...the dirtiest, most bizarre, most original work of fiction I’ve read in recent memory ... Broder has a talent for distilling graphic sexual thoughts, humor, female neuroses, and the rawest kind of emotion into a sort of delightfully nihilistic, anxiety-driven amuse-bouche ... The Pisces is proof that she can sustain this 140- and 280-character knack over hundreds of pages and a narrative arch ... Broder finds something both resonant and amusing in our cultural attraction to these kinds of ultra-romantic death wishes.
The Pisces is many things: a jaunt in a fabulous voice, a culture critique of Los Angeles, an explicit tour of all kinds of sex (both really good and really bad), but possibly most of all, it is a persuasive excavation into what might drive Lucy’s compulsion for a certain kind of connection ... Broder’s voice has a funny, frank Amy Schumer feel to it, injected with moments of a Lydia Davis-type of abstraction that can turn the existence of a woman walking by in skimpy silk shorts into a meditation on meaninglessness. These are often the strongest moves of the novel’s voice: from the minor keen observation into the resonant theoretical. At other times, though, we are so centered in Lucy’s head that the outside world drifts too far away ... By the end, the character and Broder acknowledge something else is going on. There is plenty of lively sex and humor here for readers to relish, but trade Eros for Thanatos for the book’s center — and depth.
Broder has a way of writing about shame that recalls a Zamboni, methodically circling and recircling a surface until it looks clean. But So Sad Today was also, as Broder put it, 'pickled by the Internet,' steeped in the ethos of relatability, of broad-denominator personal identification. In The Pisces, Broder takes her obsessions and gives them a perverted mythological structure, and corrals them within the arbitrary limits of fiction. 'Who was I if I wasn’t trying to make someone love me?' Lucy asks. The question is more interesting—funnier, sadder—when asked in a novel by a person who’s about to put on a skirt so that a merman can perform oral sex on her than it is when asked on Twitter, a platform which takes that question as its fundamental premise ... With [Theo], Broder makes the abject itself into a love interest. Lucy is drawn, in Kristeva’s terms, 'toward the place where meaning collapses.' The Pisces convincingly romances the void.