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Mira Corpora Paperback – Deckle Edge, September 24, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Two Dollar Radio (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937512134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937512132
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The protagonist of Jackson's macabre and experimental debut novel is Jeff, the son of an abusive mother who runs away from home at the age of 11 and leads an itinerant existence, haunted by his childhood memories. The episodic chapters track the stages of Jeff's life before and after his break: at six, he experiences transcendent beauty while hunting; when he's 12 he falls in with a colony of disaffected youths who ritually burn a corpse; at 14, while homeless, he and some other teens pursue a messianic guitar player; and a year later, he falls in with a sadistic older man who tries to take control of his body and his life. By the end of Jeff's surreal odyssey, at the age of 18, his years of wandering and exile may be over when he learns of his mother's death. Through an often sordid and savage phantasmagoria, Jackson, also a playwright blurs the boundaries between the real and the imaginary, creating an unsettling allegory of growth into adulthood. Despite leanings toward the absurd, the discrete chapters tend to read more like short stories, and by the end they hardly cohere into a unified whole. A coming-of-age story that rushes by in a kind of lyrical scream, the novel cannot entirely live up to its considerable pretensions. (Sept. 3)

Review

"One of the Books You Shouldn't Overlook in 2013"Slate
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"One of the 10 Best Debut Novels of 2013"Flavorwire
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"One of the 10 Best Novels of 2013"Largehearted Boy
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"A gutter punk Catcher in the Rye." - Shelf Awareness
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"Episodic yet suspenseful, the novel delivers both jolts to the spine and food for thought." - Bookforum
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"A beautiful and intense book." - Tin House
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"Mira Corpora is an astonishing piece of work. It will satisfy readers looking for both depth and entertainment." - CCLaP 
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"A mini-masterpiece that is as surreal and suspenseful as any fiction I have read." - Destroyer Magazine


"An impressive display of narrative plate spinning in which underground rock stars, formative sensual experiences, and wild animals all intersect and disperse into new ghostly shards. The prose captures a dreamlike tone that gives the reader the experience of walking into an abandoned house of mirrors where every pane of glass is as clouded over and oddly beautiful as the next; and yet there's a forcefulness to the writing that propels the book and sinks hooks into the imagination of the reader." - The Fanzine

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It's great piece, especially for a first novel.
Myro Benelli
I could not put this book down once I started reading!
shannon michelle barringer
Quick pace makes it a very quick and energetic read.
J. Taone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on September 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Fans of Adam Rapp's unsettling settings (33 snowfish), JT LeRoy/Laura Albert's characters (Sarah), and Dennis Cooper's content (George Miles cycle) will be prepared for 'MIRA CORPORA.' These authors and titles are not meant for comparison as much as they are meant to prepare the reader for the world they are about to enter. The content is harsh, but the beautiful prose allows the reader a little escape from the reality of Jeff's world. A quick read in that once you start, you won't want to finish. One of the top five books I've read this year!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David D. Katzman on October 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
Mira Corpora is one heckuva of a bleak book. And it packs quite an emotional wallop. I found very little positivity or hope within the text, but perhaps there was some lurking outside the story. I'll get to that in a bit.

Mira Corpora takes place in essentially six chapters with interludes at the beginning, middle and end. It's quite precisely structured for a book that is about pain, child abuse and the failure of society to care for its children. Each chapter features our main character, named Jeff, at a different age: My Year Zero (6 years old), My Life in Captivity (11 years old), My Life in the Woods (12 years old), My Life in the City (14 years old), My Life in Exile (15 years old), My Zero Year (18 years old). I will block the following as spoilers because it reveals the key plot points. To summarize, for those who don't want to read it...the kid has a really rough time of it and barely survives.

The greatest overriding theme here is about the forgotten. The children of our country being abandoned by society. This is true beyond the individual perspective of parents who abuse their kids. It is true from a societal perspective. We live in a cold, cold society. According to a Yale University study published in August in Pediatrics magazine, almost 30% of low-income women with children in diapers can't afford an adequate supply of them. The Department of Agriculture indicates that 17.6 million households in the United States regularly go hungry, up from 12 million ten years ago. But Republicans want to cut the food stamp budget by $40 billion over the next ten years. Of the 23 million households currently in the food stamp program, 3/4 of them include children. Does our society give a $%1#?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Wazan on September 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read Mira Corpora with fervor - it's a true page turner that transforms the typical coming-of-age-stories inside out. I thought it was a dark twin of The Hunger Games. Best of all, the novel will give you a better appreciation of the challenges faced by orphaned teenagers caught in the underworld of society. It's a view of life you rarely see in fiction.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julia Chitester on December 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a mom of 3 small kids, I wasn't sure I'd be the demographic for this novel, but I loved it! I've shared MIRA CORPORA with friends from all walks and ages -- 20s thru to 70s -- and so far no reader has come away disappointed. Across the board, MIRA CORPORA engages the reader from the outset and carries you on a fast-paced thrill ride through the underbelly of youth. If you are a fan of page turners like THE BOOK THIEF, THE HUNGER GAMES, and THE GOLDFINCH, I would highly recommend grabbing several copies of MIRA CORPORA. You'll want to share and discuss this with your friends. A perfect book club choice for the book club that actually discusses the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Odette on December 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
I have gotten out of the habit of reading a lot of books. And many books that I start, I do not finish. Once I started reading Jeff Jackson's book, Mira Corpora, I did not stop until I finished it. I plan to read it again, as I suspect there are layers of meaning that I have not discovered yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Fisher on December 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
First off, the imagery outlined by the text on the page is as rich and satisfying as the cover art and aesthetic thought put into the physicality of the book. This imagery gives the reader such a clear mental image of the scenes and actions that it's difficult not to be drawn back to them when reading further into the story. This aspect directly relates to recurring themes, ideas, and situations which tie the individual sections of Jeff Jackson's (the character) life together in very meaningful ways. These depictions also paint seemingly unreal situations with enough reality to make the reader question if this is a recounting of an actual event or if it's just a very talented writer using their inventiveness to blur the lines between real and fictional worlds.

The story unfolds as an adventure arranged as excerpts from different ages in Jeff's life. The first episode is filled with "memory gaps" relating to the human experience of recalling events in ways that may not be so true to the actual reality of history. This idea is accentuated by placing very little text on each page, breaking the action at spots of anticipation leading the reader to fill in the resolution written on the next page before turning to read what happens. Although the action of the story continues throughout the remainder of the book without this device, the artful writing allows the anticipation/resolution theme to occur again and again within the story, keeping the reader turning page after page.

Do yourself a favor and buy this book. Do everyone else a favor and recommend buying this book. We need more work from this author. I'm highly anticipating it.
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