An Underachiever’s Diary

A Novel

Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
Meet William, a devout underachiever. He enters life as the firstborn of identical twin boys. It is the last time he will beat his overachieving brother Clive, or anyone else for that matter, at anything.

This is William’s manifesto for the underachiever. It is the chronicle of a lifetime of failure–part diary and part handbook for self-defeat. At once corrosively funny and surprisingly tender, An Underachiever’s Diary is a classic tale of perverse perseverance.


The Early Years

Istarted strong, the firstborn of identical twin boys, leading my reluctant brother out into the world by seven minutes flat, give or take a moment to suspend my infant’s disbelief in the delivery room. By the time he finally emerged, feetfirst, tangled in his...
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“Recalls Frederick Exley’s masterpiece of the genre, A Fan’s Notes.” —New York Times Book Review

“I would be proud of myself if I ever underachieved so brilliantly.” —Ann Beattie

"The book's veils of irony are light enough to charm even the coolest reader, and its emotional details, particularly those of William's bond with his faultless brother, ring true."—The New Yorker

"Fantastic...A fun, funny book."—Detroit Free Press

“Very funny . . . A masterpiece of controlled failure in which the narrator fails to deliver on every front.” —New York Post

“From the first paragraph, Benjamin Anastas has got you.” —Thomas Mallon