Idiopathy by Sam Byers

Idiopathy

Sam Byers

A terse yet poignant satire on self-absorbed thirty-somethings, eco-activists, misery memoirs and self-help gurus. Katherine is the cynical ex-girlfriend from hell and, like the devil, she gets all the best lines with her scathing put-downs and one-upmanship. You will want to read it twice to savour all the acerbic one-liners, reminiscent of the wise-cracking dialogue of old Hollywood movies.

Extract

She went back to the charity shop where she'd donated Keith's vibrator. She told them she'd left something in the bag by accident and wanted it back. The woman looked blank yet suspiciously relaxed.
'I haven't seen anything,' she said. 'What was it you left?'
'A vibrator,' said Katherine.
'Oh. Um ...'
'You can't miss it,' said Katherine. 'It's shaped like an enormous penis and on the side it says The Widowmaker in day-glo letters.'
'I don't think I ...'
'I know you've got it,' said Katherine.
'I assure you I haven't.'
'Give it back.'
'I would if I could.'
'Whatever,' said Katherine.

Parallels
  • The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace
  • Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
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Violence
Explicit sexual content