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The Flamethrowers (2013)

by Rachel Kushner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4468110,861 (3.39)116
The year is 1975 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 colonized a deserted and industrial SoHo, are staging actions 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. Ardent, vulnerable, and bold, she begins an affair with an artist named Sandro Valera, the semi-estranged scion of an Italian tire 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 the seventies. Betrayal sends her reeling into a clandestine undertow. - from cover p. [2]… (more)
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» See also 116 mentions

English (78)  Spanish (1)  Piratical (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Come to an in-person discussion of this book at the Willett Free Library, Saturday, March 28, at 10am. ( )
  jpe9 | Aug 4, 2022 |
A series of unfortunate events........ ( )
  Marietje.Halbertsma | Jan 9, 2022 |
Just finished the last of the five free books I brought home from the ALA midwinter conference.
The Flamethrowers
The Dinner
And Sons
The Woman Upstairs
In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods

The Flamethrowers was the best of the bunch. ( )
  AlexThurman | Dec 26, 2021 |
Gorgeous writing, wide ranging insights ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
I wish I'd liked this more - it just didn't grab me. I don't like the whole idea of pretentious art scenes, so that was problematic for me from the get-go. I can recognize that the writing was good, but the story didn't do anything for me. ( )
  jlweiss | Apr 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kushner, Rachelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Biekmann, LidwienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strick, CharlotteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
FAC UT ARDEAT
Dedication
This book is for Cynthia Mitchell.

And for Anna, wherever she is (and probably isn't).
First words
He killed him with a motorbike headlamp (what he had in his hand).
Quotations
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Menschen, die schwerer zu lieben sind, stellen eine Herausforderung dar, und die Herausforderung macht es einfacher, sie zu lieben. Man fühlt sich dazu getrieben. Wer die Liebe einfach haben will, der will eigentlich gar keine Liebe.
"O Gott, das tut mir so leid. Liebe ist furchtbar. Sie ruiniert alles Normale, alles außer sich selbst. Sie macht dich verrückt, und das alles für nichts und wieder nichts, weil sie so enttäuschend ist. Aber viel Glück damit."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

The year is 1975 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 colonized a deserted and industrial SoHo, are staging actions 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. Ardent, vulnerable, and bold, she begins an affair with an artist named Sandro Valera, the semi-estranged scion of an Italian tire 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 the seventies. Betrayal sends her reeling into a clandestine undertow. - from cover p. [2]

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Book description
The year is 1977 and Reno has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion or activity in the art world and Reno falls in with 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 motorcycle empire. When they visit Sandro's family home in Italy, Reno becomes involved with members of the radical movement that overtook Italy in 1977. Betrayal sends her reeling into a clandestine undertow.
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