The rich and obnoxious American is alive and well in Lake Success.
Barry is an uber rich hedge fund manager. He has a just diagnosed autistic 3-year old son. He has split from his wife, Seema, a first-generation Indian immigrant. And he wants to recapture his youth by taking a Greyhound bus trip to visit his college girlfriend, Layla, who he hasn’t spoken to in more than a decade. Unfortunately, Barry doesn’t have much real life experience. He has to ask his chief of staff to pull strings to get him a bus ticket after the depot is closed.
Barry is the most unlikeable main character I have ever encountered. Seema isn’t much better—having an affair less than two days after their split. It took me about a quarter of the book to see that Barry is intended to be a Trump parody (or possibly satire) even while Trump himself serves as a background to the story. Generally, parodies/satires are humorous. This one wasn’t. While Barry eventually has a human feeling, it was a long time coming.
I think Lake Success will probably be a hit with critics and win some literary awards. It’s recommended for literary fiction fans but decidedly not for Trump supporters. While I loved the author’s Super Sad True Love Story, Lake Success just didn’t resonate with me. 3 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, Random House, and NetGalley for an advance copy.