All This Life

Joshua Mohr (Author)


Morning rush hour on the Golden Gate Bridge. Amidst the river of metal and glass a shocking event occurs, leaving those who witnessed it desperately looking for answers, most notably one man and his son Jake, who captured the event and uploaded it to the internet for all the world to experience. As the media swarms over the story, Jake will face the ramifications of his actions as he learns the perils of our modern disconnect between the real world and the world we create on line.

In land-locked Arizona, as the entire country learns of the event, Sara views Jake's video just before witnessing a horrible event of her own: her boyfriend's posting of their intimate sex tape. As word of the tape leaks out, making her an instant pariah, Sara needs to escape the small town's persecution of her careless action. Along with Rodney, an old boyfriend injured long ago in a freak accident that destroyed his parents' marriage, she must run faster than the internet trolls seeking to punish her for her indiscretions. Sara and Rodney will reunite with his estranged mother, Kat, now in danger from a new man in her life who may not be who he - or his online profiles - claim to be, a dangerous avatar in human form.

With a wide cast of characters and an exciting pace that mimics the speed of our modern, all-too-connected lives, All This Life examines the dangerous intersection of reality and the imaginary, where coding and technology seek to highlight and augment our already flawed human connections. Using his trademark talent for creating memorable characters, with a deep insight into language and how it can be twisted to alter reality, Joshua Mohr returns with his most contemporary and insightful novel yet.

Product Details

$25.00  $23.00
Soft Skull Press
Publish Date
July 14, 2015
6.1 X 1.3 X 9.1 inches | 1.2 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Joshua Mohr is the author of the novels Termite Parade (a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice selection), Some Things that Meant the World to Me (one of O Magazine's Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller), Damascus, and Fight Song, all published to much critical acclaim. Mohr teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.


Praise for All This Life

"All This Life shifts deftly between dark comedy and pathos, often holding both within a single moment. The ingeniousness of the book is that its form follows its content: The novel is structured on the big and small connections between people, just like the social networks it discusses... Rendered with a colorful intricacy and subversive spirit, "All This Life" shows us San Francisco as it vanishes under the spell of social media. Mohr is a perceptive chronicler of how we live, feel -- and avoid feeling -- this very minute."--San Francisco Chronicle

"As Mohr's memorable characters converge, All This Life raises profound questions about the growing influence online reality has on our lives."

"The book takes itself seriously, ably balancing its many story lines while it builds to a breathless climax. The characters' strong emotions provide a current of barely contained anguish that threatens to overtake their lives as it pushes them forward....Mohr delivers a solid look at the distinction between our offline and online lives and the danger that lurks when the lines between them are blurred. Thoughtful crossover fiction of interest to adult and YA audiences."--Booklist

"Mohr's narrative is by turns heartrending and humorous, with never a dull moment. Readers will love this cast of characters."--Publishers Weekly, boxed review

"Mohr's portrayal of a rapidly gentrifying San Francisco rings true....Mohr's novel builds slowly, and his empathy for the majority of his characters shines through, allowing for a genuinely felt conclusion."--Kirkus

"Mr. Mohr has found a way to articulate our disconnectedness for all of us. Highly recommended." --Sensitive Skin

"Joshua Mohr is a rabble-rouser whose first four novels have earned him a near cultish following. Now, with All This Life, Mohr wades into the dark territory of cyber voyeurism, internet shaming, tweets, Youtube, and streaming anger. Trouble spreads like wildfire in this compelling novel, and with brutal honesty, and empathy for his diverse cast of characters, Mohr refuses to flinch." --Tom Barbash, author of Stay Up With Me

"A place belongs forever to the person who claims it the hardest, wrote Joan Didion, about herself, and California, and with All This Life, Joshua Mohr solidifies his claim on the San Francisco of right this minute, a city he loves so much it hurts. Fearless, not only in its willingness to penetrate our real and virtual desperation, but also in its insistence on the tender tenacity of hope, this Tilt-a-Whirl of a novel spins along at cyber-speed to its profound and utterly human finale." --Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted

