Rage Is Back
By Adam Mansbach
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670026128, 304pp.)
Publication Date: January 10, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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 weedand 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 backwhat’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.
Adam Mansbach ’s books include the number one international bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep, the California Book Awardwinning novel The End of the Jews, and the cult classic Angry Black White Boy. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, and The Believer, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
"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.”
“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."
“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.”