Hilariously insightful and delightfully suspenseful, Cult Classic is an original: a masterfully crafted tale of love, memory, morality, and mind control, as well as a fresh foray into the philosophy of romance.
MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK of 2022 by Glamour, W, Nylon, Fortune, Lit Hub, The Millions, and more!
One night in New York City’s Chinatown, a woman is at a work reunion dinner with former colleagues when she excuses herself to buy a pack of cigarettes. On her way back, she runs into a former boyfriend. And then another. And . . . another. Nothing is quite what it seems as the city becomes awash with ghosts of heartbreaks past.
What would normally pass for coincidence becomes something far stranger as the recently engaged Lola must contend not only with the viability of her current relationship but with the fact that both her best friend and her former boss, a magazine editor turned mystical guru, might have an unhealthy investment in the outcome. Memories of the past swirl and converge in ways both comic and eerie, as Lola is forced to decide if she will surrender herself to the conspiring of one very contemporary cult.
Is it possible to have a happy ending in an age when the past is ever at your fingertips and sanity is for sale? With her gimlet eye, Sloane Crosley spins a wry literary fantasy that is equal parts page-turner and poignant portrayal of alienation.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Essayist Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) has written one of 2022’s wittiest and most imaginative novels. Lola is 37, newly engaged, and feeling ambivalent about settling down when she accidentally runs into an old boyfriend in New York’s Chinatown. The next night, she runs into another ex. And another one the night after that. Is the universe trying to get Lola to reconsider her impending marriage? Or does it have something to do with her former boss—a cross between Gwyneth Paltrow and Joe Rogan—who has become a new age influencer? A Manhattan romantic comedy that’s got tinges of magical realism, Cult Classic is a story about how relationships fundamentally change who we are, for better or worse. You’ll laugh on every page, but you’re likely to tear up more than once as well.
Crosley (The Clasp) offers a witty and fantastical story of dating and experimental psychology in New York City. After Lola, 37, bumps into two exes in two days, she suspects it's more than coincidence. Then her friend Vadis, with whom she used to work at a prestigious psychology journal, drags her to a meeting held by a secretive startup named Golconda run by their charming former boss, Clive Glenn. Clive is putting an obscure theory to the test involving meditation and technological manipulation, in which participants can lure people from their past for a final interaction and closure. Lola balks at the cultlike reverence the others show for Clive, as well as their New Agey vibe, but also hopes to clarify whether she really wants to marry her glassmaker fianc , Boots. With Boots away for two weeks in San Francisco, she signs up and spends every evening having brief interactions with exes, then returning to Golconda for debriefing. When a stressed-out Clive says they only have funding for one final encounter, Lola discovers something unsettling about the experiment. The accounts of Lola's reckoning with her romantic history are thoroughly hilarious (describing the rush of boyfriends past, she narrates, "I experienced these men as no one is supposed to experience them, as if being propelled from a T-shirt gun"), and the details of online dating, which made her "the victim of a metric ton of rejection," are also sharply perceptive, rooting this very much in the real world. Crosley has found the perfect fictional subject for her gimlet eye. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME.