Rage Is Back: A Novel

Rage Is Back: A Novel

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by Adam Mansbach
     
 

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Welcome to the Great American Graffiti Novel

Number one New York Times bestselling author Adam Mansbach returns with a blockbuster tale of revenge, redemption, and the world’s most beautiful crime. Dondi Vance is the son of two famous graffiti artists from New York City’s “golden era” of subway bombing. Recently kickedSee more details below

Overview

Welcome to the Great American Graffiti Novel

Number one New York Times bestselling author Adam Mansbach returns with a blockbuster tale of revenge, redemption, and the world’s most beautiful crime. Dondi Vance is the son of two famous graffiti artists from New York City’s “golden era” of subway bombing. Recently kicked out of his prestigious prep school for selling weed—and his mother’s Brooklyn apartment for losing his scholarship— he’s couch-surfing his way through life, compulsively immune to rumors that his long-lost father, Billy Rage, has returned after sixteen years on the lam.

But Dondi’s old man really is back—what’s left of him, that is. A wizened shell of his former self, Billy is still reeling from a psychic attack by an angry sha-man in the Amazon basin when Dondi finds him at the top of a pseudo-magical staircase in DUMBO. The uneasy reunion comes just in time: Anastacio Bracken, the transit cop who ruined Billy’s life and shattered his crew back in 1987, is running for mayor. Only by rallying the forgotten writers of the eighties for an epic, game-changing mission can Billy and Dondi bring Bracken down.

In this mind-bending journey through a subterranean world of epic heroes, villains, and eccentrics, Adam Mansbach balances an intricately plot­ted, high-stakes caper with a wildly inventive tale of time travel and shamanism, prodigal fathers and sons, and the hilariously intertwined realms of art, crime, and spirituality. Moving throughout New York City’s unseen com­munities, from the tunnel camps of the Mole People to the drug dens of Crown Heights, Rage Is Back is a kaleidoscopic tour de force from a writer at the top of his game.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - Ron Charles
…Mansbach has clearly had a play date with Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz, and his fresh, witty novel is one that hip readers will relish once the kids have finally, mercifully, nodded off. Laced with zaniness and cultural bling, it's a nostalgic tribute to the glory days of street art, back when New York City had character, when those bubbly letters shouted from rambling subway cars and people loved to spot their favorite artists…What's more, it's invigorating to find a white writer willing to crash the color barrier…In the sweet and obscene voice of mixed-race Dondi, Mansbach has created a sharp commentator on the persistent nervousness of our integrated society.
Publishers Weekly
In this slick, outlandish novel by bestselling author Mansbach (Go the F**k to Sleep), 18-year-old biracial Kilroy Dondi Vance, a “lightskinned cat,” is expelled from a New York City private academy for peddling hydroponic marijuana. Sixteen years earlier, in 1989, Dondi’s white father, Billy Rage, a popular graffiti artist, had a violent encounter with NYPD’s Vandal Squad, led by Anastacio Bracken, who caught Billy and others spray-painting in the subway and, during the pursuit, gunned down his friend Amuse. After Bracken covered up Amuse’s murder, Billy went on “the sickest run,” spraying graffiti accusing Bracken of killing Amuse all over the city, with Dondi’s African-American mom Karen, herself a graffiti artist, hoping Billy would “stop and grieve.” After Bracken was appointed the MTA’s chief of security, he declared war on the “sociopath” Billy, who fled to Mexico. Now, in 2005, Dondi finds Billy back in town in bad shape after a suicide attempt and years spent in the Amazon becoming a shaman, with the help of numerous psychedelic drugs. Bracken is more powerful than ever, and a mayoral candidate, and Billy resolves to bring him down via a new graffiti campaign. Though Dondi’s voice, a combination of sophistication and raw urban slang, feels at time forced, Mansbach’s novel is a fun and exciting read. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Mansbach has clearly had a play date with Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz, and his fresh, witty novel is one that hip readers will relish . . . Laced with zaniness and cultural bling."
Ron Charles, Washington Post

“A rollicking, frenetic and hilarious jaunt through the (literal and figurative) New York City underworld . . . [that] does for graffiti what Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay did for comic books . . . [Rage is Back] mashes up disparate linguistic registers with an effortlessness that brings to mind Junot Diaz's perennial narrator, Junior . . . Beneath all the weed and spray paint, it's a warmhearted story about a son searching for his father and for himself, a trip through the past and present of an American art form.”
David Lukas, San Francisco Chronicle

