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Termite Parade

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  210 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
"[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 (Editor's Choice)

“Similar to Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment: the most crucial action serves as a portal to and wellspring for
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Two Dollar Radio (first published 2010)
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20th out of 47 books — 30 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 26, 2013 Rayroy rated it it was amazing
Wow. Fast paced at break neck speeds, “Termite Parade” starts with a visit to a dentist office and not a routine check-up, it’s unplanned , a visit to fix a mouth full broken teeth. Like he did with his first novel “SomeThings That Meant the World To Me”, Joshua Mohr instantly drags the reader inward to a moving, at times disgusting, dark and funny novel. This time around the novel is told through three different perpestives of a relationship that’s all sorts of messed up. Very few novels I have ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jul 22, 2010 Lolly K Dandeneau rated it it was amazing
Having won this on Goodreads, I couldn't wait to read it. I loved Some Things That Meant the World To Me and knew his next novel would capture my emotions.
I had just had a serious infection in my cheek and had a tooth pulled, so reading Mired's dental 'accident' really made me hurt.The 'piss' scene in the novel made me cringe, because it happens to be the most foul smell in the world to me. How many books can make me feel things physically? Not many but Joshua Mohr's writing certainly has that g
K.M. Soehnlein
Aug 16, 2010 K.M. Soehnlein rated it it was amazing
Joshua Mohr hooks you with an inflammatory situation and then does something necessary and remarkable: he refuses to back away from the consequences. Three characters share the narration, linked to each other and the central event and also sharing a kind of self-destructive poetic view of themselves that plays itself out over the course of a few days' time. I was up until 3 am finishing it -- just couldn't flinch from the masterfully suspenseful ending.

Termite Parade is a great example of putti
Review copy from publisher

Do not let the book cover of Termite Parade turn you off. Seriously.

If you are like me, and hate anything that creeps and crawls, this book cover will make your stomach turn. You will take one look at that wide open mouth with termites climbing out of it, and want to gag. Your hands might shake, and your knees might get weak, and your upper lip and forehead might bead with sweat, but do yourself a favor and GET OVER IT.

Grab a copy of this book.
Here's why:

Have you ever b
Catherine Siemann
Jul 10, 2010 Catherine Siemann rated it really liked it
Joshua Mohr is a talented writer -- the prose in this novel is effortless and engaging. Termite Parade is the story of Mired (who claims Sylvia Plath, Dostoesvsky and Eeyore as her true ancestors) and Derek, whose relationship is spiralling rapidly downward as their dysfunctions get the better of them. Adding to the complications is Derek's twin brother, Frank, a video editor and would-be auteur who is determined to realize his Animal Unveiled documentary concept at all costs. The book works wel ...more
Antonia Crane
This fast read begins like all of my favorite things do: alcohol poisoning. The bender continues using frozen peas as ice cubes as the "monster twin" pours another whiskey and peas. It's a terrible familiar. You'd think the sickness would end with the pea thing. You'd think the author would have the decency to march out a character with some redeeming qualities you'd like to attach some affection to. Perhaps a character who doesn't say awful jealous things at her boyfriend's party and cause a sc ...more
Stephanie Griffin
Dec 11, 2011 Stephanie Griffin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: readers seeking an intelligent new voice.
TERMITE PARADE, by Joshua Mohr, is about people’s dreams, hopes, personal history, and mistakes. It’s about how your thoughts can eat away at your soul like termites eating wood. Mohr is a fairly recent addition to the published scene but his books are among the best out there.
Derek and Mired, living together in San Francisco, have a very flawed relationship. They’re untruthful, violent, suspicious, and distrusting with each other. After Derek drops a drunk Mired down the stairs of their buildin
Charles Dee Mitchell
Oct 27, 2015 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary-lit
Before writing this I thought I’d take a look at what I had to say five years ago about Mohr’s first novel, Some Things that Meant the World to Me. Turns out I read it during one of my periods of single-sentence reviews, and I wrote only, “I am glad everything turned out relatively well.” I could say the same thing about Termite Parade, because “things turning out relatively well” is one of the attractions of the novel, but I’ll go a bit further.

Within the first few pages I was ready to call it
Jun 19, 2010 Alvin rated it it was amazing
Mohr sets the action in all his novels within a few blocks of my home (we're neighbors), which I appreciate since it makes me feel better about how little I travel.
Nov 07, 2011 Brandy rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly effective read, especially when you consider how fast-paced it is. By effective I mean, I feel pretty icky about the whole thing. Termite Parade is about Derek and Mired, a superbly dysfunctional, alcoholic couple who gets into a fight at a party. On the drive home Mired half passes out and flings accusations at her boyfriend who later intentionally drops her down a flight of stairs. And then guilt, remorse, selfishness, and a whole slew of deranged feelings sets in and the ...more
Jul 28, 2010 S.J rated it really liked it
I won this book on Goodreads. As you can see I only gave this book two stars,but I think it probably deserves more. It wasn't a bad book at all,but the characters were so flawed and made so many mistakes I had no empathy for any of them,which I know wasn't the point,but still. They were all responsible,no matter their reasons, for the predicaments they found themselves in. But while I didn't feel sorry for any of the characters(least of all Frank),I still wanted good things for them,well,if some ...more
Dec 26, 2010 christa rated it it was ok
There is this pit that so many writers fall into when they have a character in crisis: They send the muddy brained protagonist on a road trip. In the case of Joshua Mohr's novel "Termite Parade," Derek points his truck toward Reno. He's on the run from one of those epic social shames of a night out with his hot tempered girlfriend Mired. The night started with a Bon Voyage party for one of Derek's lady friends, during which Mired marinates in booze and makes all sorts of embarrassingly loud insi ...more
Sep 22, 2010 Miriam rated it it was amazing
When I read the review of this book, in PW or NY Times, I thought it was going to be a really good, bleak story about horrible characters with horrible lives that I couldn't relate to at all. Instead it was a really good, bleak story whose characters, while not really similar to me or my life, somehow hit uncomfortably close to home. Usually books written in multiple viewpoints are a bit hard for me because I invariably gravitate to one of the tellers and feel wrenched away from that narrative w ...more
Jul 24, 2010 Oriana marked it as to-read
Well I really liked Some Things that Meant the World to Me, and this one sounds like a terrif follow-up.

