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Article

The Flame Throwers

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THE FLAMETHROWERS by Rachel Kushner

The Flame Throwers

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Rachel Kushner
publisher:
Scribner
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B+

National Book Award finalist Rachel Kushner brings NYC’s art scene to life so well in The Flame Throwers you could get high off the paint. Though her novel focuses on Reno, a woman who moves to the East Village in 1975 to ride motorcycles and hang with the gallery crowd, it’s the vividly drawn kooks around her who really pull you in, from the ex–Warhol Factory girl who views waitressing as performance art, to Reno’s rich Italian boyfriend, Sandro, whose dad invented the Moto Valera bike. When Sandro brings Reno to Rome and drags her into a class-based uprising, she realizes that making radical art isn’t the same as living a radical life. But if you have to watch the revolution pass you by, Kushner’s keenly observed story suggests, it would look pretty cool from the back of a Moto Valera bike. B+