Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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The Fuck-Up


The Fuck-Up is a thriller with a literary soul set in the pre-chic Lower East Side.

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What people are saying…

“The charm and grit of Nersesian’s voice is immediately enveloping, as the down-and-out but oddly up narrator of his terrific novel, The Fuck-Up, slinks through Alphabet City and guttural utterances of love.”
The Village Voice

“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.”
Time Out

“Fantastically alluring! I cannot recommend this book highly enough!”


Read “SHARD” by Arthur Nersesian, part of Akashic’s Mondays Are Murder series.

No simple tale of psychopathic yuppie greed, The Fuck-Up is a thriller with a literary soul set in the pre-chic Lower East Side. The narrative follows a nameless hero from the girlfriend who kicks him out for a most minor infidelity, to dismissal from his minimum wage usher job at a movie theater, to a literary friend’s couch in Caroll Gardens, and back to Manhattan for a short-lived squat in a plush SoHo loft and an entirely unorthodox management position in a gay porn theater. As he makes this emotional and socioeconomic odyssey through New York’s colorful if uncaring landscape, rarely with more than enough change for a cup of coffee at a Blimpie, he becomes embroiled in affairs and relationships build on mutual deceit and predicated on misinformation. The result is a descent into the world of the truly fucked up, a semi-delirious and amnesiac wandering that finds an end not in some predictable and cuddly redemption but in the solace of shared disillusion.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Published: 7/1/00
  • IBSN: 1888451033


ARTHUR NERSESIAN is the author of fourteen books, including the cult-classic national best seller The Fuck-Up (more than 100,000 copies sold), Suicide Casanova, Manhattan Loverboy, East Village Tetralogy, and Mesopotamia. He is a native New Yorker who runs a writing workshop in the East Village and can be reached on Facebook. His latest work is The Five Books of (Robert) Moses.

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