From the review

What comes across most clearly in Termite Parade is the authenticity of the characters' struggles: a desire to be good that conflicts with an impulse to be cruel; wanting to be loved, but not at the expense of being taken for granted. Yes, the characters are all ridiculously self-centered, but they are also self-aware. They are conscious of the fallout their behavior
Jun 18, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who don't hold back punches
Shelves: 2011
SNAPPY. This whole book is fully of snappy... dialogue, one liners, situations, the cover art for chrissakes... ideas all snap, crackle and pop. The story centers around Mired (pronounced like the verb) and her boyfriend Derek - with a twin Frank. When Mired catalogs her "museum of emotional failures" it's not only relatable but laugh out loud funny. When shit happens to them, the main story so to speak, you know it's weird and interesting but not so weird that I couldn't picture it happening. T ...more
Yossi Gremillion
Jul 23, 2015 Yossi Gremillion rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
F***ing genius! Mesmerizing story. Rarely am I able to start and finish a book in three days and feel so engaged and can relate to its characters, but this is just ASTOUNDING
Hope Morgan
Aug 17, 2016 Hope Morgan rated it liked it
This was pretty good. The style was a bit strange, but you get used to it. A very quick read. Not too deep, just entertaining.
Mar 20, 2011 Bronwyn rated it it was ok
So I have this thing about teeth. Damaged teeth really freak me out: cracked teeth, broken teeth, the curb-stomping scene in American History X, the phrase "shards of tooth." These are not things I prefer to see or read about. I finished this book despite the fact that about 95% of it involves, in some way, massive tooth trauma. That's really what stuck with me from this book. Descriptions of what someone's mouth looks and feels like after falling down a flight of stairs and landing on your face ...more
Jun 11, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
I read "Some Things That Meant The World To Me " by this author a few months ago and loved it. I didn't like this book as well, I found several elements of the story to be distracting and the alternating points of view of the characters a little confusing at times. By the end of the book, I thought it had been a pretty satisfying read, I would rate it as "good", but not nearly as compelling as the book previously mentioned.
Jan 16, 2012 Ronni rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Realistically, I should give this 5 stars, because .5 rounds up, not down, and this one is a solid 4.5. But I can't quite get myself to give this a 5, because I can think of tons of people I wouldn't recommend this book to. Still, I love it. If I could only list one reason, I'd say, because Mohr conveys how life is painful yet funny, futile yet satisfying, and other strange combinations.
Sep 22, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
I liked this book a lot, especially the character of Mired, but really everyone seemed completely plausible. It says a lot about the power of redemption, who's worth saving, and what's worth changing. I've checked out several other books by the same indie publisher (Two Dollar Radio), so we'll see how that goes.
Aug 04, 2010 Tom rated it really liked it
A story of three morally compromised people: compromised by irresponsibility, by self-deception, by lies they tell others. Of course, a time comes when the debts are called in. The question is whether persons so mired in their own stew can skim off the crud and get to the meat of their better selves.
Lori Crossley
A refreshing new voice in novels. It's strange to finish a book with thoroughly reviling characters that you enjoyed reading. Mohr has a decidedly black sense of humor and the acknowledgement pages offer up a little chuckle. Will definitely pick up Some Things that Meant the World to Me.
Jan 25, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing
Another great novel from Mohr. Again his focus is on hurt, broken characters. He brings them to life well, and their interactions feel true. Sometimes funny, often sad, and usually insightful into its characters and their lives, Termite Parade is excellent. Mohr continues to be a writer to watch.
Dec 28, 2010 Sheen rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this book. Mohr is a wonderful writer who explores the dark side of human nature through optimism and hope. His prose and characters are sad and pitiful and so very human. Maybe that is what is so scary or maybe that is what is so beautiful.
Margaret Sophia
Jun 29, 2012 Margaret Sophia rated it really liked it
So good! I picked it up randomly at the library (it was closing in 5 minutes and I wanted another book) and I'm so pleased. The characters were so RAW and full bodied and it was such an interesting story. The only thing I didn't like about it was the ending.
Oct 04, 2010 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010october
I somehow picked an at-least-melancholy, if-not-flat-out-painful crop of books on my last library visit.

Termite Parade fits in just fine.

The second Mohr book I've read -- and enjoyed even while wincing -- in the last year.
Sep 18, 2011 Bess rated it really liked it
This was another book club read, and our joint review is posted here:
Book Notes: Termite Parade
Sep 29, 2011 Kailin rated it it was ok
I didn't think the termite theme was fully cooked in this novel, although I did think it was interesting to investigate blame/guilt types of feelings in different ways.
Sep 19, 2011 Melisa rated it really liked it
Book club notes below. We liked this one pretty well!
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What exactly is this book? 2 19 Jul 11, 2010 03:54PM  
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JOSHUA MOHR is the author of five novels, including “Damascus,” which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written “Fight Song” and “Some Things that Meant the World to Me,” one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as “Termite Parade,” an Editors’ Choice on The New York Times Best Seller List. His novel “All This Life” was recentl ...more
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“I was convinced that she was about to tell me my card was declined, and assumed Derek wanting to talk later meant he'd soon be telling me our life was declined. Everything, everyone had reached their limits with me.” 2 likes
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