“Mansbach's wild ride will likely earn cult-classic status - and deservedly so . . . In Dondi, Mansbach has created an unforgettable narrator who combines elements of Holden Caulfield, Oscar Wao, and even a hint of Ignatius J. Reilly.”
Eric Liebetrau, Boston Globe

“Flashing bits of brilliance like a beautifully burned train . . . Mansbach can write with real talent, maybe crazy talent.”
Kevin Baker, The New York Times Book Review

“A hilarious revenge thriller. . . [that reads] something like watching a Quentin Tarantino film or listening to a Wu-Tang Clan album-perhaps simultaneously. This is a great thing. … Rage Is Back has humor and horror and humanity and is altogether fresh.”
Kevin Coval, Chicago Tribune

“Exuberant . . . Mansbach's paean to graffiti art . . . has a wild-style collage form that also ties in plot points involving a hallucinogenic vision-quest, the so-called ‘mole people' said to live in the city's tunnels, and time travel.”
The Wall Street Journal

“A muscular ode to New York City's 1980s art underground . . . Combines a poet's touch with the wild sparks of a subway train speeding through a graffiti-splashed tunnel.”
Elle Magazine

Rage Is Back is a gutsy act of cultural nostalgia, full of longing for a vanished New York, a chaotic, colorful city full of graffiti and guerilla art. Adam Mansbach is a fearless, funny, and thoroughly engaging writer.”
Tom Perrotta,author of Little Children and The Leftovers

“Adam Mansbach's new novel is a trip! A trip through dimensions, drugs, and even an ingenious time machine. Rage is Back is hilarious and insightful, tender and surprising, but best of all it's a tribute to the old heads, the bombers and taggers and the glory of writing in all its forms.”
Victor LaValle, author of The Devil in Silverand Big Machine

"Rage Is Backis a funny, macho-but-vulnerable coming-of-age-story. It's seeped in New York nostalgia and narrated in bright and vulgar prose that succeeds in hinting at no small quantity of swagger and soul. As Dondi says, ‘it's not easy to talk from your heart and out your ass at the same time.' Delightfully,-Rage Is Backmanages to do both."
Daily Beast

“A bracingly funny book [that] rekindles the golden age of graffiti.”
Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

"A cacophonous love letter to the old dirty, pre-gentrified New York."
New York Post

“A fierce and funny thrill ride through the train yards and back streets of the graffiti underground. Mansbach writes with splendid rhythm and intensity.”
San Jose Mercury News

“A rambunctious ride through graffiti culture, filled with magical moments and outlandish situations . . . Like Tarantino, Mansbach has an ear for hip-hop.”
Charles Ealy, Austin American-Statesman

“Unfolding like a fever dream of an impossible return to graffiti-era New York, Mansbach's Rage Is Back delivers a mind-bending journey through a subterranean world of epic heroes and villains, and is already being called “the great American graffiti novel.”- A must-read for the literate hip-hop head.”
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Library Journal
Biracial Brooklynite Kilroy Dondi Vance, a prep-school scholarship student who deals pot, is the son of renowned graffiti writer Billy Rage. Now Rage is back, having vanished for decades after clashing with Metropolitan Transit Authority chief Anastacio Bracken, who's running for mayor. From the author of the hugely best-selling Go the F**k To Sleep.
Kirkus Reviews
In a postmodernist world of NYC graffiti artists driven underground, war is an act of art. Mansbach (Seriously, Just Go To Sleep, 2012, etc.) returns to fictionalizing the untidy corners of the New York City culture wars. Our admittedly unreliable narrator is Dondi Vance, a biracial scholarship student and part-time hydro dealer. He's just been dumped by Kirsten, aka "The Uptown Girl," who is furious that Dondi's been expelled from "Whoopty Whoo Ivy League We's A Comin' Academy." He's also the product of mad genes, having been raised by his mother, Karen, after his papa, Billy Rage, the city's most infamous graffiti artist, vanished in 1989 after his best friend's murder. Now everyone on the scene is clashing with Billy's nemesis, corrupt transit authority bureaucrat Anastacio Bracken. As a narrator, Dondi wields a fantastic but implausible voice that is electric with rhythm, riddled with bullshit and wise beyond its years. One second, he has a professorial understanding of street culture; the next, he's discovering a time warp in a tenement building. We get a good example of Dondi's attitude when Billy returns from psychotropic exile in Mexico. "When you're responsible for somebody with whom you've got so much unresolved shit, you've either gotta find the inner strength to make each act a tiny gesture of forgiveness, or else spend every stagnant, housebound hour pulsing with resentment." Dondi's story proves thrilling: The book is peppered with grandfatherly revolutionaries, slang-slinging young bloods and an army of paint-wielding ninjas who unite with military precision on an ambitious plan to graffiti-bomb every single train car on the MTA. A love letter dripping with 1980s nostalgia that talks and talks and talks the talk.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101606179
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/10/2013
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
421,261
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Mansbach has clearly had a play date with Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz, and his fresh, witty novel is one that hip readers will relish . . . Laced with zaniness and cultural bling."
Ron Charles, Washington Post
 

