Very well written, with a great structure and nice use of language. This is all about high school in America, basically (or at least a small community in New Jersey), and how you never really escape the person you were or the role you played in high school. Our narrator is one of those kids who didn't fit into any category (in so many words, yes), and it becomes immediately obvious in his descriptions of his former classmates that he is still stuck in that role--still defined by what he is NOT, or who he doesn't fit in with. Anybody who feels permanently scarred by their high school experience has my sympathy, but I also have very little empathy for a guy who marinates in it. This is one of those books where the narrator is cynical about the whole world, respects nothing, believes in nothing, and gets away with it (according to the self-contained rights of a novel) because of his cynically insightful narration. Maybe the narrator's lack of respect is bred into him (and others) in high school, maybe that's the point, but the point of this book is not resolution, and as a reader it's easy to feel the same distaste for this well-known book as the narrator shows for himself.
Oh! I REALLY liked this book! It was very original and had such a strong narrative presence! Though it was pretty dark, and rather bitter, it amounted to a surprisingly hysterical book. I found it really funny - though a bit disgusting in parts. The book had many great lines and was just terrific! I think that anyone who went to a public school in the suburbs will recognize aspects of this book. Fontana, towards the end, somehow started to remind me of a degenerate Mr. Belding... I will definitely read Lipsyte's other books!