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Fight for Your Long Day

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  98 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Fight For Your Long Day is a day-in-the-life tragicomedy that follows the eventful unraveling of Cyrus Duffleman, a portly, down-and-out educator who teaches classes at four urban universities and works the night shift, all so he could barely stay afloat in an increasingly “efficient” service economy.

This dark satire, set in the modern, super-information age of “terror squ
Audiobook, unabridged
Published October 1st 2010 by Iambik Audio Inc
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kudera, a part-time university instructor himself, finally gives part-time faculty a starring role in fiction. In email exchanges, Alex and I tried to remember if the main character in Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was part-time faculty at any point in the book, but it is hard to tell. At any rate, Kudera takes us through Cyrus Duffleman's "long day"--the day he teaches the most classes at all four (or is it five?) of his campuses in Philadelphia. This is no freeway flier: D ...more
Muriel Kudera
Dec 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a wonderful first novel about a very interesting and timely topic. Kudera kept me absorbed in Cyrus' struggles.
From publisher
Read 7/6/11 - 7/20/11
3 stars - Recommended to readers familiar with genre
Pgs: 264
Publisher: Atticus Books

So you think you've had a long, hard day? You ain't see nuthin' yet! I dare you to compare your worst against Cyrus "Duffy" Duffleman's in Fight For Your Long Day.

In Alex Kudera's first novel, which won the regional IPPY award for best fiction in the mid-atlantic region, he introduces us to the overweight, underpaid, unattractive adjunct english instructor. Unhappily working mul
Eric Gilliland
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Adjunct" Cyrus Duffman, humble protagonist of Fight For Your Long Day, is a nearly 40 year old instructor of English at four fictional colleges in Philadelphia. We follow him through a day of superficial encounters, painful longings, and existential pain. Through Cyrus, Kudera unveils the maddening absurdities of American higher education and the depressing rhetoric of the "war on terror." Kudera's debut novel successfully pulls no punches on some harsh truths on the economic realities of 21st ...more
Angie Rogers
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a teacher who lived the life of a university adjunct for around seven years, I found myself relating to Cyrus Duffleman more than I thought I might when I first began reading the novel. Even those of us who teach in extremely rural areas who find ourself driving from campus to campus to make ends meet can relate to Cyrus' seemingly random string of misadventures, which span the course of, surprisingly, only one very long day. The challenges he faces in reaching his students, the alienation he ...more
Marjean Murray
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tale of Cyrus Duffleman is one of a downtrodden hero in our chaotic world. Kudera writes it so well, with a unique combination of satire and emotion. Cyrus's experiences create a window or mirror of not only the troubles of an adjunct professor, but a view to the challenges of our society in dealing with different cultures, races and political views. Different from another reviewer, I found Cyrus not to be racist, but calling out the racial tension that exists today. While there is humor and ...more
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adjuncts, grad school applicants, Philadelphians, former "Liberty Tech" employees
Shelves: philly, economics
I actually found myself laughing out loud and then reading passages to people sitting around me. This book is full of vivid descriptions of our fair city and hilarious one-liners about its residents. If you've spent any time in Philadelphia, I guarantee you'll recognize some of your 'favorite' characters and locations.

Michael Rizza
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review also appears on

Alex Kudera’s Fight for Your Long Day (2010) ought to be required reading for anyone who pays college tuition or taxes. The story follows the long day in the life of Cyrus Duffleman. In some of our most beloved books, we have seen versions of Duffleman before. He is the type of character who delights us on the page but who would undoubtedly make for poor company in person: a solitary man at a distance from the society that he uncomfortably inhabits but whos
First, in the interest of full disclosure, Alex Kudera and I share a publisher, so bear that in mind as you will, though it isn't the reason for my interest in Fight For Your Long Day. Like Kudera's protagonist Duffy, I make my living teaching writing to undergraduates. Not, I'm relieved to say, under such grim conditions as those Duffy experiences, but I've heard enough stories from colleagues and friends to know that what Duffy encounters teaching on four urban campuses in Philadelphia, each w ...more
Joel Thomas
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review originally appeared on

Fight for Your Long Day’s protagonist, Cyrus Duffleman, does not fit the usual literary profile of professors – well-respected educators who juggle natural charisma and artistic brilliance, usually while battling demons available only to the privileged. Instead, author Alex Kudera gives readers a glimpse of the modern faculty majority: adjunct instructors. Like so many adjuncts, Duffleman’s story unfolds as he travels betwe
Greg Zimmerman
Cyrus Duffleman has committed all seven deadly sins of literary blockage: "daily drudgery, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, lack of talent and determination, and above all, laziness." These have "stole away any chance he had of concentrating for long enough to produce anything even loosely resembling a work of art."

