[A] comic meditation on technology, authenticity, and end-times anxiety ... lots of characters and a jumbly plot make for a clamorous read. But Lipsyte also offers high-velocity moments in which bleakness and humor, the quotidian and the apocalyptic all gloriously converge.
The universe of Hark looks pretty familiar, although politics, the bane and boon of most contemporary satirists, receives little more than a lazy, glancing shot ... Lipsyte often seems trapped in a voice and sensibility that he no longer entirely believes in ... Lipsyte’s writing has a habit of disappearing up its own … never mind ... I have nothing but sympathy for the [political and social] predicament out of which this book arises, and nothing but impatience with its way of addressing that predicament ... A metaphor may be a place for cows to graze, but this is bullshit.
Mostly a sour, disaffecting experience that’s reflective of our troubled times ... Unfortunately, Lipsyte assembles his story through the point of view of the supporting characters, most of whom are miserable misanthropes when they’re not around Hark ... As usual, Lipsyte’s command of language is sublime...but the dubious premise and deeply unlikable characters sour the already-tart satire that the author is proposing ... Magical realism works great for some authors, but Lipsyte ends up closer to the ending of the television show Lost than to any substantial prosecution of contemporary society.