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The Sabotage Cafe

By Joshua Furst
Book Details
  • Author: Joshua Furst
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Published: 2007-08-28
  • Edition: 1

Of his debut story collection, Short People, the Los Angeles Times proclaimed: “Furst makes it all explicit—the cruelty, the astonishment, the treachery, the rapture—and in doing so creates a thoughtful if disturbing portrait of what it means to be a child. Or, more to the point, what it means to be human.” He now follows that with a gripping first novel about a mother and daughter, the ties that bind them and the extraordinary measures each will take to strengthen or sever their bond.

Entangled in the 1980s Minneapolis punk scene, Julia suffered an unspeakable trauma that drove her into a conventional suburban existence, even as battles with mental illness and unresolved grief continue to scar the veneer of normalcy she tries so desperately to maintain. When her sixteen-year-old daughter goes missing, Julia can envision her every move, from the Minneapolis outskirts into the city’s back alleys and abandoned corners. Here, amid a new generation of iconoclasts squatting in the abandoned Sabotage Café, Cheryl reenacts her mother’s own coming-of-age—a sullied mélange of drugs, awkward sex, glib anarchy and random acts of violence—and calls into question everything that either one of them might have hoped to become.

A mesmerizing portrait of a subculture that is visible all around us and yet assiduously ignored—in which today’s innocents shoulder their parents’ rebellion in addition to their own—The Sabotage Café is a tour de force of psychological intrigue, revealing a writer in full, ambitious command of his craft.

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