We, the readers of Alex Kudera's novel Fight for Your Long Day, learn this about the Duffler (as Kudera is fond of calling is antiprotagonist) on pg. 14. And so we know right off
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Author Alex Kudera has been a friend to CCLaP in the past (specifically, he kindly participated in one of our virtual book tours a couple of years ago), which made me predisposed to really want to like his newest book, Fight for Your Long Day; and so that makes it even more heartbreaking than usual to have
I was looking forward to reading this book because it's been referenced positively several times in _The Chronicle of Higher Education_. As an account of an impoverished, disaffected, overweight, horny, white male academic, however, it's neither as funny nor as biting its predecessors in the academic novel genre: Richard Russo's _Straight Man_, Philip Roth's _The Human Stain_, Michael Chabon's _Wonder Boys_, or even the original of the genre, Kingsley Amis's _Lucky Jim_. But as a post-recession ...more
Nathan Holic
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fight For Your Long Day is a great piece of work, a novel that tackles some of the major problems in higher education (namely, the exploitation of students, and the exploitation of the lower-level adjunct professors) without ever allowing itself to become mired in cynicism.

Too often, I think that authors (myself included) write with outrage about the problems they see in the world, and their books become so dark that--upon finishing--we are simply left with a feeling of depression and futility.
Renee Leech
Set circa 2003 in the City of Brotherly Love, Cyrus Duffleman the adjunct runs from one institution of higher education to another in this book detailing the long day of a wage slave. While contemplating utopian and dystopian futures, Cyrus takes public transit (an adventure in itself), has long conversations with various homeless folk, higher ed administrators, and everyone in between in "President Fern's" post-911 paranoia factory. If you went to liberal arts grad school in the 90s, you will r ...more
Apr 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic-satire
Academic satire is hit-and-miss with me. Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim is outstanding; David Lodge is eminently readable, but I didn't love Richard Russo (though many of academic colleagues found it hilarious). Maybe it all cuts a bit too close to the bone.

But even given my generic reservations, reading this novel was punitive. The satire was flat-footed, and it sat uneasily beside familiar, belated, shooting-fish-in-a-barrel political preachiness about the ethics [sic] of the Bush administration,
Abeer Hoque
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-recommend
"Fight for Your Long Day" is Alex Kudera's first novel and stars Duffleman, a long suffering adjunct lecturer, AKA a slave wage labourer of the academic system. His long day takes place one fine spring day in Philadelphia, amid political mayhem, sexual frustration, social disenfranchisement, and academic corruption, all couched in Mr. Kudera's fine witty writing.

I lived in Philly the first ten years of my adult life, and it was a pleasure to see the city in all its gritty glory, albeit through
As a former urban adjunct with a similar work schedule to the main character, I really appreciated this book. I think he really nails the peculiar social isolation and despair of adjunct life - it's exciting to see in print, and also quite depressing. In particular, Duffy - who is working several jobs and being paid quite poorly - still feels lucky in some ways, and very guilty when he encounters the city's homeless and poor - something that I too experienced as an adjunct in New York City.

