Pub Date 31 Mar 2020
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An uninhibited portrait of the artist as a perpetual drifter and truth-seeker—a funny, profound, compulsive read that's like traveling with your wildest and most philosophical friend.
The narrator of Rob Doyle’s Threshold has spent the last two decades traveling, writing, and imbibing drugs and literature in equal measure, funded by brief periods of employment or “on the dole” in Dublin. Now, stranded between reckless youth and middle age, his travels to far-flung places have acquired a de facto purpose: to aid the contemporary artist’s search for universal truth.
Following Doyle from Buddhism to the brink of madness, Threshold immerses us in the club-drug communalism of the Berlin underworld, the graves of myth-chasing artists in Paris, and the shattering and world-rebuilding revelations brought on by the psychedelic DMT, the so-called “spirit molecule.”
Exulting in the rootlessness of the wanderer, Doyle exists in a lineage of writer-characters—W. G. Sebald, Ben Lerner, Maggie Nelson, and Rachel Cusk—deftly and subversively exploring forms between theory and autobiography. Insightful and provocative, Threshold is a darkly funny, genuinely optimistic, compulsively readable celebration of perception and desire, of what is here and what is beyond our comprehension.
Rob Doyle was born in Dublin and holds a first-class honors degree in philosophy and an MPhil in psychoanalysis from Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of the story collection This Is the Ritual and the novel Here Are the Young Men, also a forthcoming film for which he cowrote the screenplay. He is the editor of the anthology The Other Irish Tradition, published by Dalkey Archive Press. He currently lives in Berlin.
"Threshold, or, how I learned to stop worrying (about what sort of novel this is) and love the narrator, whose brilliance and humor on drugs and literature, sex and boredom and death, leave me in awe." —Rachel Kushner
"Fearless and challenging, inventive and compulsive, unique and utterly heartfelt." —John Boyne
“Daring and deranged, endlessly entertaining, furiously funny.” —Geoff Dyer
“Playful, potent, lurid, moving, and fearless.” —Lisa McInerney
“[A] modern day odyssey.” —Teddy Wayne
“A Pilgrim’s Progress for our time.” —Mike McCormack
“A thrilling mutation . . . [Doyle’s] is a journey you don’t want to miss.”—Chris Power