Praise for Fight Song

"With his fourth novel, Joshua Mohr pushes himself into bold new territory and doesn't skip a beat. Fight Song is a whimsical, madcap, delightfully depraved fable for our age." --Jonathan Evison

"A wry, intelligent, and sublimely funny novel, Fight Song answers Big Questions while keeping the reader entirely absorbed and thoroughly entertained." --Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers

"Bob Coffen of Joshua Mohr's Fight Song is among the most vivid characters I've encountered in recent fiction. He's a man so alive on the page, funny, self-depreciating, confused. We can all relate. As much love song as fight song, I found myself rooting for Coffen on every page of this surprising and poignant book." --Peter Orner

"It's hard to believe a suburban father's desperate quest to turn his life around could be so much fun, but that's exactly how readers are likely to react to Fight Song... a brisk, contemporary Odyssey with Cyclops and the sirens replaced by a cast of characters including a crying magician, who doubles as a marriage counselor and a bodybuilding fast-food worker who moonlights as a phone-sex operator. Mohr...brings a dollop of David Sedaris-like humor to the pathos. While irreverent, he gets to the heart of real emotion with bracing frankness...It's a surprisingly sweet, rollicking tribute to anyone who's ever needed a fight song to fight back." --Booklist

"Mohr has a clever imagination, and this book... hinges on some universal issues, namely, Bob's struggles to rekindle his romance, recapture his creativity, and regain control of his life. To the book's credit, Mohr never loses the story's emotional heart." --Kirkus Reviews

"An unusual take on a mid-life crisis narrative, Mohr's novel... offers unexpected--often brilliant--confrontations of modern clichés...Mohr's elegant writing and colorful milieu is refreshing, an interesting mix of Charles Bukowski and Tom Robbins, with a cinematic heaping of the Coen brothers for good measure." --Publishers Weekly

"Fight Song is, as Bob realizes can be true of video games, 'fun and smart at the same time.' It demonstrates what I have long suspected: Our most powerful moments occur not in adolescence but in middle age, when the stakes are higher and we have so much more to lose." -- Natalie Bakopoulos, San Francisco Chronicle

"Not many authors can shift from satire to sentiment so easily, but Mohr is a clever enough writer that he manages to pull this off. His ear for comic dialogue rescues his scenes and lifts up his novel again and again. As the plot in Fight Song becomes increasingly surreal, it gets funnier, and the emotional veins it taps into grow more real and textured. The novel becomes a kind of parable, a story of man searching for redemption." --Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times

"Mohr paints a perfect picture of suburbia, frustrated dreams, and the aching desire inside all of us. By turns funny and heartbreaking, Mohr's novel pulls us into a world of prim hedges and socioeconomic comfort, which is not as comfortable as it may at first seem. Rousing and refreshing, Fight Song is an ode to embracing our freedom." --Interview Magazine

"The book is a humorous ride through one week in the life of a middle age man who is going off the rails. But it's also a critical look at how suburbia has been taken over by gadgets and corporations, as well as the stasis that traps people inside their jobs and within their gated communities... Fight Song has the reader pleading with Bob to try to escape the madness of his inert life." --ZYZZYVA

"...a Generation X call-to-arms about facing mid-life on our own terms with the unique heart that beats inside us all...Poignant, honest, and funny as hell. As diverse and unpredictable as Generation X itself, Fight Song captures the symbolism in the world we face while giving us permission to laugh at ourselves and the choices we've made in the process." --Huffington Post

"For its irreverent beat, relentless energy, and sharp, funny characters, Fight Song may as well be titled Battle Cry." --The Rumpus

"Think This is 40 set in Silicon Valley, filtered through Little Miss Sunshine with echoes of Wall-E and American Beauty - but uplifting!" --San Francisco Magazine

Praise for Damascus

"The author's jaunty voice [is] Beat-poet cool...Mohr nails the atmosphere of a San Francisco still breathing in the smoke that lingers from the days of Jim Jones and Dan White, a time when passionate ideologies and personal dysfunction intermingled and combusted." --New York Times Book Review

