The Flame Throwers 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.… The Flame Throwers 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.… 2013-04-02 Fiction Scribner
Book Review

The Flame Throwers (2013)

THE FLAMETHROWERS by Rachel Kushner
THE FLAMETHROWERS by Rachel Kushner
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Apr 02, 2013; Writer: Rachel Kushner; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Scribner

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+

Originally posted Mar 27, 2013 Published in issue #1253 Apr 05, 2013 Order article reprints