Subculture Vulture

A Memoir in Six Scenes

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Pub Date 30 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 31 May 2024

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Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A “hilarious” (Dax Shepard), “surprisingly emotional trip” (The Chainsmokers) through deep American subcultures ranging from Burning Man to Alcoholics Anonymous, by the writer and comedian Moshe Kasher

“Part history lesson, part standup set and, often, part love letter . . . Kasher’s ability to blend humor with homework works almost too well.”—The New York Times

After bottoming out, being institutionalized, and getting sober all by the tender age of fifteen, Moshe Kasher found himself asking: “What’s next?” Over the ensuing decades, he discovered the answer: a lot.

There was his time as a boy-king of Alcoholics Anonymous, a kind of pubescent proselytizer for other teens getting and staying sober. He was a rave promoter turned DJ turned sober ecstasy dealer in San Francisco’s techno warehouse party scene of the 1990s. For fifteen years he worked as a psychedelic security guard at Burning Man, fishing hippies out of hidden chambers they’d constructed to try to sneak into the event. As a child of deaf parents, Kasher became deeply immersed in deaf culture and sign language interpretation, translating everything from end-of-life care to horny deaf clients’ attempts to hire sex workers. He reconnects and tries to make peace with his ultra-Hasidic Jewish upbringing after the death of his father before finally settling into the comedy scene where he now makes his living.

Each of these scenes gets a gonzo historiographical rundown before Kasher enters the narrative and tells the story of the lives he has spent careening from one to the next. A razor-sharp, gut-wrenchingly funny, and surprisingly moving tour of some of the most wildly distinct subcultures a person can experience, Subculture Vulture deftly weaves together memoir and propulsive cultural history. It’s a story of finding your people, over and over again, in different settings, and of knowing without a doubt that wherever you are is where you’re supposed to be.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A “hilarious” (Dax Shepard), “surprisingly emotional trip” (The Chainsmokers) through deep American subcultures ranging from Burning Man to Alcoholics Anonymous, by the writer...

Advance Praise

“A deeply felt meditation on, well, all of Jewish history and Kasher’s place within it. It’s a surprising story of how he got lost deep inside Jewish life and the comforts he ended up finding there. It’s thoughtful and funny and, in places I didn’t expect to be, just plain wise.”

—Nathan Englander, Pulitzer Prize finalist and bestselling author of What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

“Immersive…[Kasher is] a skilled researcher with a knack for making long, detailed chronological accounts of possibly dull topics exciting and funny…his account of how he clawed his way up the slippery ladder of stand-up comedy should be required reading….The author’s history of Judaism alone is worth the price of admission. Vivid and great fun.”

—Kirkus

"The one and only time I went to Burning Man, I knew that I needed to hang with Moshe. He understood the people and the place on a cellular level. Reading his description of Burning Man both brought me back and gave me so much more context for this uniquely bizarre subculture. Moshe has the rare gift to simultaneously celebrate a community while also making fun of it. His writing succinctly captures the insanity, the joy, the ridiculousness and the radical act of fully embracing these worlds. He is a wickedly funny writer, a keen observer of the human experience, but not as good a dancer as he believes himself to be."

—Nick Kroll

"This book is a godsend. Edgy humor cleverly woven into the captivating tapestry of Deaf history, all seen through the unique lens of a culturally deaf individual who also happens to be hearing. Prepare to be enlightened and entertained simultaneously."

—Nyle DiMarco, New York Times bestselling author of Deaf Utopia: A Memoir

“Subculture Vulture nails the raucous, reckless and deeply hilarious days of stand-up comedy in the mid-2000s and the wild west days of comedy's history. Moshe's thoughtful account of the world of comedy is inspired and funny and the accounts of those early open mics rang very true for me, even though I bombed a lot less than him.”

—John Mulaney

“Moshe’s travels through recovery are laid out beautifully, honestly and effortlessly. I don’t know that I’ve read a more succinct description of the entire experience from soup-to-nuts. With equal parts authority and humility, Subculture Vulture is an elegant and a hilarious reminder that none of us really know anything for certain. He is owed a kiss from all who read it.”

—Dax Shepard

“Subculture Vulture is an electrifying, hilarious and surprisingly emotional trip through the worlds Moshe has inhabited, including the one we share: the world of Electronic Dance Music. He takes us on a trip through the Rave Scene of the 90's and you won't feel like you "had to be there,” because you'll feel like you are.”

—The Chainsmokers


“A deeply felt meditation on, well, all of Jewish history and Kasher’s place within it. It’s a surprising story of how he got lost deep inside Jewish life and the comforts he ended up finding there...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780593231371
PRICE $28.99 (USD)
PAGES 320

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