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Fiction Threshold: Rob Doyle

Bloomsbury, €16.99

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Rob Doyle blurs the lines in 'Threshold' his auto-fiction novel that charts cultural excursions around the world

Rob Doyle blurs the lines in 'Threshold' his auto-fiction novel that charts cultural excursions around the world

Threshold by Rob Doyle

Threshold by Rob Doyle

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Rob Doyle blurs the lines in 'Threshold' his auto-fiction novel that charts cultural excursions around the world

Rob Doyle's new novel Threshold takes the form of 11 colourful auto-fictional essays, charting the author's cultural excursions around the world in search of the meaning of existence, and the next chemical high.

Auto-fiction blurs the line between memoir, autobiography, and fiction. Whereas fiction is entirely made up, and autobiography and memoir usually written by famous people, auto-fiction is fictionalised autobiography that does away with traditional elements of the novel such as plot and character development. In this way, Threshold is an experimental narrative about a thirty-something protagonist called Rob Doyle by, you guessed it, a thirty-something author called Rob Doyle, and on page 27 he puts the genre-explaining to bed and states simply: "For my purposes, a novel is simply a long chunk of prose in which whatever is said to have happened may or may not have actually happened."

Writing in The Guardian, Alex Clark writes that "auto-fiction… requires ego, it demands the bold determination to make a mark". And Rob Doyle certainly attempts to make his mark in this anecdotal recall of a decade spent getting drunk, masturbating and ingesting all manner of psychedelic drugs.