by Sloane Crosley
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Pub Date 4 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 19 Aug 2022
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ), Bloomsbury Circus
One night in New York City's Chinatown, Lola is at a dinner with former colleagues when she excuses herself to buy a pack of cigarettes. On her way back, she runs into a former boyfriend. The next night, she runs into another ex. And then… another. The city has become awash with ghosts of heartbreaks past.
What might have passed for coincidence becomes something far stranger when the recently engaged Lola must contend not only with the viability of her current relationship, but the fact that her best friend and her former boss – a magazine editor turned mystical guru – might have an unhealthy investment in its outcome. As memories of the past swirl and converge, Lola is forced to decide if she will surrender herself to the conspirings of one very contemporary cult.
A smart, sharp and hugely entertaining tale of luck and love, Cult Classic asks: is it possible to have a happy ending in an age when the past is ever at your fingertips and sanity is for sale?
‘The witty, improbably propulsive rom-com you didn't know you were waiting for' ELIF BATUMAN
‘Razor sharp and very funny on the cult of modern dating' PANDORA SYKES
‘So good. I couldn't stop reading it' NICK HORNBY
‘Cult Classic makes an uproarious time of romantic carnage' RAVEN LEILANI
'A witty and fantastical story of dating and experimental psychology in New York City' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 21 members
Read this if you’ve ever run into an ex and questioned your existence (plus, add a cult!). It was a bit disorienting to find a romantic comedy (in novel form) that I actually enjoyed! but Crosley’s setup is so fun - she presents a mystery of sorts in which our recently engaged narrator, Lola, begins running into many of her exes in New York, so much so that it’s clearly not a coincidence (cult!!!). the novel gradually reveals itself to be a dissection of monogamy and the romance industrial complex, but moreso, the ways in which our emotional baggage splices itself into our present whether we like it or not. Lola’s quippy narration makes this hard to put down, and there were two twists by the end that completely took me by surprise. Crosley finely balances her idea of the cult of romance as a structure for one’s life with a literal cult to amusing ends. a perfect summer read!
This is that smart book which is also fun, a bit kooky and easy to read that I always want to take on holiday. Lola's voice is witty and sharp in that distinctively NY way, and the dissection of modern dating is irresistible, and not in a chic lit-y way. In fact, the ideas about closure and the baggage of relationships give this some depth without compromising on the wackiness - overall, cool and exuberant.
I found this book to be a really quirky and fun little read. The voice of the narrator is very distinctive. The twists and turns in this novel were fantastic. I found this novel was a very fresh take on the complications of relationship and closure.
Romance may be the world’s oldest cult.
If you’re wondering what romance and cults have in common and whether it’s possible for a rom-com to feature a cult, then you have come to the right place.
Lola, engaged to be married to a man only known as “Boots”, has one foot out of the relationship. She is indecisive, keeping a box of every memento from every past relationship, and living in the past. And then, she runs into an ex. In fact, a string of exes and the lines between past and present start to blur. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Lola is not the only one invested in her lovelife. A former boss turned cult-leader has some very real stakes in the outcome.
This novel explores the nature of romance, who you are when you are in love and who you have to sacrifice to keep it (metaphorically, of course!). Crosley looks at the modern ailment of choice when it comes to love, and how most people are only a click away from getting back in contact from a past lover. The heart of this novel is love, but there is nothing soppy about it. The writing is witty and razor sharp, with amusing commentary on romance to capitalist America. Even Crosley’s Goodreads review of the novel is excellent: “Cult Classic features wonderfully clear font, modest margins and straight lines (zero wobbles). I found it to be a smooth reading experience and hope you’ll feel the same.”
The cult aspect of this novel drew me in, but it will definitely be Crosely’s writing and ideas that will keep me on the lookout for her next novel.
Thanks to @Netgalley and @bloomsburypublishing for the arc
Lola is at dinner in New York’s Chinatown with a group of old co-workers, ruminating on her uncertain feelings towards her upcoming nuptials, when she suddenly starts encountering all of her ex romantic partners. Is it mere coincidence or could it be something more…
I adore Sloane Crosley’s writing, so I was extremely excited to make a foray into her fiction. The thing I enjoy most about her writing is that idiosyncratically wry New York style of narration that shines through in her essay collections, and I was glad to see that this distinctive tone remains in Cult Classic.
Crossley skillfully blends a range of genres to create this magically unique tale and each encounter with a former boyfriend prompts a new revelation. It is well paced and witty, with frequent incisive observations on modern romance.
Overall, the plot revolves around an extremely unique, clever concept and it was hilarious and insightful in equal measure. Well worth a read.
Thank you to Net Galley and Bloomsbury Publishing for providing an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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