The Fuck Up (Paperback)
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Arthur Nersesian's underground literary treasure is an unforgettable slice of gritty New York City life.

This is the darkly hilarious odyssey of an anonymous slacker. He's a perennial couch-surfer, an aspiring writer searching for himself in spite of himself, and he's just trying to survive. But life has other things in store for the fuck-up. From being dumped by his girlfriend to getting fired for asking for a raise, from falling into a robbery to posing as a gay man to keep his job at a porno theater, the fuck-up's tragi-comedy is perfectly realized by Arthur Nersesian, who manages to create humor and suspense out of urban desperation. "Read it and howl," says Bruce Benderson (author of User), "and be glad it didn't happen to you.

Praise For…

The Village Voice

[A] terrific novel....The charm and grit of Nersesian's voice is immediately enveloping, as the down-and-out but oddly up narrator...slinks through Alphabet City and guttural utterances of love.


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.


Fantastically alluring! I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

Product Details
ISBN: 9780671027636
ISBN-10: 0671027638
Publisher: MTV Books
Publication Date: May 1st, 1999
Pages: 304
Language: English