Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dogrun” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,463 ratings  ·  67 reviews
mary bellanova came home to her east village apartment, cooked dinner, and fought with her boyfriend, primo. but soon mary realized that primo's silence in front of the tv set was more than just one of his bad moods: primo was actually dead.
other guys had abandoned mary before,but primo's exit was by far the most unique. and suddenly mary's life -- defined so far by a st
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by MTV Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dogrun, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dogrun

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
FINAL full review:
This is the fourth Nersesian novel I've read, and as with the others I enjoyed the experience greatly.

They say Anton Bruckner wrote the same symphony nine times; that each work was just a variation on the others, and that's how I feel when I read Nersesian. His characters are typically young working stiffs in New York, often a paycheck away from disaster, rebounding from love lost and trying to piece together the lives of their lost objects of affection. There are typically se
John DiCorato
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was a fun, easy read. I found the protagonist, Mary, to be a little dull at times but for the most part she was pretty likable. There were some times that I wanted to slap her, though. The supporting characters are pretty good, too- and there are a LOT of them. But, they're all fleshed out pretty well and by the end of the novel their presence makes sense. However, I ultimately was left kind of wonder what the point was? I understand the story, but I just didn't understand why any of it was h ...more
Apr 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
Bad, bad chick lit. Written by a man no less. Written by a man who has written books that I love. Boo.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
2 words that describe the book: East Village life

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

*Setting: the East Village in modern-day NYC

* Mary Bellanova is a wannabe writer who works at a series of unrewarding temp jobs to make ends meet. One day she comes home from work, finds her live-in boyfriend Primo watching TV and ends up getting in a one-sided argument with him about his laziness and lack of contribution to the household ... before realizing he is dead. Primo's death is the ju
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: may-2018
I loved Arthur Nersesian's The Fuck-Up when I read it several years ago; despite searching for his other titles in the meantime, they have been rather difficult to find. I ordered a heavily discounted copy of Dogrun online, and was very much looking forward to it. I liked the general idea here, but felt as though it was trying too hard to be clever and edgy. It feels quite dated, and I was never overly interested in any of the characters. Nersesian's prose is interesting and rather different, bu ...more
Rogue Reader
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
At first, I thought, oh no not another wasted city hipster life wanna be fiction. Temp jobs, no money. Clubs every night, no life. Girlfriends who aren't and boyfriends who shouldn't be - scary wackos who come too close. A tiny tenement walk up, tub in the kitchen, grimy grated windows look out at nothing. Roaches everywhere.

And then about half way through, something switched - that wanna be became a person with some integrity, grit, and determination. Someone with the capacity to forgive. Some
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
"This is the third novel I decided to read by Nersesian after finishing up Unlubricated which was good for what it was but didn't have the same flare as The Fuck-Up. this novel however changed all of that because it was another different direction for Nersesian but he still writes in his New York City rugged style famous in all his novels. What stands out with this novel was it was a romance novel...and I did not expect that.

The story is about a woman named Mary Bellanova who comes home to her a
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 stars is generous but since I can't rate in increments...

This built to an end where I almost loved...something about it, the way I loved Chip Kidd's The Learners and The Cheese Monkeys. It was poignant without trying, a sort of effortless reverberation. I loved what the author did with the story...or maybe what he allowed the story to do.

It fell just shy of ending totally cheesy without stripping the characters of hope. Throughout there were was cynical, skeptical and temptuous. I held my bre
Jul 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm a little surprised I finished this, because there was hardly anything at the start to keep me going. The writing wasn't strong, the story was full of seemingly pointless details and bland, unnecessary description, and despite having a female narrator and characters that were mainly women, the book somehow managed to be practically all about men. Nevertheless, it picked up a bit about halfway through and I knocked the rest of it off in a couple of hours. It went to some unexpected places and ...more
Aug 23, 2010 rated it liked it
I think of this book as a sort of anti-Sex & The City. The main character is a literate, witty single woman in NYC who goes to clubs with her man-hunting friends, makes cynical observations about people, and dabbles in writing. The book is replete with references to specific NYC landmarks (especially in the Village). Unlike any of the SATC foursome, however, the main character of Dogrun is reduced to taking a job at Kinko's and joins a punk band out of spiteful feelings toward her deceased c ...more
Sep 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Much like the book Suicide Blonde, Dogrun is about a blonde woman's investigative remembrance of her dead boyfriend. Unlike Suicide Blonde, however, the general tone of Dogrun is more hopeful, the main character is generally less fucked up, and there is far less emotional drowning.

