A SUMMER READING PICK IN THE IRISH TIMES, DAILY MAIL AND IRISH INDEPENDENT
‘Pure enjoyment … My favourite novel from this year … disgraceful, full of grace and very funny’ Geoff Dyer, New Statesman Books of the Year
‘A wild, sleazy, drug-filled odyssey … Doyle’s maverick novel deserves the accolades coming its way’ Independent
‘The best work to date from a writer who gets better and better with each release’ Irish Independent
‘A masterclass in what not to do’ New Statesman
‘His best book so far: riddling, irreverent, fearless’ TLS
Rob has spent most of his confusing adult life wandering, writing, and imbibing literature and narcotics in equally vast doses. Now, stranded between reckless youth and middle age, between exaltation and despair, his travels have acquired a de facto purpose: the immemorial quest for transcendent meaning.
On a lurid pilgrimage for cheap thrills and universal truth, Doyle’s narrator takes us from the menacing peripheries of Paris to the drug-fuelled clubland of Berlin, from art festivals to sun-kissed islands, through metaphysical awakenings in Asia and the brink of destruction in Europe, into the shattering revelations brought on by the psychedelic DMT.
A dazzling, intimate, and profound celebration of art and ageing, sex and desire, the limits of thought and the extremes of sensation, Threshold confirms Doyle as one of the most original writers in contemporary literature.
If this blurb were a movie title it would go like this: Threshold, or, how I learned to stop worrying (about what sort of novel this is) and love the narrator, whose brilliance and humour on drugs and literature, sex and boredom and death, leave me in awe Not only the best work to date from a writer who gets better and better with each release, but also a unique, engrossing and strangely thrilling way to shake this new year into existence and make it tingle with promise * IRISH INDEPENDENT * Not many books manage to expand your mind, do your head in and set you laughing out loud. This one does, and Doyle's words sing on the page * SPECTATOR * This sly tale told against its author takes the reader on a destabilising voyage of discovery and self-disgust ... Each section of the book - cleverly masked as a tale told against its teller - blossoms critically in two or three directions ... Whatever else it is, Threshold is surely the record of a voyage - a book of experience in some quite old-fashioned, powerful sense * GUARDIAN * A book that casually vaporises the boundaries between autobiography, travelogue and philosophical/pharmacological exploration ... If you fancy some Terence McKenna adventures in consciousness expansion, or Isherwood-esque exile in the most decadent cellars of Berlin, or down and out sojourns in Paris and London, step right up * IRISH TIMES * Dead-pan satire - a cautionary tale of dissipation and drift; a masterclass in what not to do * NEW STATESMAN * His best book so far: riddling, irreverent and fearless ... Boundary-nudging fiction * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * Threshold might be one of many things. It's certainly an original piece of work * RTE GUIDE * A wild, sleazy, drug-filled odyssey ... Doyle's maverick novel deserves the accolades coming its way * INDEPENDENT * Dark, misanthropic, provocative; Doyle's writing really "goes there", and emerges triumphant * IRISH TIMES * Threshold is dazzling. It confirms Rob Doyle's status as one of the most original and intelligent writers at work today An extremely funny book, a novel that sends itself up mercilessly even as it is created. His best work to date Threshold is extraordinary, quite unlike anything I've read before. It's intimate, a revelation in the literal sense of that world, and yet it's full of curiosity ... It's fearless and challenging, inventive and compulsive, unique and utterly heartfelt. A book that will stay with me for a very long time. Masterful Ecce homo! A highly original attempt to engage, formally, with Nietzsche's dangerous question: "how much truth can one mind [or novel] bear?" Threshold is Rob Doyle's best book yet, a thrilling mutation somewhere between novel, essay collection, report, travelogue and confession. Doyle is a Romantic wandering in the post-sublime, a zealot without a cause, and his is a journey you don't want to miss * CHRIS POWER * Rob Doyle has outdone himself. I was buzzing after reading Threshold: it's the kind of work you have to come down from - playful, potent, lurid, moving and fearless. I'm sure it'll be bouncing around my head for a long time yet This is the type of brilliant, maverick achievement that sets a (young) writer apart. Wonderfully readable and with a skein of black comedy running through it that serves to highlight the seriousness of Doyle's intent A portrait of the artist as a youngish man, filtered through a sieve of refined prose ... A modern-day odyssey of the roving mind PRAISE FOR ROB DOYLE: 'I'm quite overwhelmed ... tremendous ... there's a formidable quality to the writing ... the ability to generate the shock that rare work gives the reader, not only in the pleasure and gratitude it engenders, but the serious business of the lines and engines of your own life finding answer and echo in another's art These bleak, brilliant stories maintain the tradition of Swift and Joyce... Compelling * SUNDAY TIMES * I'm tempted to quote Nietzsche back at Rob Doyle: he's not a writer - he is dynamite! Except - like Nietzsche - he's a tremendous writer too. And I have a suspicion that the author of this provocative and thrilling collection is going to get even better * GEOFF DYER * Doyle plumbs the bleaker aspects of literary life with startling precision and candour * NEW YORK TIMES * A tremendous talent. Every page fizzes with vitality Full of booze, books, sex and despair yet, despite the bleakness of its stories, skewered as they are on broken hearts and broken artistic dreams, Doyle's cocky passion proves irresistible. He writes with the confidence of a literary giant ... A series of heartening and humane interior struggles. Doyle is as good as everyone - from John Boyne to Colm Toibin - says he is * DAILY MAIL * Doyle's fiction deals with life's major themes: sex, death, guilt, shame, the meaning of existence ... Doyle's storytelling is compelling and engaging, suffused with wit, honesty and emotional intelligence * IRISH TIMES * The mutinous fragments of Rob Doyle's fictions are bilious, provocative and unnervingly compelling A world-class writer Doyle displays a ludic sensibility ... The stories are gleefully nihilistic ... He has a gift for evoking the base and unpleasant aspects of life in vivid and visceral detail ... It creates an almost hypnotic effect; a miasmic fictional space into which the reader slips * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * A compelling read * IRISH TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR * A fine debut. A rollicking good read. God may be dead, but a new literary star is born * SUNDAY TIMES * For sheer bravery and for style, for its integrity of vision and for its uncompromising tone A powerful, passionate and electrifying novel. Many writers try to recreate the traumas and anxieties of teenage years in fiction but very few manage it with as much conviction as Rob Doyle. The language is unflinching, the story uncompromising ... easily the most honest account of young Irish people for many years A lament for the blank generation, the literary equivalent of the song from which it takes its name, Joy Division's Decades. A powerful debut, maybe the first novel since Kevin Power's Bad Day in Blackrock to interrogate the dark side of the young Irish male's psyche * IRISH TIMES * A portrait of a jilted generation ... a brilliant Dublin novel and an exercise in honesty * IRISH SUNDAY TIMES * Narrated with an appealing blend of wide-eyed curiosity and no-bullshit scepticism * OBSERVER *
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