Kyle's Reviews > Chinese Takeout

Chinese Takeout by Arthur Nersesian
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May 17, 07

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, drugs, new-york
Read in January, 2005

Not bad...mind you, editing is dead. It's dead! He spelled author Henry Green's name with an 'e' like Graham Greene and said 'lockets of hair'. No, see, a locket is a pendant.

Word.net confirms this:
The noun locket has one meaning:
Meaning #1: a small ornamental case; usually contains a picture or a lock of hair and is worn on a necklace

Ed Iting is dead. Mr. Ed is dead. Mrs. Iting is a widder.

Back to Nersesian. The book concerns an Armenian artist named Orloff Trenchant (changed from Tanzarian), who lives with his fiancee, June, also an artist. He suspects she's having an affair with a rich art dealer, so he destroys some of her paintings and winds up living in his van. He then becomes obsessed with a junkie named Rita. The story is mainly concerned with how hard it is to succeed in the New York art scene, how poor he is, and what makes or inspires good art/ good artists. He makes a meager living selling used books he buys in thrift stores and at library sales at a table on W. 4th St. The character of the junkie, Rita, is very well done. She's a rich debutante and art history student fallen to prostitution to get her fixes. The ending seemed like it ought to be trite. I knew exactly where he was going and I was saying, no, please, do something surprising, and he did exactly what I thought he would do, but it didn't seem trite when he did it. I didn't feel cheated in the end, so, not great, but a good read, especially if you're interested in art, New York, drugs, prostitution or swimming.
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