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Publisher's Summary

"Spectacular." (NPR)

"Uproariously funny." (The Boston Globe)

"Shteyngart's best book." (The Seattle Times)

The best-selling author of Super Sad True Love Story returns with a biting, brilliant, emotionally resonant novel very much of our times. 

Narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded, and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge-fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed by an SEC investigation and by his three-year-old son’s diagnosis of autism, he flees New York on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler, more romantic life with his old college sweetheart. Meanwhile, his super-smart wife, Seema - a driven first-generation American who craved the picture-perfect life that comes with wealth - has her own demons to face. How these two flawed characters navigate the Shteyngartian chaos of their own making is at the heart of this piercing exploration of the 0.1 percent, a poignant tale of familial longing and an unsentimental ode to what really makes America great. 

Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

"The fuel and oxygen of immigrant literature - movement, exile, nostalgia, cultural disorientation - are what fire the pistons of this trenchant and panoramic novel.... [It is] a novel so pungent, so frisky and so intent on probing the dissonances and delusions - both individual and collective - that grip this strange land getting stranger." (The New York Times Book Review)

©2018 Gary Shteyngart (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“This is a novel that seems to have been created in real time, reflecting with perfect comedy and horrible tragedy exactly what America feels like right this minute. As I read Lake Success, I barked with laughter, at the same time wincing in pain. Gary Shteyngart has held up a mirror to American culture that is so accurate, and so devastating, that it makes you want to break the mirror right over your own head. I mean this as a good thing. The novel is stupendous.” (Elizabeth Gilbert)

“[Gary] Shteyngart does slapstick as well as ever, but he stakes out new terrain in the expert way he develops his characters’ pathos... [Lake Success is] a stylish, big-hearted novel. Shteyngart made his name as a sharp satirist, and he’ll undoubtedly widen his appeal with this effort.” (Publishers Weekly)

“In Lake Success, Gary Shteyngart hears America perfectly: its fatuity, its poignant lament, its boisterous self-loathing. Its heartbeat. Reading him sometimes makes me want to scream - with recognition and with pure hilarity.” (Richard Ford)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Diana
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 09-10-18

A funny and story set very much in our time

Gary Shteyngart takes someone who none of us want to root for, a hedge fund manager who leaves his family to "find himself", and digs deep into his character as that character travels the US during the 2016 election. Barry, the protagonist, bumbles through this journey, showing just how out of touch he is with most of the country and with himself. At the same time, Barry's wife Seema is left to tend to their autistic child while she also starts to look deeply into herself. This book rewards us by helping us learn more about ourselves and those we may not understand or revile, and done in a humorous way.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Loved Barry Cohen

Though our hero has serious blind spots: cheating with stocks, cheating being a dad...
On my shelf now between Trollope and Roth

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Well written, a little too melancholy.

Well written and does a great job of describing the challenges of raising an autistic child. As with so many books published these days, the author can’t resist dropping in Trump lament about a “dying country.”

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Really can't stand Arthur Morey's reading

The novel is funny and sly. But I can't stand Arthur Morey's reading. I find his take on female voices borderline offensive. And his overacting is like fingernails on a blackboard to me. I know that he's popular with some and he certainly seems to get work, but when I see he's the reader, I pass up the audiobook even if it's something I am very interested in or by an author I like. Book club is reading Lake Success and I have a long commute so I broke down. But it is torture.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Meh...

This just wasn't all that interesting. Not what I thought it would be. After about 30 minutes, I finally deleted and will return for a credit. Certainly not worth spending more than 13 hours of my time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Time Better Spent

This book came with a positive review from a critic who usually hits the mark for me. Unfortunately, the book was a far miss and was unnecessarily long and tedious.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awful!

Not one likable character in this book. Their actions don't make sense - a rich guy who buys expensive wines, watches, etc. decides to ride the Greyhound across the country and loves it. Most of the motivations seem made-up, not coming from some sincere spot inside the character. Nothing rings true. Very disappointing. I don't think the author understands human nature.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Tremendous Disappointment for Longtime GS Fan

I have loved many of Shteyngart’s novels and enjoyed all of them. But I don’t understand all the positive reviews of this one which, to my mind falls woefully short. It’s a giant cotton candy novel - everything is too easy, too current and in the end it’s as meaningless and unsubstantial as Barry Cohen’s increasingly rehearsed accounts of his Greyhound travels. Linking the plot of the novel to Trunp’s Presodential campaign and the fate of Barry and Selma’s marriage to his victory is painful in its gimmickry. Again, I admire Shteyngart for his insight and humor normally, but this material feels derivative and light - a self-consciously exaggerated portrait of a privileged narcissist, no more. The real question for me is whether Shteyngart somehow sees himself In his frustrated main character? I’d hate to see Shteyngart descend into self—nbsorbed examination of what becomes, novel after novel, essentially the same character of flawed and frail masculinity. Somehow this novel reminds me of a late Woody Allen or Jim Jarmush film - with both directors putting together some of the best movies ever, yet sliding, over time, into a tendency to repeat the same type of situation (Jarmush) or cast of characters (Allen) over and over again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Spectacular

This is the first book by this author that I have “read”—was moved to purchase after hearing the excerpt of this story on the New Yorker. This wonderful story merges clever writing, humor, and wonderful narrative, presented by a narrator who does not over dramatize, but presents perfectly, a nuanced but believable reading. I did not want this to end, and am now a new fan of the author. Don’t miss this one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gary delivered again

I’ve read most of Gary’s books. I love them all. This is not the exception. It’s fun and tragic. Realistic and absurd.