Friday, September 27, 2013

"Mira Corpora" by Jeff Jackson

Two Dollar Radio, ISBN 978-1937512132

It's a rare day when I read a contemporary novel, and when I do, its fantastic when I read a great one.  Jeff Jackson's "Mira Corpora" is an amazing series of short narratives about a youth growing up in a world of pain and misery.  The lead character's name is "Jeff Jackson" but I am not sure if its true or not - and to me that's not important.  What is important is the visual images I get from his writing - slightly surreal, with a mixture of horror and beauty.   

The image that stays with me the most after reading this book is Jackson being tied to a tree in a dark (as it should be) forest with honey gook over his body, just waiting for the wild dogs to come by.   But saying that the narrative in this book is a real page-turner.  The pace moves in a nice pattern and the beauty of the writing is crystal clear.  I find a lot of heart in "Mira Corpora" but its never sweetness, but more of a bitter-sweet trip to the youth's underworld.   I love how the book goes from forest to urban city.  The location, although never stated, is important to the book.  It can be just a figment of the author's imagination, but it becomes real, in a dreamy way, through out the novel. 

I picked this book up at Skylight Books, because I needed to read something while waiting for someone - and at the time I was reading the new Pynchon novel.  "Mira Corpora" became a more important book for me to read and finish than Pynchon.  Which says a lot to the talent and vision of Jackson.  Also want to note that the book is beautifully designed.  A classic act!

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