05/11/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sam Lipsyte's Walking Tour Of Astoria

Sam Lipsyte's new book The Ask is a riotous, devilish look at a middle-aged slacker trying to pull his life back together. Clearly, we loved it, and while interviewing him, sheepishly (and nerdily) quoted Lolita to describe his prose style: we told him it's like reading a "lavish epileptic fit." How else can you describe language that manages to be nasty, hilarious, and tender all at once -- and often in exuberant bursts?