Weekly entries survey new titles selected by different library staff.
Friday, December 20, 2013
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
After arriving in New York City 1977 we meet Reno, a young and ambitious
artist determined to turn her fascination with motorcycles and danger into
art. Reno’s trial-by-fire story alternates provocatively with the gripping
tale of Valera, an Italian who serves in a motorcycle battalion in WWI,
manufactures motorcycles including the coveted Moto Valera, and makes a
fortune in the rubber industry by oppressing Indian tappers in Brazil.
These worlds collide when Reno moves in with Sandro Valera, a sculptor
estranged from his wealthy family, and tries to make art by racing a Moto
Valera on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Ultimately, Reno ends up in Italy,
where militant workers protest against the Valeras. Embracing the worlds
of motorcycle racing, art and radical politics, The Flamethrowers sweeps
us into the swirl of life amid a memorable group of characters to reveal
what it's like to live on the edge or aspire to do so.