I recently finished a book recommended to me by my friend Catie. The Fuck Up by Arthur Nersesian was published over 10 years ago and I had never heard of it. But I was intrigued by the title and the description on Amazon.
The title is definitely cheeky and crass but there could not be a better one for this story. Our narrator is definitely an anti-hero (we never learn his name). He tumbles, crashes, runs into and runs away from every horrible situation he gets himself into. It’s the early 80s and we only know a little bit about our narrator: He has no family, he never finished college, and he is living with a girlfriend…but cheating on her. As things usually go, his girlfriend finds out about his wandering ways and kicks him out of the apartment.
After that, his “mistress” wants nothing to do with him (though she never gave him what he wanted anyway), he loses his job, and ends up crashing at his older friend Helmsley’s, who falls in love with an emotionally and physically abusive woman who leads him to his end.
It’s hard to put this book down as our narrator/pathetic hero lies, steals, and cheats his way through the streets of NYC.
He has no hope in life, no real guide keeping him in a straight path, nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Though I can’t relate to his actual story, I related to his ultimate conundrum: What’s the point of this life?
It’s especially hard for him because he can’t seem to get a grasp on anything stable or honest or real.
The end was a teensy bit anti-climactic for me, but I suppose there was no other way for it to end.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this fictional character’s messy life, cringing and shaking my head all the way through.