Some Things That Meant the World to Me

"Charles Bukowski fans will dig the grit in this seedy novel, a poetic rendering of postmodern San Francisco culminating in, of all places, Home Depot."

Following a 30-year-old man named Rhonda suffering from depersonalization, Some Things That Meant the World to Me is a gritty and beautiful work that is creative and hypnotic, and should stand as an introduction of an original new voice to American literature.

When Rhonda was a child – abandoned and ignored by his mother; abused and misguided by his mother’s boyfriend – he imagined the rooms of his home drifting apart from one another like separating continents. Years later, after an embarassing episode as an adult, Rhonda’s inner-child appears, leading him to a trapdoor in a most unlikely place that will force him to finally confront his troubled past.

In the spirit of Cruddy and Jesus' Son, Joshua Mohr has created a remarkable and unforgettable character in this charmingly poetic and maturely crafted first novel.
#8 of 10 Terrific Reads of 2009
"Meet Rhonda, a man who spends his haunted, liquor-fueled days Dumpster diving for redemption. With his first line—"I'd like to brag about the night I saved a hooker's life"—debut writer Joshua Mohr sucks you into Some Things That Meant the World to Me. Charles Bukowski fans will dig the grit in this seedy novel, a poetic rendering of postmodern San Francisco culminating in, of all places, Home Depot."
- O, The Oprah Magazine

A Best Book of the Year
"This trippy, hypnotic and volatile little novel packs immense punch into a slim volume. Mohr's debut shows more than promise for a rich, risk-taking future, and, with irreverent wit and a jolting attention to detail, gives a whole new spin to novels about the aftermath of "trauma." Amid a landscape of psychological surrealism, the protagonist, Rhonda, is unforgettably vulnerable and emotionally real."
- The Nervous Breakdown

San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
The San Francisco Chronicle interviews Joshua Mohr about his compulsion to write, as well as his and Some Things That Meant the World to Me's connection to the Mission District.

"What Joshua Mohr is doing has more in common with Kafka, Lewis Carroll, and Haruki Murakami, all great chroniclers of the fantastic. He's interested in something weirder than mere sex, drugs, and degradation."
- Joshua Furst, The Rumpus

"Joshua Mohr's debut novel is that rare literary gem: the kind of story that envelops you so wholly, you forget that you're reading. The kind of book you want to lend to everyone you know - except that you can't bear to part with it. I haven't felt this enamored of a book since I first encountered Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son more than a decade ago."
- Sheila Ashdown,

"Joshua Mohr’s debut novel, Some Things That Meant the World to Me, is where Michael Gondry would go if he went down a few too many miles of bad desert road. Replace the director’s Science of Sleep -style clouds-of-cotton whimsy with harsh whiskey and hot sand and you get a sense for the dark world Mohr constructs. Dark, yet not pitch black: he pits his vision of ugly realities against one of basic human kindness. It is this tension that gives his engaging novel its emotional power."
- Darby Dixon III, The Collagist

"Share[s] an affinity for the human condition, in all its selfish, demanding, utterly human reality . . . Some Things That Meant the World to Me embrace[s] and affirm[s] the value of the lives we're in."
- Kel Munger, Sacramento Bee

"Mohr's prose roams with chimerical liquidity. The magic of this book is a disturbing, hallucinogenic magic, one that will jostle you back and forth..."
-Boston's Weekly Dig

"Stunning . . . Mohr's protagonist Rhonda is unforgettably crafted, and this gritty tale of self-redemption is told with exacting prose and poetic insight."
- Largehearted Boy

"Mohr's first novel is biting and heartbreaking, a piercing look at the indelible scars a violent past has left on a young man named Rhonda. The disturbing narrative engine - Rhonda's renaming and reimagining of the world around him to fit into his damaged logic - keeps the story creepily moving as it touches on homebrew prison wine and Rhonda's friendship with his childhood self, little-Rhonda. Mohr uses punchy, tightly wound prose to pull readers into a nightmarish landscape, but he never loses the heart of his story; it's as touching as it is shocking."
-Publishers Weekly (*Starred)

"In his first novel, Joshua Mohr nearly accomplishes a masterpiece." Grade: A
-Campus Circle

"I’m not sad that Mohr’s novel isn’t on the summer bestseller lists. I’m hopeful that, as storytelling moves into the twenty-first century, I’ll have more experiences like one I had with this book: the discovery of an overlooked voice, which resonates and makes me feel less alone."
-Fiction Writers Review

#62 of Web100's Top 100 Books
"A novel of visceral realism and an exploration of a damaging youth."