Got under my skin in the way the best writing can
Blazes a sonic trail through the tangles of experience. A contemporary künstleroman - a coming of age of an artist. So much about the struggle to find a nourishing and communally beneficial but still honest and not self-suppressing way to be a man
A completely unique voice . . . sounds like no one I know
Sean Conroe isn't one of the writers there's a hundred of. We won't tell somebody 'Sean Conroe' when we meant to say the name of another writer we got confused with Sean Conroe. He writes what's his own, his own way
Terse and intense and new and sort of fucked up but knowingly so. I loved it
A book to argue and laugh with; be appalled and impressed by. Fuccboi wrestles with big questions about masculinity and modernity, but best of all are its intimate and domestic moments: like Knausgaard, Conroe has a knack for making the mundane enthralling
A blistering debut
A debut coming-of-age (but probably not in the traditional sense!) novel about hypocrisy and self-awareness
Conroe's writing percolates with savage humour and wry observations on human complexity . . . Conroe works with a really rare audacity and slyness
Admirably fresh . . . [Conroe is] thoughtful, insecure and questing. And he has a distinctive, compelling voice that strikes me as utterly of its moment, of this moment . . . A genuine attempt to speak to some of those who don't normally give a shit about books, or at least, those who don't read The Paris Review and The New York Review of Books -- while also being worth the attention of those who do.
Fuccboi's main claim to newness lies in the narrator's middle-way attitude to the ball-aching social justice religion that clogs the air of American cultural life . . . The internalized contradictions of his dementing culture manifest in amusing ways . . . I enjoyed being led through the vagaries of Sean's 'sus hetero bro' existence and appreciated his attempt to do what in 2020s America is tricky verging on taboo: to write like a man, not an ideal.
Modern mores and a certain type of twentysomething male energy clash colourfully in the vibrant voice of this debut novel
Dare I be so despotic as to proclaim Fuccboi a necessary novel? You bet I do. How brilliant to finally have a novel that examines contemporary masculinity with such candour, with such humour and style as to immediately read like a modern classic. Sean Thor Conroe is a real one
One of literature's most exciting new voices . . . explosive. Fuccboi has crawled up people's backsides in a way only the best fiction does, especially when it holds a mirror up to the cultural zeitgeist.
Fresh prose, colloquial and poetic
Conroe confronts the anxieties at the Fuccboi's core, with verve, humour and empathy. It's essentially a bildungsroman for a generation of disaffected men
The novel is about something more interesting than sex. It's an account of a highly specific crack-up, and a largely self-inflicted one, though a few of the usual suspects, among them capitalism and the American healthcare system, share some of the blame.
The infectious vigour of Conroe's show-stealing voice means Fuccboi lands like a grenade in the ecosystem of better-mannered literary fiction
Je suis Fuccboi . . . So much of the novel's success lay in its ability to invoke a feeling of often disquieting recognition . . . [Conroe] creates a bridge, a conversation, and I see my own feelings reflected in his, despite the differences in how our respective feelings have emerged. If a gender divide indeed exists, finally it feels surmountable.
[Conroe's protagonist's] crisis of masculinity is also modern America's crisis of masculinity. If men are still choking on the toxicity of historical conventions of gender, then literature should be a welcoming space for exploring, questioning and airing the "savage, ugly, testosterone-fuelled, shameful" things that we would all rather repress - regardless of gender
Mesmerizing . . . Our narrator's slangy bravado may be a little cringey and his hypermasculinity just a bit sus, but he is also endlessly charming, particularly in his willingness to mock his own swaggering persona
It's hard to give a sense of how funny, clever and infectious Conroe's writing can be: how supple an instrument this voice is, how rhythmically and cumulatively rewarding when it feeds off its own energy. For internal riffs we could be in the absurd, side-shuffling mind of one of George Saunders's characters.
In an age of quick intolerance and polarised positions, Fuccboi delivers a nuanced account of the darker, more desperate attitudes of the young hetero-male today; those flagrant tendencies not excusable, but which might be understood as rooted in, say, insecurity and poverty (of the financial-social-educational-emotional kinds)