"Damascus succeeds in conveying a big-hearted vision." —The Wall Street Journal

"At once gripping, lucid and fierce, Damascus is the mature effort of an artist devoted to personal growth and as such contains the glints of real gold." -San Francisco Chronicle

It's 2003 and the country is divided evenly for and against the Iraq War. Damascus, a dive bar in San Francisco's Mission District, becomes the unlikely ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $3.97   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price
(Save 34%)$16.00 List Price


"Damascus succeeds in conveying a big-hearted vision." —The Wall Street Journal

"At once gripping, lucid and fierce, Damascus is the mature effort of an artist devoted to personal growth and as such contains the glints of real gold." -San Francisco Chronicle

It's 2003 and the country is divided evenly for and against the Iraq War. Damascus, a dive bar in San Francisco's Mission District, becomes the unlikely setting for a showdown between the opposing sides.

Tensions come to a boil when Owen, the bar's proprietor who has recently taken to wearing a Santa suit full-time, agrees to host the joint's first (and only) art show by Sylvia Suture, an ambitious young artist who longs to take her act to the dramatic precipice of the high-wire by nailing live fish to the walls as a political statement.

An incredibly creative and fully rendered cast of characters orbit the bar. There's No Eyebrows, a cancer patient who has come to the Mission to die anonymously; Shambles, the patron saint of the hand job; Revv, a lead singer who acts too much like a lead singer; and Owen, donning his Santa costume to mask the most unfortunate birthmark imaginable.

Damascus is the place where confusion and frustration run out of room to hide. By gracefully tackling such complicated topics as cancer, Iraq, and issues of self-esteem, Joshua Mohr has painted his most accomplished novel yet.

Joshua Mohr is the San Francisco Chronicle best-selling author of Some Things That Meant the World to Me and Termite Parade, a New York Times Book Review editors' choice selection.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Browbeaten characters belly up to a San Francisco saloon in Mohr’s third novel, rife with themes of humanity, passion, and determined resilience. Damascus, a seedy Mission District dive bar (where “every interchange was a con, every night, a pitiful costume party”), is the home away from home for a ragtag troupe of oddballs headlined by cancer patient “No Eyebrows”; hand-job hooker Irene, aka “Shambles”; the numbingly insecure bar owner, Owen, of an unfortunate birth mark who dresses as Santa; and local artist Syl, best friend to Owen’s lesbian niece, Daphne. Syl is debuting her controversial painting installation of 12 dead soldiers at Damascus, much to the furyof injured Iraq war veteran Byron Settles, who, over the course of the story, conspires to destroy both the artwork and the bar. More impressive, however, is the coupling of Shambles and No Eyebrows. Her growing affection for the rapidly deteriorating cancer victim makes for an unlikely yet intense pairing that Mohr (Termite Parade) lovingly develops with unfettered affection. It’s the story line that carries the rest of the book. Not all the circumstances gel; a street scene confrontation with Owen and the father of a little girl who comments that Owen looks like Adolf Hitler feels contrived as does the overwritten hostage scene and firestorm at Damascus, but this accom-plished effort demonstrates Mohr’s rich, resonant prose, authentically rendered settings, and deft characterization. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Mohr's new novel (after Termite Parade), set in San Francisco's Mission District, tells two related stories. One is of Owen, the 60-year-old owner of the Damascus bar, and the other is about No Eyebrows, named for his distinctive facial trait, who meets a woman named Shambles in Owen's bar. No Eyebrows, who has fled his wife and child to spare them the trauma of his impending death from lung cancer, escapes from his problems by drinking and paying Shambles for hand jobs. Unexpectedly, their relationship morphs into real understanding. Meanwhile, Owen fights the good fight for freedom of expression, is betrayed by a seeming friend, and loses the bar in a frightening way. Has this reviewer mentioned that Owen spends most of the story in a Santa suit? VERDICT Improbable though it sounds, the novel has real impact. Reading like a cross between Harry Crews and Armistead Maupin, it has a wacky authenticity and demonstrates the preciousness of life. For immediate consumption by fans of gritty reality; an outstanding achievement.—Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos P.L., CA
Jan Stuart
Few subgenres hang a "Writer at Work" sign as self-consciously as the saloon novel, with its potential for soulful, liquored-up reveries and chorus lines of ravaged barflies. Damascus offers a bit of both, but tempers this indulgence with raffish sincerity.
—The New York Times Book Review
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982684894
  • Publisher: Two Dollar Radio
  • Publication date: 10/18/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 900,592
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Joshua Mohr: Joshua Mohr is the author of the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, Some Things That Meant the World to Me, and Termite Parade, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. He is a regular contributor to The Rumpus, and lives in San Francisco where he teaches writing.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)