The controversial novel about food, love, and terrorism. Somewhere in the Middle East, an aspiring terrorist has been entrusted with a mission that will reverberate around the world: to deliver a bomb to a hotel in Beirut, where the detonation will destroy hundreds of innocent lives. If he remains true to his cause, he will bring about his own death. Yet life holds such tantalizing delights: food (his secret vice), the heady pleasures of bicycle racing, the joys of unexpected love. As the days count down to the final, chilling moment of reckoning, this angst-ridden gourmand ponders his existential quandary -- with horrifying and hilarious results. A slyly subversive black comedy about a food-fixated terrorist who dreams of liberation through a world of eroticism and sensuality, The Cyclist combines absurdist humor and edgy lyricism to tell a provocative, page-turning tale of individual freedom and political violence.
Viken Berberian is a novelist and author of The Cyclist. He has written for The New York Times, the Financial Times and the Los Angeles Times. For the past five years he has lived and worked in Manhattan, Paris and Marseille.
Los Angeles TimesThe Cyclist provokes both horror and sympathy as it examines the Middle East's never-ending cycle of violent retribution.
Entertainment Weekly The incantatory prose gumbo is redolent of Nabokov.
The Boston Globe In his stunning debut novel, The Cyclist, Viken Berberian dishes up an absurd yet appealing recipe. The yield is a surreal odyssey. Throughout, Berberian heaps on profound and frequently witty insight into often unexplored territory.
The Philadelphia Inquirer One of the most original American novels of the year. An engrossing, absurdist tragicomedy about food, love, bicycle racing, and terrorism. Berberian is a brash stylist whose lyrical writing style makes the book an electric read.