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Termite Parade Paperback – July 1, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Told by three narrators, this is the fabulously grim if perhaps too intentionally murky tale of Mired (pronounced like the verb); her boyfriend, Derek; and his twin brother, Frank, as they fumble through the aftermath of Mired's strangely fateful drunken tumble down a flight of stairs. There were days I felt like the bastard daughter of a ménage à trois between Fyodor Dostoyevski, Sylvia Plath, and Eeyore, Mired says, and this could be said about the rest of the misanthropic trio as they spend the totality of the book trying to uncover truths about themselves and one another. Each has a chance to share parts of the story, and occasionally the brothers chime in together with childhood memories, which allows the story to lift itself, somewhat, from the confusion and disorder shared by the narrators. The prose, meanwhile, is oddly lovely, considering the characters' dark, boozy, mostly joyless worlds. As Derek grows more depressed and Frank has a falling out with his brother's girlfriend, the group moves toward a frenzied climax that calls for a tumbler of whiskey. (July)
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About the Author

JOSHUA MOHR is the author of the novels Some Things that Meant the World to Me, which was one of O Magazine's Top 10 reads of 2009, and the newly released Termite Parade, which was an Editor's Choice selection of The New York Times Book Review. He has an MFA from the University of San Francisco and has published numerous short stories and essays in publications such as 7×7, the Bay Guardian, Zyzzyva, The Rumpus, Other Voices, the Cimarron Review, Gulf Coast and Pleiades, among many others. He lives in San Francisco and teaches fiction writing. Please visit him at joshuamohr.net.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Two Dollar Radio; First Edition edition (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098201516X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982015162
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,989,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved "Some Things That Meant the World to Me," (STTMTWTM), as it was one of those books that the characters are so real and alive that they almost feel like disturbing family memories. I wanted to read another book like that and after reading the reviews of "The Termite Parade," I thought I'd get my fix. I have to say, there were times that I was reading it that I was just bored with the story and the characters altogether. I mean how many back and forth view points did I have to endure before Mired walked into the apartment? I ended up just skipping forward to just get to the undramatic point. It was like sex without the orgasm. I just didn't care about Mired's plight, Derek's whining self absorption and Frank's insipid movie. Sorry, I just can't rave about it like I can, "STTMTWTM." It felt like a formula book.
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Format: Paperback
Weirdly wonderfully dark hopeful novel that broke my heart but still made me laugh out loud. Something about the people in this book that get inside your skin and you can't help but to fall in love with them. There's something about Joshua Mohr's writing that leaves you breathless anticipating the characters next self destructive move. You so want them to want more for themselves, you really hope for them all the way along. The only problem with this book is that is sort of ruins you for other books for a long time. I wanted to immediately find another book like this one, but I don't think it exists. Mired, Derek and his twin Brother spiral downward to a final scene that explodes with emotion. I found myself holding my breath. You won't regret reading this. Then after you are done you should go and read 'Some Things That Meant The World To Me' because that's the only thing thats going to cure your longing.
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Format: Paperback
Joshua Mohr's second novel, Termite Parade, can best be summarized by the scraps of its own prose. The regurgitated chunks of text when spread out on a blank page are all one needs to understand the painful themes he has so tactfully woven into the perfectly paced plot. Ignoring any traces of sophomore novel angst, Mohr unabashedly allows the reader to wallow in the "vibrancy of creation" while he holds up "a mirror to humankind, so the animals could see themselves."

The idea of humans as animals is the backbone of Mohr's tale. He forces the reader into the cages of three characters who "reveal every contortion of their flimsy spirits," in everything they do and say. He unhurriedly creates a tapestry of shame, guilt, and regret. But rather than pity these lost souls who are trapped in their self-inflicted "dilapidated zoo," and floundering in their "arrogant betrayals," Mohr forces us to see ourselves in their malice and indignity.

Mohr's characters and their abusive existences act as a reminder to us all that the human spirit, while masquerading as noble and benevolent is really just, "seconds from crumbling away."

Early in the novel, Mohr states, "maybe there is no difference between evolution and devolution as long as it leads to change." He then spends the remainder of the book deconstructing his three characters down to their most base emotions, and he painfully unveils the animal in us all. By allowing us to relate to their self-loathing, Mohr helps us unhurriedly peel back the duplicity we all hide behind to survive. "What's the difference between lying to yourself and being redeemed?" He asks. Mohr dares us to admit that we don't all constantly lie to ourselves.
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