Hark

Sam Lipsyte. Simon & Schuster, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5011-4606-0
Lipsyte (The Fun Parts) pillories the mindfulness movement in this acerbic and surprisingly moving novel of a hesitant guru and his self-involved inner circle. Failed comic Hark Morner writes a book and launches an unexpected craze for “mental archery,” a practice combining disconnected ramblings of invented history, opaque aphorisms, and yogalike poses. Among his devoted inner circle are Kate, an aimless and wealthy 20-something who finances the movement; Teal, a convicted embezzler and unlicensed marriage therapist; and Fraz, a middle-aged man disappointed by his career stagnation and tense marriage. Hark rejects their schemes to monetize his teachings and offers only oblique answers to questions, saying that the only point is to focus. Facing pressures from tech magnate Dieter Delgado, who wants to co-opt mental archery, Hark retreats to the Upstate New York home of true believer Meg. When Fraz accidentally injures his young daughter, he pleads for Hark to call for a worldwide focus to help her survive a coma, leading to a wild conclusion an unexpected denouement. This is a searing exploration of desperate hopes, and Lipsyte’s potent blend of spot-on satire, menacing bit players, and deadpan humor will delight readers. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2018
Release date: 01/15/2019
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-6865-9
Downloadable Audio - 352 pages - 978-1-5082-6864-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-6866-6
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-982117-49-8
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-5011-4607-7
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