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Miranda by John R. Little

 

PETER STRAUB SAYS: “This dazzling, melancholy, and thoroughly gripping book
reminds me of why the now unjustly-forgotten Robert Nathan was such a
satisfying writer. In MIRANDA, John R. Little uses crisp writing and a
masterly sense of pace to structure a brilliant short novel filled with
invention, courage, and baffled love.”

GARY BRAUNBECK FROM HIS INTRODUCTION: “You are about to experience one of
the most moving, superbly-written, and exhilaratingly imaginative pieces of
fiction that it’s been my privilege to encounter.”

 

MY REVIEW

John little the author I found to be large in creativity and talent from reading this novella. Let’s get a few things clear
Summer turned to spring, then to Winter.
The main protagonist becomes undead, but he’s not a zombie!
The story starts with the last chapter.
Either the author is bark raving mad or he has written creative original story?
I will go with the latter. The undead in this story refers to the protagonist living his life in reverse order, from death to birth. So Zombie readers sorry.
This story is a very real life and the pursuit of happiness or the so to say failed pursuit in this case at times. You are about to retrace history on how certain characters lives panned out. This novella served up some thought provoking and life history reflection of my own. It’s short but achieved what many hundreds of pages of stories out there have not. He has made the reader reflect on wrongs, rights and think. The story makes us revisit horrors from the past again straight from the world news, you are taken to a shooting on a tourist spot in Egypt and back to the day of the Fall of The Twin Towers and many deaths.
When the past is relived again he does not know how the event occurred, as he has no memories and it’s in reverse order. That made it interesting reading. He sees his wrong and bad mistakes in life and sees how his eating and life choices ended him to his grave.
The sad thing is he can only relive it and not change history. He meets a woman in his past Miranda but what’s even more compelling for him is that she also is living in reverse as him. Her life was way more sad and she received abuses of many kinds, once a bag lady.
She ponders over a dilemma can she change her fate in the past?
Does she have the free will to change?

There is also a mans best fiend as a star of the story. Me being a lover of animals it struck a cord of sentiments and emotions. You are taken right back from its death to when he first acquired his dog as a puppy, and I too remember those fond days of having a Labrador and a Siamese kitten. Those dark days of loss. Parting with my loved creatures as time froze, destitute, pondering sadly, towering over a veterinarians surgery table slab with a parted loved one. These loved ones are truly great blessing in life that many take for granted.

It’s captivating engrossing and a poignant story.
Short and a must read. I will be reading more from this Bram Stoker winner.

“In September, the World Trade Centre grew out of a mountain of ash and dust, morphing into Americas tallest towers.
I was glued to CNN when they rose and I watched in amazement. They were sobbing. It was incredible. I knew there were taller buildings in Malaysia or somewhere in the mid- east, but these were American, our own miracles, springing up from their graves.”

“Were we really just programmed to follow a particular course exactly?
A path from death to birth, laid out ahead of time in a circuitous but unchanging track?”

PURCHASE FROM Amazon.com

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 09 April 2012

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