Bookshots: 'Novi Sad' by Jeff Jackson

Bookshots: 'Novi Sad' by Jeff Jackson

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


Title:

Novi Sad

Who wrote it?

Acclaimed playwright Jeff Jackson, author of punk rock meta novel Mira Corpora.

A haunting and melancholic look back at what happens before and after "the end."

Plot in a Box:

A group of friends relocate to an abandoned hotel in a post-war city during the pre-apocalypse and wait...

Invent a new title for this book:

A Serbian Book

Read this if you like(d):

Mira Corpora, to which this is a "sister book"; Dennis Cooper, Brian Evenson

Meet the book’s lead(s):

Jeff, presumably Jackson, possibly the protagonist of Mira Corpora yet most likely not. The emotional runt of a litter of squatters waiting out the end of the world.

Said lead(s) would be portrayed in a movie by:

A young Michael Pitt at his most vulnerable.

Setting: Would you want to live there?

Novi Sad:

  1. “New plant”
  2. Serbian city that has been devastated multiple times, most recently during the Kosovo War when it was bombed into annihilation, bridges destroyed, communications severed, water supply polluted.
  3. Imaginary place.

Not possible/Who in their right mind?/Don't we all?

What was your favorite sentence?

Commentary is pointless when confronted with refugee footage of pedestrian-choked highways and interstates.

The Verdict:

Even the end of the world will have an end. And after that, we will hold on to the memory of that end, like the memory of our childhood friends. A fiction built upon real lives, conjured up and erased countless times, each incarnation taking on a different mental form. And no matter what context you place them in, those lives live on, refugees in abandoned buildings and blown-out squats, or perhaps just photos in a shoebox.

Novi Sad plays with the idea of unreliable memory, much like its predecessor, Mira Corpora. In fact, its blue pages could be torn from the diary of the Jeff Jackson in that novel, one of the many rewrites of the childhood he is trying to reclaim. It is harrowing and haunting and melancholic for the reader, but one gets the impression it is business as usual for the protagonist. He's been there before, in some shape or form, and is still trying to figure out the past while his past looks towards the future.

Novi Sad is available directly from KiddiePunk, printed on blue paper with beautiful art design by Michael Salerno. I highly recommend you get yourself a copy.

Jacey Cockrobin

Review by Joshua Chaplinsky

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor.com. He is the author of ‘Kanye West—Reanimator’ and the story collection 'Whispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape.' His short fiction has been published by Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Clash Books, Pantheon Magazine and Broken River Books. Follow him on Twitter at @jaceycockrobin. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com.

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