Star Wars Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »
  1. $18.90 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Quick

    Lauren Owen 9780812993271

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$15.50
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
7 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

Some Things That Meant the World to Me

by

Some Things That Meant the World to Me Cover

 

Review-A-Day

Joshua Mohr's debut novel is that rare literary gem: the kind of story that envelops you so wholly, you forget that you're reading. The kind of book you want to lend to everyone you know — except that you can't bear to part with it. I haven't felt this enamored of a book since I first encountered Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son more than a decade ago, and that is one of my "desert island" books.... Sheila Ashdown, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Enter Damascus, the womb-like bar in San Francisco's Mission District, and you'll find Rhonda, a thirty-year-old man suffering from depersonalization — a disorder allowing him to reconfigure his reality to tolerate trauma. When Rhonda was young he imagined the rooms of his house drifting apart like separating continents as he raced to avoid his mother's abusive boyfriend while trying to make sense of her extended disappearances.

The next stool over is Vern, a diaper-clad Vet nursing warm beers, who wishes for nothing more than the opportunity to re-break Rhonda's arm.

Beside Vern, Old Lady Rhonda, a neglected housewife who excels at Wheel of Fortune.

Some Things That Meant the World to Me is the gritty tale of a band of outcasts struggling to make sense of their broken pasts in this subtly affecting, achingly poignant, and mature debut novel.

"I'd like to brag about the night I saved a hooker's life. Like to tell you how quiet everything else in the world was while I helped her. This was in San Francisco. Late 2007. I'd been drinking in Damascus, my favorite dive bar, which was painted entirely black — floor, walls, and ceiling. Being surrounded by all that darkness had this slowing effect on time, like a shunned astronaut meandering in space."

Review:

"Mohr's first novel is biting and heartbreaking, a piercing look at the indelible scars a violent past has left on a young man named Rhonda. In the mental hospital where Rhonda spent his teenage years, a doctor he refers to as Angel-Hair diagnoses him with depersonalization, a disorder he uses to reconfigure the traumatic events of his life and render them in vividly surreal terms. To withstand the frequent absences of his alcoholic mother and her boyfriend's abuse, Rhonda imagines his childhood home in Arizona as a living thing, where rooms stretch and move, and desert wildlife wanders the halls. The disturbing narrative engine — Rhonda's renaming and reimagining of the world around him to fit into his damaged logic — keeps the story creepily moving as it touches on homebrew prison wine and Rhonda's friendship with his childhood self, little-Rhonda. Mohr uses punchy, tightly wound prose to pull readers into a nightmarish landscape, but he never loses the heart of his story; it's as touching as it is shocking, even if the ending's a smidge sappy." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Joshua Mohr's scorching, jacked-up prose nearly burned my eyes out; and his main character, a young man known as Rhonda, is one of the most troubled and heartbreaking people you will ever encounter in literature." Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff

Review:

"This bold new writer has an uncanny gift for tapping our most dangerous desires. Open the trapdoor at the bottom of the dumpster and prepare yourself to enter a wonderland where violence may pave your path to strange love and potent healing." Melanie Rae Thon, author of Sweet Hearts

Review:

"What Joshua Mohr is doing has more in common with Kafka, Lewis Carroll, and Haruki Murakami, all great chroniclers of the fantastic. He's interested in something weirder than mere sex, drugs, and degradation." Joshua Furst, The Rumpus

Review:

"In his first novel, Joshua Mohr nearly accomplishes a masterpiece." Grade: A Campus Circle

Review:

"A startling debut. Joshua Mohr takes us to a different city, but a city we know, populated by the dark side of ourselves." Stephen Elliott

Review:

"Mohr's prose roams with chimerical liquidity. The magic of this book is a disturbing, hallucinogenic magic, one that will jostle you back and forth..." Boston's Weekly Dig

Synopsis:

An imaginative, gritty tale that introduces a fresh new voice in American literature.

Synopsis:

Following a 30-year-old man named Rhonda suffering from depersonalization, Some Things That Meant the World to Me is a gritty and beautiful work that is creative and hypnotic, and should stand as an introduction of an original new voice to American literature.

When Rhonda was a child — abandoned and ignored by his mother; abused and misguided by his mother's boyfriend — he imagined the rooms of his home drifting apart from one another like separating continents. Years later, after an embarrassing episode as an adult, Rhonda's inner-child appears, leading him to a trapdoor in the bottom of a dumpster behind a taqueria that will force him to finally confront his troubled past.

In the spirit of Cruddy and Hairstyles of the Damned, Joshua Mohr has created a remarkable and unforgettable character in this charmingly poetic and maturely crafted first novel.

Synopsis:

#8 of 10 Terrific Reads of 2009. "Charles Bukowski will dig the grit in this seedy novel, a poetic rendering of postmodern San Francisco." -O, The Oprah Magazine

A Best Book of the Year -The Nervous Breakdown

"Where Michel Gondry would go if he went down a few too many miles of bad desert road." -The Collagist

"Mohr's prose roams with chimerical liquidity. The magic of this book is a disturbing, hallucinogenic magic." -Boston's Weekly Dig

Following a 30-year-old man named Rhonda suffering from depersonalization, Some Things That Meant the World to Me is a gritty and beautiful work that is creative and hypnotic, and should stand as an introduction of an original new voice to American literature.

When Rhonda was a child — abandoned and ignored by his mother; abused and misguided by his mother's boyfriend — he imagined the rooms of his home drifting apart from one another like separating continents. Years later, after an embarassing episode as an adult, Rhonda's inner-child appears, leading him to a trapdoor in the bottom of a dumpster behind a taqueria that will force him to finally confront his troubled past.

In the spirit of Cruddy and Hairstyles of the Damned, Joshua Mohr has created a remarkable and unforgettable character in this charmingly poetic and maturely crafted first novel.

Joshua Mohr has been published in Other Voices, The Cimarron Review, Pleiades, and Gulf Coast, among others. He lives in San Francisco and teaches at a halfway house.

About the Author

Joshua Mohr has been published in Other Voices, The Cimarron Review, Pleiades, and Gulf Coast, among others. He sings in the band Damn Handsome and The Birthday Suits. He lives in San Francisco and teaches at a halfway house. His second novel, From a Fragile Galaxy, is forthcoming from Two Dollar Radio in June 2010.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

andrew.o.dugas, August 13, 2010 (view all comments by andrew.o.dugas)
Best book I've read this year, hands down. Not since Chief Bromden in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest has an unreliable and psychotic narrator been so enthralling, nor has a reality that bends been so masterfully depicted.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
jabiz raisdana, May 19, 2009 (view all comments by jabiz raisdana)
In his brutally candid debut novel, Joshua Mohr creates a hauntingly detailed, beautiful yet wretched world familiar to every loser/saint trying to escape his or her downward spiral.

The carefully crafted prose leaves the reading hanging on every word, allowing the narrative to read like a series of tight flash fiction pieces, rather than a novel which can so often get bogged down by the weight of its plot. The short chapters, like snapshots, ultimately come together to create the complete story. Even while the characters wallow in their pain, shame, and darkness, Mohr’s voice maintains a stubborn perseverance that forces the reader to care about each of them.

In the spirit of downtrodden heroes ala Elliott Smith and Charles Bukowski, we follow the main character, Rhonda, down his path of near misses and ultimate failures. At every turn we are left hoping that he will succeed, knowing that his self-destructive behavior will never allow him redemption.

Flip-flopping between the present and flashbacks to Rhonda’s childhood abuse and subsequent therapy, Mohr painstakingly creates scene after scene where even, “emptiness can suffocate you, “ while a series of seemingly shallow characters, slowly gain depth as the plot unfolds.

Although Mohr confesses that, “sometimes things are so black they are more than a color; they are a place, a lonely solar system,” there is an element of hope hidden in his words, literally buried at the bottom of a dumpster, which forces the reader not to give up on Rhonda. By the time Rhonda confesses to being, “tired of being obliterated,” the reader is left to ponder whether or not Rhonda will find happiness.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Viva Lit, May 11, 2009 (view all comments by Viva Lit)
Loved this book. If you're into good, smart literature with an edge, then this is a great novel for you to check out. I couldn't put it down.