The o
Brittany Sturges
The book caught my eye on a bookstore table and I was intrigued (though the price deterred me); when I stumbled across the title on the library bookshelf a month or two later, I was almost giddy. As I began to read through, I could tell what places Kudera was referencing in his writing. However, just as Duffy's day progressed, so did the story, but I began to lose interest. Everything became a little too much and by the time I reached chapter 9 (of 12) I found myself easily distracted from readi ...more
James Hill
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you told me Don DeLillo had written this novel, I wouldn’t be surprised or disappointed. The humor is both topical and timeless, and as a reader himself mired in the cellar of academia, the nuanced plight of an adjunct feels particularly accurate even as it is decidedly absurd. Some readers might quibble with the pacing—the novel spans one day, and it is indeed a long day—but if you fall in love with the tone, as I did, you’ll see the journey’s digressive nature as an asset rather than a faul ...more
Christopher Bundy
I certainly appreciated Kudera's comic protagonist (as someone who's done their time as an adjunct) and the narrative moves quickly and is very funny at times. Some of the later political elements of the story left me a little cold but I like the overall impression.

I also love the design of this book - beautiful!
Nov 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Packed with vibrant imagery and secondary characters and all sorts of fascinating commentary on work, corporate life, the state of education, and the profound, at times, insipid, is that the right word, impact of terrorism on our lives, all of which makes for a wonderfully electric read.

See full review -
Chris Nagel
This does give you a sense of the way it is for the itinerant college teacher. It could have benefited from much more judicious editing. I've read some reviews that compare it to _Ulysses_, for crying out loud.

If you want insight into the experience of contingent faculty on a daily basis, a much better book is _Ghosts in the Classroom_.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think I can see where the author was trying to go with this, as a piece of social commentary, but I just didn't like it. The commentary was heavy handed, and the author's use of race was awkward beyond its possible indication of the narrator's personality flaws. And fat was used far too often as an insult.
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of an adjunct professor in English who has to work five jobs to support himself. It covers one day in his life: his long day, when he has to work all five jobs. While Duffy has the noblest of goals at times, reality and his own human frailties make this day a particular difficult one.
Evan Kingston
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great satire of of modern American life, as seen through the eyes of a struggling adjunct professor. The distant, scholarly tone of the narration provides great humor and allows the protagonist to draw interesting connections between disparate elements of the American experience, while ultimately revealing both the insight and impotence of the academic mindset.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love how this focuses in detail on a single day in the life of an adjunct professor yet manages to say so much about contemporary America. It really is a microcosm reflecting the macrocosm. It's vivid and incredibly detailed, managing to keep much more suspense going than I would have thought possible. This is some good writing and I'm thrilled that I decided to pick it up.
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is Humiliation Porn. It describes one day in the life of an overworked, shamed, broke, injured, sex-deprived loser adjunct, as he teaches at multiple universities and moonlights as a security guard. Anyone who has ever taught part time for the university system should read this book.
M. Keller
Perfect for disgruntled adjuncts and Philly natives - the gritty slices of Philly life - especially Septa adventures - were great and the bitterness of an adjunct seeps from the page (a good thing). At times a little rambling, but a fun read and it's worth keeping tabs on Kudera's future work.
Iden Rosenthal
So this book is kinda sad really. Sad life. Sad thoughts. Made me think of the only person I know who has worked as an adjunct faculty. I don't know if I would have finished this book if I happened to have had another book on hand to switch to.
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Alex Kudera's award-winning adjunct novel, Fight for Your Long Day (Atticus Books), was drafted in a walk-in closet during a summer in Seoul, South Korea. In 2016, he published Auggie's Revenge with Beating Windward Press as well as a Classroom Edition of Fight for Your Long Day with Hard Ball Press. The e-singles "Frade Killed Ellen" (Dutch Kills Press), "Turquoise Truck" (Mendicant Bookworks), a ...more
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“If his long day were lived in a European novel, he'd become "D" when on the run or near disappeared.” 0 likes
“And so his royal Duffleleupagus is seized with the megalomaniacal conceit that he is the contemporary Jesus, the man wandering through the lives of these forlorn people, beaten and broken down by the unbearable thirst of relative deprivation--unless it was all of capitalism, or terrorism, or loneliness, or time. Of course, to compare oneself to Jesus is at least ridiculous, and yet not uninspired extreme narcissism, and although he cannot remember reading it symptomatic of a particularly overt form of latent homosexuality, he could not say for sure he had not read that either. On a cereal box top or as fortune cookie filler? Svevo or Zizek? Soft-core porn spam or in freshman composition?” 0 likes
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