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There's an elusive, insubstantial quality to these youthful prose effusions that makes them evaporate almost as soon as they hit your eyeball. Leyner likes to display his wordhoard (lothario, jejune, impetiginous*) and I s'pose it's good to see this back in print, an honour accorded few Fiction Collective authors (I presume he went on to greater things?) but to justify said honour he needed to be either MUCH funnier or more lyrical - or even just an eensy teensy weensy bit poetic. It's also strangely old-fashioned** - Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, J. Edgar Hoover, It Came From Outer Space, Fred Allen, U Thant (a standing joke in our house, along with Sherpa Tensing and - a poor third - Tanganyika), Liz Taylor, Charo.. Charo? Google her. When does cheap laff become obscure popular-cultural reference? These are the first stammerings of a sheltered, bookish child - one suspects the only son of elderly parents - not long parted from the parental teevee

* But gargantuanistic is just out and out dumb (why not plain gargantuan?) unless you happen to be a jejune, impetiginous Lothario, as - who knows? - perhaps at the time he was

** Even the avant-gardism seems old-fashioned - old-fashioned for 1983, that is - trailing the New York School circa 1970
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on 10 March 1999
It's true, he's a hilarious writer. But could we please look up the word "penultimate" in the dictionary before using it again? Thanks Virginia!
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on 18 October 1998
It hurts. It stings. It's just that good, baby. Leyner is the penultimate puppetmaster to the big literary kahuna in der sky. What else can I possibly say except "Buy this Damn Book," and, "Thanks, Mr. Leyner." Just one more reason not to eat glock tomorrow morning. God Bless America. And God bless Mark Leyner.
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