The Fine Art of Fucking Up- Cate Dicharry

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

Exceptional

“Never could I have imagined such a circumstance: the building underwater, Ramona trapped inside, the Pollock in peril, Suzanne and James in love in a kayak, Ethan at home playacting fatherhood with an international exchange student, and me, wanted by campus police, staggering around in sewage, a chipmunk carcass thumping against my breastbone as I try to keep from throwing up. “

Nina Lanning, the administrative coordinator for the School of Visual Arts (SVA) is at a crossroads and is on the verge of going crazy as everyone else seems to be crazy.  Bert Dunbar, a tenured professor who was banned from the building except when he is teaching classes, keeps taunting Nina. In doesn’t take much, as he  sneaks in to fry bacon, and leaves “calling cards” like carved out gourds with his initials, displaying crude gestures. And he is succeeding!

Ramona, her boss and director of SVA ignores everything as she is fanatically addicted to romance novels, and is stocking a retired male model. Nina’s best friend and faculty member, Suzanne, is having an affair with James, Nina’s long time crush. With all this mess going on, her husband Ethan desperately wants a baby.

All of this political drama has to end as the University is overcome by a huge flood and an original Jackson Pollock painting may be destroyed. Now it’s time to come together…kinda.

The Fine Art of Fucking Up will keep you in stitches throughout the wild ride. It’s a little dark but also hilarious and full of contradictions, like most of us. There are so many eccentric supporting characters who aren’t afraid to act out their mild fantasies. This makes for a lot of fun. Most readers will be able to relate to Nina, at least on some level, as she tries to find passion or at least something where she can “give a shit”.

Readers who are ready for a fun, character-driven read, will definitely enjoy this one.

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