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780982015117
Author:
Mohr, Joshua
Publisher:
Two Dollar Radio
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Mothers and sons
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
7.6 x 5.3 x 0.7 in 8 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Jesus' Son New Mass Market $7.48
  2. Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse
    Used Trade Paper $8.00

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Fiction and Prose
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Some Things That Meant the World to Me New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.50 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Two Dollar Radio - English 9780982015117 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Mohr's first novel is biting and heartbreaking, a piercing look at the indelible scars a violent past has left on a young man named Rhonda. In the mental hospital where Rhonda spent his teenage years, a doctor he refers to as Angel-Hair diagnoses him with depersonalization, a disorder he uses to reconfigure the traumatic events of his life and render them in vividly surreal terms. To withstand the frequent absences of his alcoholic mother and her boyfriend's abuse, Rhonda imagines his childhood home in Arizona as a living thing, where rooms stretch and move, and desert wildlife wanders the halls. The disturbing narrative engine — Rhonda's renaming and reimagining of the world around him to fit into his damaged logic — keeps the story creepily moving as it touches on homebrew prison wine and Rhonda's friendship with his childhood self, little-Rhonda. Mohr uses punchy, tightly wound prose to pull readers into a nightmarish landscape, but he never loses the heart of his story; it's as touching as it is shocking, even if the ending's a smidge sappy." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , Joshua Mohr's debut novel is that rare literary gem: the kind of story that envelops you so wholly, you forget that you're reading. The kind of book you want to lend to everyone you know — except that you can't bear to part with it. I haven't felt this enamored of a book since I first encountered Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son more than a decade ago, and that is one of my "desert island" books.... (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "Joshua Mohr's scorching, jacked-up prose nearly burned my eyes out; and his main character, a young man known as Rhonda, is one of the most troubled and heartbreaking people you will ever encounter in literature."
"Review" by , "This bold new writer has an uncanny gift for tapping our most dangerous desires. Open the trapdoor at the bottom of the dumpster and prepare yourself to enter a wonderland where violence may pave your path to strange love and potent healing."
"Review" by , "What Joshua Mohr is doing has more in common with Kafka, Lewis Carroll, and Haruki Murakami, all great chroniclers of the fantastic. He's interested in something weirder than mere sex, drugs, and degradation."
"Review" by , "In his first novel, Joshua Mohr nearly accomplishes a masterpiece." Grade: A
"Review" by , "A startling debut. Joshua Mohr takes us to a different city, but a city we know, populated by the dark side of ourselves."
"Review" by , "Mohr's prose roams with chimerical liquidity. The magic of this book is a disturbing, hallucinogenic magic, one that will jostle you back and forth..."
"Synopsis" by ,
An imaginative, gritty tale that introduces a fresh new voice in American literature.
"Synopsis" by , Following a 30-year-old man named Rhonda suffering from depersonalization, Some Things That Meant the World to Me is a gritty and beautiful work that is creative and hypnotic, and should stand as an introduction of an original new voice to American literature.

When Rhonda was a child — abandoned and ignored by his mother; abused and misguided by his mother's boyfriend — he imagined the rooms of his home drifting apart from one another like separating continents. Years later, after an embarrassing episode as an adult, Rhonda's inner-child appears, leading him to a trapdoor in the bottom of a dumpster behind a taqueria that will force him to finally confront his troubled past.

In the spirit of Cruddy and Hairstyles of the Damned, Joshua Mohr has created a remarkable and unforgettable character in this charmingly poetic and maturely crafted first novel.

"Synopsis" by ,

#8 of 10 Terrific Reads of 2009. "Charles Bukowski will dig the grit in this seedy novel, a poetic rendering of postmodern San Francisco." -O, The Oprah Magazine

A Best Book of the Year -The Nervous Breakdown

"Where Michel Gondry would go if he went down a few too many miles of bad desert road." -The Collagist

"Mohr's prose roams with chimerical liquidity. The magic of this book is a disturbing, hallucinogenic magic." -Boston's Weekly Dig

Following a 30-year-old man named Rhonda suffering from depersonalization, Some Things That Meant the World to Me is a gritty and beautiful work that is creative and hypnotic, and should stand as an introduction of an original new voice to American literature.

When Rhonda was a child — abandoned and ignored by his mother; abused and misguided by his mother's boyfriend — he imagined the rooms of his home drifting apart from one another like separating continents. Years later, after an embarassing episode as an adult, Rhonda's inner-child appears, leading him to a trapdoor in the bottom of a dumpster behind a taqueria that will force him to finally confront his troubled past.

In the spirit of Cruddy and Hairstyles of the Damned, Joshua Mohr has created a remarkable and unforgettable character in this charmingly poetic and maturely crafted first novel.

Joshua Mohr has been published in Other Voices, The Cimarron Review, Pleiades, and Gulf Coast, among others. He lives in San Francisco and teaches at a halfway house.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.