These are golden times for American satirists. After years of relentless brilliance, George Saunders finally seems to have crossed into the mainstream with his absurdist short-story collection “Tenth of December.” Now Sam Lipsyte seems to be making his move, backing up his smart and very funny 2010 novel “The Ask” with his own splashy compilation of short fiction, “The Fun Parts.”

Lipsyte is a more conventional writer than Saunders, but then again, who isn’t? Certainly the characters who populate his stories are more recognizable and the scenes often unfold in Manhattan and New Jersey, or a twisted version of those places — “Lipsyteland.” Lipsyte is most commonly praised for his hilarious flights of fancy, but he is also a perceptive observer, capable of impaling a lifestyle with one sparse aside.

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