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Extended Audio Sample Damascus Audiobook, by Joshua Mohr Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 5 3.90 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Mohr Narrator: Christopher Evan Welch Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 1998 ISBN: 9781461847052
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It’s 2003 and the country is divided evenly for and against the Iraq War. Damascus, a dive bar in San Francisco’s Mission District, becomes the unlikely setting for a showdown between the opposing sides.

Tensions come to a boil when Owen, the bar’s proprietor who has recently taken to wearing a Santa suit full-time, agrees to host the joint’s first (and only) art show by Sylvia Suture, an ambitious young artist who longs to take her act to the dramatic precipice of the high-wire by nailing live fish to the walls as a political statement.

An incredibly creative and fully rendered cast of characters orbit the bar. There’s No Eyebrows, a cancer patient who has come to the Mission to die anonymously; Shambles, the patron saint of the hand job; Revv, a lead singer who acts too much like a lead singer; and Owen, donning his Santa costume to mask the most unfortunate birthmark imaginable.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Damascus succeeds in conveying a big-hearted vision.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • “At once gripping, lucid and fierce, Damascus is the mature effort of an artist devoted to personal growth and as such contains the glints of real gold.” 

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Rife with themes of humanity, passion, and determined resilience…This accomplished effort demonstrates Mohr’s rich, resonant prose, authentically rendered settings, and deft characterization.”  

    Publishers Weekly

  • Selected for the October 2011 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janey | 2/1/2014

    " I have enjoyed each of Josh's books - this one is the most tender, in some ways, and the most hopeful. His language pops off the page, and he renders character in deft and memorable ways. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie | 1/12/2014

    " I became so attached to the characters, I was disappointed to reach the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon Petry | 1/11/2014

    " 4.5 stars, I really enjoyed this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Fry | 12/13/2013

    " This was a good, quick story about a controversial art show at a dive bar in the Mission of SF. It has some pretty heart-breaking passages about dealing with cancer in a marriage. Definitely made me cry as I read it in bed while Peter was out of town. My only complaint is that the dialogue is not believable. The author uses words that people would never use in conversation. I think that this is Joshua Mohr's first novel so he's probably working on believable dialogue! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trenton | 12/6/2013

    " WHOA! Intense. Quick, absorbing read. This novel deals with a lot - self esteem, cancer, war, art, and much more; all in the setting of the gritty Mission District in San Francisco. I couldnt put it down. I am looking forward to reading more from this outstanding author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 11/16/2013

    " All the characters were messed up in completely lovable ways and that's what made Damascus enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 11/15/2013

    " Easily one of the best books I've read in recent memory. I would especially recommend this if you like character driven novels. And it's from an independent, local press (two dollar radio). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc Larrivée | 10/13/2013

    " Sad but with its head above water. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fiona | 10/11/2013

    " very good perceptive writing from a young hip voice. Hope to read his previous book soon. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 7/27/2013

    " Entertaining but not sufficiently original or witty to be the kind of noncomformist manifesto to which it aspires. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tyler Mcmahon | 5/12/2013

    " I've liked all Mohr's novels, and I think this is his best and most ambitious work thus far. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leorah | 4/26/2013

    " Excellent read! Wow! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 3/8/2013

    " Omg. Couldn't put it down. Raw, gritty and just plain real. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma | 12/27/2012

    " Far and away his best book. It will crack you up, break your heart, and make you think. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie Austin | 7/24/2012

    " Joshua Mohr is a hero. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keri | 6/3/2012

    " Really great! "Damascus" is the name of a dive bar in the Mission District of San Francisco. Nice character development that highlights the connections and power of love even in the midst of a seedy locale. Not as depressing as Bukowski, not as cliche as I make it sound either. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kailin | 12/17/2011

    " It was all going along so well, until the part where where JM tried to be Bret Easton Ellis, and then I just wasn't convinced. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 10/28/2011

    " Another great book from Mohr. What I love most are the characters in his books: their depth, their humanity, their realness. Awesome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 10/5/2011

    " So painful but sweet. These characters are flawed beyond belief but you can't help but love them, even if it hurts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 7/18/2011

    " Entertaining but not sufficiently original or witty to be the kind of noncomformist manifesto to which it aspires. "

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About the Author
Author Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr is the author of the novels Termite Parade, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice selection; Some Things That Meant the World to Me, one of O, The Oprah Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller; Damascus; and Fight Song—all published to much critical acclaim. Mohr teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.