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Fight Song

Fight Song

4.0 1
by Joshua Mohr

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When his bicycle is intentionally run off the road by a neighbor's SUV, something snaps in Bob Coffin. Modern suburban life has been getting him down and this is the last straw. To avoid following in his own father’s missteps, Bob is suddenly desperate to reconnect with his wife and his distant, distracted children. And he's looking for any guidance he can


When his bicycle is intentionally run off the road by a neighbor's SUV, something snaps in Bob Coffin. Modern suburban life has been getting him down and this is the last straw. To avoid following in his own father’s missteps, Bob is suddenly desperate to reconnect with his wife and his distant, distracted children. And he's looking for any guidance he can get.

Bob Coffin soon learns that the wisest words come from the most unexpected places, from characters that are always more than what they appear to be: a magician/marriage counselor, a fast-food drive-thru attendant/phone-sex operator, and a janitor/guitarist of a French KISS cover band. Can these disparate voices inspire Bob to fight for his family? To fight for his place in the world?

A call-to-arms for those who have ever felt beaten down by life, Fight Song is a quest for happiness in a world in which we are increasingly losing control. It is the exciting new novel by one of the most surprising and original writers of his generation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Fight Song

“…a Generation X call-to-arms about facing mid-life on our own terms with the unique heart that beats inside us all…Poignant, honest, and funny as hell. As diverse and unpredictable as Generation X itself, Fight Song captures the symbolism in the world we face while giving us permission to laugh at ourselves and the choices we've made in the process.” —Huffington Post

“For its irreverent beat, relentless energy, and sharp, funny characters, Fight Song may as well be titled Battle Cry.” —The Rumpus

“It’s hard to believe a suburban father’s desperate quest to turn his life around could be so much fun, but that’s exactly how readers are likely to react to Fight Song... a brisk, contemporary Odyssey with Cyclops and the sirens replaced by a cast of characters including a crying magician, who doubles as a marriage counselor and a bodybuilding fast-food worker who moonlights as a phone-sex operator. Mohr…brings a dollop of David Sedaris–like humor to the pathos. While irreverent, he gets to the heart of real emotion with bracing frankness…It’s a surprisingly sweet, rollicking tribute to anyone who’s ever needed a fight song to fight back.” —Booklist

“An unusual take on a mid-life crisis narrative, Mohr's novel… offers unexpected—often brilliant—confrontations of modern clichés…Mohr's elegant writing and colorful milieu is refreshing, an interesting mix of Charles Bukowski and Tom Robbins, with a cinematic heaping of the Coen brothers for good measure.” —Publishers Weekly

“Mohr has a clever imagination, and this book... hinges on some universal issues, namely Bob’s struggles to rekindle his romance, recapture his creativity, and regain control of his life. To the book’s credit, Mohr never loses the story’s emotional heart.” —Kirkus Reviews

"With his fourth novel, Joshua Mohr pushes himself into bold new territory and doesn't skip a beat. Fight Song is a whimsical, madcap, delightfully depraved fable for our age." —Jonathan Evison

“Bob Coffen of Joshua Mohr's Fight Song is among the most vivid characters I've encountered in recent fiction. He's a man so alive on the page, funny, self-depreciating, confused. We can all relate. As much love song as fight song, I found myself rooting for Coffen on every page of this surprising and poignant book.” —Peter Orner

"A wry, intelligent, and sublimely funny novel, Fight Song answers Big Questions while keeping the reader entirely absorbed and thoroughly entertained.” —Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers

“Think This is 40 set in Silicon Valley, filtered through Little Miss Sunshine with echoes of Wall-E and American Beauty – but uplifting!” —San Francisco Magazine

Library Journal
"Way out in a puzzling universe known as the suburbs, Bob Coffen rides his bike to work." That's the first sentence of Mohr's new novel, and the satire comes thick and fast on each page. Coffen is our hero, a likable schlemiel at a desperate crossroads. He designs video games and washes down vodka rather than connect with his wife and kids, even as his alpha-dog neighbor runs him off the road. While the territory may be a cliché, the writing itself is brisk and enjoyable. Mohr (Some Things That Meant the World to Me; Termite Parade) goes for slapstick rather than subtle emotional depths; a magician who does marriage counseling at a supper club, a football theme song played on bagpipes, and a world-record water-treading attempt are some of the many subplots. The effect, thankfully, is charming rather than cloying, and smart pacing (and chapters that each bear a headline) make this an easy weekend read. VERDICT There's still plenty to be said about middle-aged white guys in the suburbs. Especially if the storyteller is funny.—Travis Fristoe, Alachua Cty. Lib. Dist., Gainesville, FL

Product Details

Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
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Barnes & Noble
File size:
410 KB

Meet the Author

Joshua Mohr is the author of the novels Termite Parade (a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice selection), Some Things that Meant the World to Me (one of O Magazine's Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller), and Damascus, published in the fall of 2011 to much critical acclaim. Mohr teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.

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Fight Song: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
I’m participating in the TNBBC book tour for Joshua Mohr‘s new novel, Fight Song, (my 75th book!!!!). Check out The Fight Song Blog Tour on TNBBC to see all of the other fabulous stops on the tour! Being part of the book tour also allowed me to communicate with the author, Joshua, about his own quest for happiness. Here’s Joshua’s take on his quest: My new novel “Fight Song” is a midlife crisis narrative.  We meet Bob Coffen, slathered in stagnation.  Nothing is ostensibly wrong in his life.  He has a wife.  He has two kids.  He has a lucrative job.  The problem stems from Bob himself.  He’s stopped trying and thus, feels no passion, no inspiration.  He surveys his life and sees no joy, just responsibility and ennui. This is an age old dilemma and the book starts off with Bob being rammed from his bicycle, rammed from his complacency.  What follows is a madcap romp of Coffen rediscovering his happiness. I felt compelled to write this book as a cautionary tale for myself.  I’m approaching forty, and I really want to evade the pit that Bob has allowed himself to sink into. So in that spirit, here are some goals I have to keep living my life to the fullest, as an artist, a husband, and a student of the world: Art Art Art: Living a life that’s rich in art, seeing other people’s self-expressions are great ways to stay fully engaged and thinking critically about the world around us.  And maybe we learn about empathy, if we look through a character’s eyeballs who challenges our world beliefs.  Couldn’t our world use more empathy? More tattoos: Both my arms are covered in tattoos and now it’s time to start working on my chest.  Almost all of my tattoos have to do with my books.  I’m telling my literary memoir with each new piece of ink. Be a giving teacher: I’m a professor in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco, and I absolutely love teaching.  Being privy to the round table discussions, hearing what other working writers are struggling with keeps me always thinking ahead in my own work, making sure I’m challenging myself. Be a better parent than my own: I grew up in a lot of chaos.  My wife and I are expecting our first child, and I want to make sure she/he grows up in a stable environment. Thanks for reading all these.  If this inspires you to construct a list of your own, feel free to email it to me.  I like emails and I look forward to reading yours.  Email: josh@joshuamohr.net Thank you to Lori @ TNBBC and Joshua Mohr for this opportunity and a copy of the Fight Song! Thanks for reading, Rebecca @ Love at First Book