“A rollicking, frenetic and hilarious jaunt through the (literal and figurative) New York City underworld . . . [that] does for graffiti what Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay did for comic books . . . [Rage is Back] mashes up disparate linguistic registers with an effortlessness that brings to mind Junot Diaz’s perennial narrator, Junior . . . Beneath all the weed and spray paint, it’s a warmhearted story about a son searching for his father and for himself, a trip through the past and present of an American art form.”
—David Lukas, San Francisco Chronicle
 

“Mansbach’s wild ride will likely earn cult-classic status — and deservedly so . . . In Dondi, Mansbach has created an unforgettable narrator who combines elements of Holden Caulfield, Oscar Wao, and even a hint of Ignatius J. Reilly.”
—Eric Liebetrau, Boston Globe
 

“Flashing bits of brilliance like a beautifully burned train . . . Mansbach can write with real talent, maybe crazy talent.”
—Kevin Baker, The New York Times Book Review
 

“A hilarious revenge thriller. . . [that reads] something like watching a Quentin Tarantino film or listening to a Wu-Tang Clan album—perhaps simultaneously. This is a great thing. … Rage Is Back has humor and horror and humanity and is altogether fresh.”
—Kevin Coval, Chicago Tribune
 

“Exuberant . . . Mansbach’s paean to graffiti art . . . has a wild-style collage form that also ties in plot points involving a hallucinogenic vision-quest, the so-called ‘mole people’ said to live in the city’s tunnels, and time travel.”
The Wall Street Journal
 

“A muscular ode to New York City’s 1980s art underground . . . Combines a poet's touch with the wild sparks of a subway train speeding through a graffiti-splashed tunnel.”
—Elle Magazine

Rage Is Back is a gutsy act of cultural nostalgia, full of longing for a vanished New York, a chaotic, colorful city full of graffiti and guerilla art. Adam Mansbach is a fearless, funny, and thoroughly engaging writer.”
Tom Perrotta,author of Little Children and The Leftovers 
 

“Adam Mansbach's new novel is a trip! A trip through dimensions, drugs, and even an ingenious time machine. Rage is Back is hilarious and insightful, tender and surprising, but best of all it's a tribute to the old heads, the bombers and taggers and the glory of writing in all its forms.”
Victor LaValle, author of The Devil in Silver and Big Machine
 

"Rage Is Back is a funny, macho-but-vulnerable coming-of-age-story. It’s seeped in New York nostalgia and narrated in bright and vulgar prose that succeeds in hinting at no small quantity of swagger and soul. As Dondi says, ‘it’s not easy to talk from your heart and out your ass at the same time.’ Delightfully, Rage Is Back manages to do both."
—Daily Beast
 

“A bracingly funny book [that] rekindles the golden age of graffiti.”
—Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
 

"A cacophonous love letter to the old dirty, pre-gentrified New York."
New York Post
 

“A fierce and funny thrill ride through the train yards and back streets of the graffiti underground. Mansbach writes with splendid rhythm and intensity.”
San Jose Mercury News
 

“A rambunctious ride through graffiti culture, filled with magical moments and outlandish situations . . . Like Tarantino, Mansbach has an ear for hip-hop.”
—Charles Ealy, Austin American-Statesman  
 

“Unfolding like a fever dream of an impossible return to graffiti-era New York, Mansbach’s Rage Is Back delivers a mind-bending journey through a subterranean world of epic heroes and villains, and is already being called “the great American graffiti novel.”  A must-read for the literate hip-hop head.”
OkayPlayer

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