The main character is refreshingly upbeat and carries herself with a relatively strong attitude that I enjoy. She feels very NYC to me, which is good, as that's where the story takes place. She meets some interesting p
Jan 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was reading a book, it took me about 4 days to read it, but as I'm reading it I knew it was a pretty good book. When I read the last page and closed the back cover I actually sat up and was amazed at how good the book was. I, quite literally, sat up and said aloud "Wow that was a really good book". Now for those of you who've actually made it through all of this conjecture and want to know what the book was it's - dogrun, by Arthur Nersesian. It's about a woman who lives in the East Village w ...more
Kendall Concini
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it
*Not counted in either 2015/2016 reading challenges.

Interesting, quick read.
Sure there is a premise behind Mary's story, but I felt there was no real plot. The story moves along with an intent, "find more about Primo", but I wasn't really sure if there was an intended end plan or we were just openly following Mary as she figures out her life without Primo.

I enjoyed the variety of characters, that had their own unique quality within the story. Of course, I enjoyed some more than others, but ea
Mel Lavente
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
A story about a 20 something trying to get through life that mirrors all those in quarter life crisis mode.

The Dogrun revolves around a Ms. Mary Bellanova after she discovers her (ex)boyfriend dead in their New York City apartment. Nearing 30, stuck in a mediocre job and has not made use of her skills as a writer, Mary sees Primo's death as another thorn in her life. What starts out as a search to just simply dispose of her ex-lover's ashes evolves into an odd story of finding herself through he
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
What a nice surprise to pick up this book. I can't wait to read his other book The Fuck Up. This story is written from a woman's point of view. This book has lots of twists and turns and takes place in NYC. Mary Bellanova has a shitty boyfriend and she comes home, makes them both dinner and finds out he is dead while sitting in front of the TV. As time passes, she finds out what a real a$$hole this guy really was. This is an MTV book. Didn't even know there was such a thing. Check this book out. ...more
Anastasia Garcia
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Arthur Nersesian paints a clear picture of the life of Mary Bellanova. The first chapter begins as Mary comes home to her good-for-nothing boyfriend Primo. She cooks him dinner, fights with him and yells before she realizes he's dead.
After this spins a whirlwind of dates, interesting people, unearthed lies, stories of his past and the growth of a main character.
A very satisfying, earthly, dark, humorous tale of Mary Bellanova, a NYC inhabitant carving her own path among the grime of the city s
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is honestly a wonderful book. I shot through it in a day and a half. Chicks boyfriend is dead in front of the television and then she takes a cruise through the east village/alphabet city looking for all the women her ex boyfriend has fucked (literally and figuratively) Eventually through a couple of revelations and such she comes to learn a life lesson. Not something cheesy and overplayed but the kind of no bullshit life lesson that I can say will probably stick with me. Nercessian is a go ...more
Peter Castillo
Feb 28, 2008 rated it liked it
If you enjoy novels set in New York from a young profession woman's perspective, then you'll love Nersesian's writing. Maria comes home, fights with her boyfriend, cooks dinner...and then wonders why her boyfriend is so subdued - it's because he's front of the T.V. The novel then chronicles her life from that point, as she follows a string of her dead boyfriend's ex-lovers and discovers secrets he was hiding. Nersesian's writing is smooth, fun, and at times beautiful.
Jun 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite books. I love stories that take place in New York and this one is no exception. It's a dark comedy that's got it all...Sex, drugs, rock and roll. It's sad, hilarious and heartwarming all at once. One of the things that struck me most about this book is that it's written, quite accurately, by a male author through a woman's perspective. Not since She's Come Undone have I been so impressed by that. Maybe I need to read more?
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Just get it. Best one of all the books he's written. Title has nothing to do with the story. A woman comes home to her husband, starts making dinner and finds out he's dead. She tries to figure out what he has been up to until his final exit. It is so well written I couldn't tell that a man was writing it or was using a psyedonym. I wish I could find a book of this calibre now. Short read from what I can remember. You will be glued to it.
Aug 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
My best friend recommended this book, but I'm still not sure what he was thinking. This book was painful to read. I'm pretty sure it was written simply for New Yorkers to read about New York. It's too bad too, because the story could have been great if the author didn't make his characters so shallow. I mean, does anyone really think so much about lipstick?
Cassidy Shea
Dec 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
i waffled between 4 and 5 stars for this book. ultimately, it gets 4 because the ending was a little weird. i really liked it up until the last couple pages, where it suddenly took on a sappy tone that was inconsistent with the rest of the book. but overall, it was great. i love the writer's voice. i like the characters, i like the pacing. i'm honestly surprised how much i liked it.
Dec 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
The first bit is rough if you are in a depressed mood, but it comes back, a bit, focusing for most of the book on how crappy people are. There is a two chapter rebound at the end. Being a single woman is a kin to leprosy, and being a single woman near 30 is worse.

