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The Fuck-Up Paperback – May 1, 1999
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Paper Nersesian creates a charming everyman whose candor and sure-footed description of his physical surroundings and emotional framework help his tale flow naturally and therefore believably.
Hal Sirowitz author of Mother Said A Trainspotting without drugs, New York style.
Time Out For those who remember that the eighties were as much about destitute grit as they were about the decadent glitz described in the novels of Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney, this book will come as a fast-paced reminder.
Smug Magazine Touted as the bottled essence of early eighties East Village living, The Fuck-Up is, refreshingly, nothing nearly so limited....A cult favorite, I'd say it's ready to become a legitimate religion.
Jennifer Belle author of Going Down Having "grown to tolerate all of New York's degradations," Arthur Nersesian's main character is irresistibly charming, funny, and real. Nersesian's writing, reminding me at times of John Patrick Shanley and Gogol, is beautiful, especially when it is about women and love. The Fuck-Up is a terrific success.
Grid Magazine Not since The Catcher in the Rye, or John Knowles' A Separate Peace, have I read such a beautifully written book.... Nersesian's powerful, sure-footed narrative alone is so believably human in its poignancy... Nersesian mixes "F" trains, lumpy couches, SoHo lofts, dive bars, lonely divorcees, porn theaters, posh brownstones, embezzling employers, ritzy Hard Rock Cafe parties, deceitful, would-be kept starlets, bathroom-stall poetry, free Mercedes-Benzes, and even Mormons. Whew! I couldn't put this book down.
Flipside Fantastically alluring! I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
Top Customer Reviews
Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of heavy stuff going on in here--embezzlement, death, domestic disputes, psychosis--but it's actually quite an enjoyable read. The novel follows the exploits of a 20-something after his girlfriend breaks up with him and kicks him out of their New York apartment, leaving him effectively homeless. He manages to scrape by through a series of freak occurrences and emerge at the end a little road weary, but essentially none the worse for the wear.
This could be the story of any recent college grad, and that is a little frightening. However, rather than beat you over the head with a bunch of woe-is-me crap, the novel never gets overly depressing and is, in some places, rather optimistic, without being treacly or sentimental.
I really enjoyed this novel. It is well-written, interesting, and hard to put down.
In paging through, I found some interesting prose and went ahead and made the purchase. I'm not sorry. This is a well written book that details the life of someone who is not only submersed in poverty, but does not have the personal drive to do anything about it.
A realistic glimpse into the lives of those we see out there everyday, but thankfully don't have to live ourselves.
Our protagonist is an intelligent man, but has no desire to do anything with his life. He works as an usher at a third rate local theater, and is content with meager wages and life in the slow lane. He has a girlfriend and a place to stay and a job, and that seems to be enough. Until he meets a co-worker at the theater, and decides that he should have an affair with her. She, unfortunately, does not reciprocate his feelings, but leads him on anyway.
When his girlfriend finds out, she kicks him out of their apartment, forcing him to go and stay with an old friend of his. I found his friend to be one of the more interesting characters in the book, until......you should read it for yourself.
Things go from bad to worse, with our narrator winding up working in a gay porno theater and pretending to be gay to keep the job, getting involved in some shady business, getting badly beaten up not once but a few times.
He looses his place to stay, looses his new job, looses his friends, looses, well....everything. Rather a "rags to rags" story, with a surprise ending that brings him closer to the one person he hates above everyone else, and back into a lifestyle of mediocre contentment.
This was an entertaining and enlightening read, well written, and taking us into paths we are curious about but just prefer not to tread in ourselves. Good book. Enjoy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not like it, I didnt like the ending, or how it was written, it just wasnt my type of book, I bought it beacuse I liked his other books.Published 4 months ago by Brad Meder
ben weasel is a hero of mine for 20 years.. this book is him to a TPublished 16 months ago by PuPPy
"What's it called?" I asked my friend, who'd just told me this over the phone.
"Well... Read more
Interesting look at the East Village in the 1980s. Well written and evocative of the time and place. Brought back memories of walking those same streetsPublished on July 21, 2014 by Thuringer
Nersesian has really good character development. I'm already six chapters into Mesopotamia and he's just as good writing a female lead character. Read morePublished on July 12, 2014 by Amazon Customer
This was/is a popular book among a certain set of people, the kind that hang out in New York City's East Village (something I have done a lot). Read morePublished on June 7, 2014 by T. Burrows
Having read numerous reviews about how this is a "darkly hilarious" look at one New York City man's odyssey through varying levels of rags and riches, I decided to give it a try. Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by MisterBanana