Synopses & Reviews
is the second novel from San Francisco Chronicle best-selling author Joshua Mohr. It is a mature look at the honest side of human interaction.
Derek drops his black-out drunk and verbally abusive girlfriend, Mired, down a flight of stairs in their apartment building on purpose, and then calls his estranged twin brother Frank to help clean up the mess.
Mired thinks she fell and blames herself; Frank knows better; Derek, ravaged with guilt, plays along before ditching town altogether.
Termite Parade examines how Derek, Mired, and Frank cope with the incident, and, more deeply, the concepts of how we love one another; whether individuals are capable of change or whether we simply are who we are; and how capable we are, despite being an extremely intelligent and evolved species, of being savage animals.
"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 mnage 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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Mohr's prose roams with chimerical liquidity." Boston's Weekly Dig
"[A] wry and unnerving story of bad love gone rotten. [Mohr] has a generous understanding of his characters, whom he describes with an intelligence and sensitivity that pulls you in. This is no small achievement." The New York Times Book Review
"Similar to Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment: the most crucial action serves as a portal to and wellspring for the various psychologies of its characters. But Mohr's storytelling is so absorbing that Termite Parade does not read like an analytical rumination; if he is examining the very nature of these characters under a microscope, he at least lets the specimens speak for themselves." San Francisco Chronicle
"Mired (rhymes with tired
) is a woman with rather poor taste in men. One former boyfriend drunkenly urinated in her closet. Another, a dreadlocked white boy, drunkenly shaved her head. Anybody notice a trend here? When she finally met somebody who would tolerate her self-destructive behavior, she dumped him because she didn't want to attend his drum circle. She doesn't hold up much better with her current beau, Derek, who, after enduring an embarrassing drunken rant, drops Mired down a flight of stairs in a moment of blind fury." Gerry Donaghy, Powells.com
(read the entire Powells.com review
A mature second novel from the best-selling author of Some Things That Meant the World to Me.
About the Author
Joshua Mohr is the author of 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 Other Voices, The Cimarron Review, Pleiades, and Gulf Coast, among others. Joshua is a regular contributor to TheRumpus.net, teaches writing in San Francisco, and sings in the band Damn Handsome and The Birthday Suits. Please visit him at joshuamohr.net.