I'm not a big fan of the book. I'm still trying to figure out why I finished reading it.
Feb 22, 2007 rated it did not like it
Nima recommended two books to me some time during 2002. They were: Fraud and Dogrun. Both were passed along with the comment, "I think you'll love these books." I loved neither and even disliked Dogrun. I don't know whether this is a review of the book as much as it is a review of Nima's taste (of my taste). But still. Dogrun - yuck.
Jan 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Arthur's work is a bit innuendo-laden for my taste, but his characters are New Yorkers; what do you expect?
The plot is a bit trivial and scattered, but for me, in some strange way that I can't put my finger on, Mary's dog, Numb, held the whole thing together emotionally and really drove the book home.
An interesting and worthwhile read, on the whole.
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I read this back around the time of release but had long forgotten about it by the time I created an account on goodreads. After years of thinking about this 'lost' book I finally tracked it down. I wish this was a better book more worthy of remembering but unfortunately my memory of 'girl, new york, dating men, dog' was about all I needed to remember. Not bad, not good.
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned
I absolutely loved this book and could barely put it down. I loved how easy it was to read and relatable it was - not including the first chapter obviously. But I connected with Mary so much. Her trying to cope and find her place in the world and just the realistic events that happen throughout the book. Also was VERY happy with who she ends up with.
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dark humor and morbid writing consummate this body of work. This one has so many twists and turns that your mind will be delightfully dizzy. This is the best of his lot!!

When you scatter your ex-boyfriend 's ashes in the dogrun, you make an indelible statement that translates into a idiosyncratic read!
Ashley Reiner
Feb 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book - it was thoroughly entertaining and I never knew what to expect next. I thought it was also very intriguing that a man created such a true to life and likable female character. Mary Bellanova felt genuine and real like someone I've known for years (and I have to admit, I have some of these traits as well). I cannot wait to read Neresian's other books!
Aug 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who want to read an engaging novel that is light, but a little dark
Grabbed this at Powells, wanting something light and pulpy for a backpacking trip. I had read "The Fuck Up" on Brian's suggestion a couple years back and thought that this author was about what I was looking for. I read this fast - it was definitely engaging and amusing. A pretty unique/unformuliac storyline.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Crooked
  • Fake Liar Cheat
  • Floating
  • Don't Sleep With Your Drummer
  • Tunnel Vision
  • Dreamworld
  • Like Being Killed
  • Forest Gate
  • Lapham Rising
  • Later, at the Bar
  • Thin Skin
  • Ağrı'nın Derinliği
  • The Last Days of Disco, with Cocktails at Petrossian Afterward
  • Perv - A Love Story
  • A Coyote Solstice Tale
  • High Risk: An Anthology of Forbidden Writings
  • Shella
  • Outside Providence
Arthur Nersesian is the author of eight novels, including The Fuck-Up (Akashic, 1997 & MTV Books/Simon & Schuster, 1999), Chinese Takeout (HarperCollins), Manhattan Loverboy (Akashic), Suicide Casanova (Akashic), dogrun (MTV Books/Simon & Schuster), and Unlubricated (HarperCollins). He is also the author of East Village Tetralogy, a collection of four plays. He lives in New York City.

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Finally life becomes a very specific thing--and that's what we are. Ultimately, looking back, I'm beginning to believe that we need to always be fucked up. We need to always have some reason to hate ourselves, something to make us feel eternally incomplete.” 14 likes
“Nowadays the standards had plummeted so far that I failed even at being a failure. I silently packed up. Nothing else was left. They had even robbed me of self-pity” 8 likes
More quotes…