Threshold by Rob Doyle
The narrator of Rob Doyle's Threshold has spent the last two decades traveling, writing, and imbibing drugs and literature in equal measure, funded by brief periods of employment or “on the dole” in Dublin. Now, stranded between reckless youth and middle age, his travels to far-flung places have acquired a de facto purpose: to aid the contemporary artist's search for universal truth.
Following Doyle from Buddhism to the brink of madness, Threshold immerses us in the club-drug communalism of the Berlin underworld, the graves of myth-chasing artists in Paris, and the shattering and world-rebuilding revelations brought on by the psychedelic DMT, the so-called “spirit molecule.”
Exulting in the rootlessness of the wanderer, Doyle exists in a lineage of writer-characters-W. G. Sebald, Ben Lerner, Maggie Nelson, and Rachel Cusk-deftly and subversively exploring forms between theory and autobiography. Insightful and provocative, Threshold is a darkly funny, genuinely optimistic, compulsively readable celebration of perception and desire, of what is here and what is beyond our comprehension.
March 31, 2020