Last Resort

Andrew Lipstein. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-374-60270-3
Lipstein debuts with a fluidly written but tepid send-up of publishing’s thorny issues of authorship and attribution. Caleb Horowitz leaves an advertising job in New York to pursue writing in Florida. After the manuscript of his first novel is roundly rejected, he crashes with an old college friend, Avi Dietsch, in Los Angeles, and Avi relates a steamy tale about a foursome he had in Greece. Caleb uses this anecdote, without permission, as the basis for a new novel. Five months later, Caleb falls in love with Sandra, a woman he met on Tinder, and sells the book for $830,000, but the fantasy evaporates when Avi, who now works in publishing and is dating Sandra’s best friend, recognizes the manuscript because Caleb didn’t rename the characters. In a hush-hush legal deal, Caleb cedes authorship to Avi in exchange for retaining the advance in full. Caleb is mollified by his newfound wealth and steady girlfriend until the book is a runaway success and Avi gets the acclaim. His regret leads him into a series of schadenfreude-laden missteps that, while occasionally entertaining, do little to illuminate why Caleb is stuck repeating old wrongs. The underdeveloped characters add to the muddiness at the heart of this story. This lands decidedly off target, somewhere between fairy tale and satire. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/19/2021
Release date: 01/18/2022
Genre: Fiction
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-250-86417-8
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