"At once gripping, lucid and fierce, 'Damascus' is the mature effort of an artist devoted to personal growth and as such contains the glints of real gold." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Damascus succeeds in conveying a big-hearted vision." --The Wall Street Journal

"The novel has real impact. Reading like a cross between Harry Crews and Armistead Maupin, it has a wacky authenticity and demonstrates the preciousness of life." --Library Journal (starred review)

"[An] assured new gritty and sordid as its details are, Damascus has a soft, sentimental heart." --The Columbus Dispatch

"On top of the hefty dose of empathy, Damascus is a page-turner. Mohr's got an inherent ability to spin a yarn; it's as if he's standing over your shoulder lighting each page with a match as you read." --The Rumpus

"With a remarkably subtle hand, Mohr leads the reader through a minefield of explosive topics...'Damascus' transcends all that and is nothing less than a primer on how to love those incapable of loving themselves." --San Diego Citybeat

"This is exactly what makes Damascus such a powerful novel - Mohr manages to craft characters that are despicable at first but as they grow, the reader grows, and we then find ourselves cheering them on in the face of adversity, themselves, love, life, reality, and death." --Pank Magazine

"The ghosts of Charles Bukowski and Richard Brautigan may whisper in the background of 'Damascus' but Mohr speaks to us with a unique and original voice. He is the new millennium street poet of San Francisco's Mission District." --3 A.M. Magazine

"Damascus [is] a chimerical beast of a book, not yet seen north of the millennium." --Vol. 1 Brooklyn

"Seeing plot and character converge so seamlessly is a rare treat in contemporary fiction." --Word Riot

"Some of the humorous touches may remind readers of the prose of Bukowski, but where he would have shined the spotlight on their drunken stupor, Mohr reveals a more thoughtful, existential consideration of who these people are. If his work continues in this vein, we may one day instead see Bukowski being compared with Mohr." --Shelf Awareness

"Mohr's writing is appealing because it is raw and unfiltered, overheard on the street or from the next bar stool." --The Sun Break

"This ensemble novel is skillfully painted in shades of grey, and every one of its characters resonates. Most impressively, the ease with which Mohr ties together their disparate stories. A truly masterfully written work of fiction." --Largehearted Boy (includes playlist for Damascus)

"Quite a feat. Mohr treats his characters with such tenderness that he managed to squeeze the blood of empathy from this turnip I call a heart." --Lit Reactor

"A better understanding of our sweetly seedy city we could not ask for. Mohr wonders who might hang out in a Mission dive the Iraq war changes everything a world away and just outside." --SF Weekly

"Mohr's craftsmanship and deft subtlety in characterization comes into nuanced play as he sets the scene." --Seattle PI

"The story is moving, bitterly charming, sometimes depressing, but always engaging."
--HTML Giant (includes interview)

"Damascus is part barroom Dickensian cultural dissection and part Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Magnolia', a wide lens look at the frail and yearning, the artists and poets and cancer patients and prostitutes and bartenders and war vets and rock singers who proliferate the novel's dive bar setting. Here the all-seeing narration hovers like God's eye over the resultant turmoil, and who sees into all hearts and minds, into the confused and inarticulate core of humankind, all forced to face the consequences of their actions, held to the flame of accountability." --Red Fez

"As a study of cancer, which claimed Mohr's father, 'Damascus' is most successful, describing in bold and lyrical detail the horrors, physical and psychological, faced by the disease's victims and the people left in its wake." --- San Francisco Chronicle

"It is impressive how vividly Mohr paints his characters, and how richly he weaves their stories in a book just slightly over 200 pages...they are beautifully alive." --Devourer of Books

"Rivaling Tony O'Neill's grittiness and Dave Eggers' polished prose, Mohr is an articulate writer with another cult classic on his hands." --Small Press Reviews

"Damascus is graceful at heart, but full of stumbling characters and stumbling lives. Mohr's ability to mix humor and grief and sympathy together is enviable and brilliant." --Blank Slate Press

"Mohr presents poignancies so sharp the cuts they leave won't heal." --Decomp Magazine