I really wanted to give this book three or four stars, but I just couldn't.
Why? Because Sam is irritating. Oh, he goes on and on about how he's just a "bumbler", but that's not true. Some people are bumblers - they are clumsy, choose the wrong thing to say or do, make stupid choices. The problem with Sam is not that he is a bumbler, but that he is apathetic towards most everything - including himself and his family. Most of the bad things that happened to him occurred not because he wanted to do the right thing and instead bumbled, but because he was too lazy and apathetic to change them.
I didn't find the novel to be "subversively compelling" or "heartbreakingly hilarious" as advertised on the back of the jacket, but it did have its humorous moments.