who made a fortune in IT.
All in all, the humor is tight and the flow is good. It's a recommendable book which needed more editing.