Cult Classic: A Novel (Hardcover)
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.
"Like your favorite rom-com meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind . . . Crosley casts a spell with lightning wit, devilish dialogue, and walloping truths about how little reason there is to anything resembling love." —Booklist
"Crosley is nothing if not ambitious here, interrogating contemporary wellness culture and the very nature of love as [her narrator] confronts a gauntlet of ghosts from her romantic past . . . It’s Crosley’s analytical acumen and gift for the striking metaphor that really gives the book life. Thoughtfully and humanely acerbic." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Did the comic romantic thriller exist before Sloane Crosley, or has she invented it? Either way, Cult Classic is a classic. Funny, suspenseful, unputdownable, here is one of America’s wittiest writers at her best. A pleasure on every page.”
—Andrew Sean Greer, author of Less
“The witty, improbably propulsive rom-com you didn't know you were waiting for - and just the sparkling, slightly sinister love letter to New York City that New York City deserves. An effervescent delight.”
—Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot
"Cult Classic makes an uproarious time of romantic carnage. Crosley captures the brutal mirror of past love, the slow creep of ambivalence into dread, and the sense that a detour can easily become a life."—Raven Leilani, author of Luster
“Cult Classic is aimed with deadly accuracy at those unfortunate enough to have dated only during the twenty-first century. It’s witty—of course, because Sloane Crosley wrote it—and razor sharp, and very clever, ditto, but it’s more romantic and redemptive than one had any right to expect. It also contains one-liners destined to appear on T-shirts and coffee mugs. It’s so good. I couldn’t stop reading it.”
—Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity
"I love a secret society, and I love a wry narrator alive to the mysteries and absurdities of the world. Cult Classic has both, taking us on a journey that, even as it unspools into comic mayhem, only becomes more real. Here is a book that is unbelievably smart on modern love and startup mystics alike, and a Manhattan that feels accurate down to the molecule. Sloane Crosley can do it all."
—Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore