LONGLISTED FOR THE 2013 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDSThe year is 1977 and Reno - so called because of the place of her birth - has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world - artists have... show more
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2013 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDSThe year is 1977 and Reno - so called because of the place of her birth - has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world - artists have colonised a deserted and industrial SoHo, are squatting in the East Village, and are blurring the line between life and art. Reno meets a group of dreamers and raconteurs who submit her to a sentimental education of sorts. She begins an affair with an artist named Sandro Valera, the semi-estranged heir of an Italian tyre and motorcycle empire. When they visit Sandro's family home in Italy, Reno falls in with members of the radical movement that overtook Italy in 1977. Betrayal sends her reeling into a clandestine undertow.The Flamethrowers is a fearless novel, an intensely engaging exploration of the mystique of the feminine, the fake the terrorist. In the centre of it all is Kushner's brilliantly realised protagonist, a young woman on the verge.
Publish date: June 6th 2013
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Pages no: 416
Edition language: English
The Flamethrowers is a shape-shifter, a slinking fire-lizard, spectacular and formless. It's lines are curving, colorful and deceptive, you can't tell where it is going and I wouldn't care to anyway. I assume it was my own fault that this book was so far to the limits of my radar but Rachel Kushner ...
I was looking forward to this book for awhile, the cover, the description, and the reviews all made it seem interesting. It isn't. The book focuses on Reno who likes motorcycles and art falls for one of the founder's sons of her favorite motorcycle company who introduces her to the pretentious New Y...
Rating deleted. I can't in good conscience keep ratings for books by any of the 204 writers who signed the letter protesting the award for courage PEN gave to Charlie Hebdo. Such willful obtuseness by writers, of all people, toward freedom of expression is very troubling and sad.
Speed, motorcycles and the New York art scene during the 1970s combine with leftist revolutionaries in Italy in Kushner's novel, making for a pleasurable immersion into another era full of fascinating characters. More here.
Nominated for the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction (US). An arresting cover, a story that starts with 1970s speed records & racing, yet has a curious, but gorgeous effect of catching small moments in time… zoomed in but stretched out, each scene a clear, magnified vision seen as if you are float...