The Resource Soil : a novel, Jamie Kornegay

Soil : a novel, Jamie Kornegay

Label
Soil : a novel
Title
Soil
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Jamie Kornegay
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
It all began with a simple dream. An ambitious young environmental scientist hoped to establish a sustainable farm on a small patch of river-bottom land nestled among the Mississippi hills. Jay Mize convinced his wife Sandy to move their six-year-old son away from town and to a rich and lush parcel where Jacob could run free and Jay could pursue the dream of a new and progressive agriculture for the twenty-first century. He did not know that within a year he'd be ruined, that flood and pestilence would invade his fledgling farm or that his wife and son would leave him to pick up the pieces by himself. When Jay Mize discovers a corpse on his property, he is sure his bad luck has come to a head and he is being framed. Were Jay in his right mind, he might have reported the body to the police at the very same moment they were searching for a missing tourist from Ohio. He might have not dragged the body back to his farm under the cover of night and spent hours disposing of it. But Jay Mize is not in his right mind. His mounting paranoia is accelerated by a hot-rod local deputy, nosing around with questions about the missing tourist and making dark comments about Jay's estranged wife Sandy. It's enough to make an honest man a maniac..
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • A strong sense of place—the Mississippi Delta—distinguishes this first novel about lives spiraling out of control. After a flood puts an end to his experiment in organic farming, Jay Mize’s concerns about threats to the environment develop into full-blown paranoia. His wife, Sandy, leaves him and moves back to town with Jacob, their six-year-old son. When Jay discovers a corpse on his property, he believes he is being set up and takes elaborate steps to destroy it rather than report it to the authorities. His paranoia deepens when Deputy Sheriff Danny Shoals comes sniffing around to investigate a missing-person report. Shoals is also sniffing around Sandy, but the deputy’s own particular obsessions cancel any chance for a healthy relationship and nearly derail his career. As Jay, along with his farm, falls further into chaos and decay, Jacob provides a tenuous—and temporary—link to his rational self. There isn’t much in the way of redemption here, but the shadows are relieved by shafts of dark humor and deep empathy. -- Quinn, Mary Ellen (Reviewed 02-15-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 12, p39)
  • Rural Mississippi is the setting for Kornegay’s beautifully written first novel, in which James “Jay” Mize invests all his family’s assets into an experiment in soil-free farming, a concept he believes will revolutionize the farming industry and save the world. He convinces his wife, Sandy, of its promise, and she enthusiastically works to make his project succeed. However, bad weather and a family tragedy handicap the endeavor, and Jay faces bankruptcy. In his dejection, he begins having paranoid fantasies, which compel Sandy to regretfully take their son, Jacob, back to town to live temporarily with her father. Jay and Sandy struggle with the breakup of their family and their difficult circumstances. When Jay finds a corpse on his land after an August rain, he believes it came to be there as part of a conspiracy to ruin him. As a result, he initiates a chain of tragic events affecting him, his family, and others. Penetrating characterizations and a well-charted story bode well for future work from this author. Agent: Jim Rutman, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed January 26, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 04, p)
  • A renegade farmer who goes up against nature and loses forms the basis of independent Southern bookseller Kornegay's memorable first novel. When Jay Mize gave up the comforts of a respectable career and home to begin an experiment in soil-free farming, he expected to be on the cutting edge of an agricultural revolution. But a crippling flood washes out his efforts and places him on the road to bankruptcy, and his wife, Sandy, concerned about Jay's mental health, leaves with their son. Soon after, Jay comes upon a corpse in the Tockawah River behind his house; convinced the body is part of a plot to destroy him, he sets about making it disappear. Meanwhile, a nosy deputy with a roving eye for the town's single women is poking around the Mize farm (not to mention Sandy's apartment) in search of a big bust to validate his wayward career. Add to that a revenge-seeking vagrant roaming the woods behind Jay's property and perhaps his paranoia isn't so misguided after all. VERDICT Kornegay imbues his characters with depth and his story with suspense, but the real star of the book is the pungent and foreboding Mississippi earth itself. A promising debut from an assured new voice in Southern fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 9/15/14.]— Michael Pucci, South Orange P.L., NJ --Michael Pucci (Reviewed March 1, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 4, p80)
  • In this Southern-gothic debut novel, a lost soul battles the elements and the elements win.The Earth is a malevolent character from the opening scene, in which a rural Mississippi flood causes muck to overflow from ditches. Into this ominous setting comes Jay Mize, an idealistic misfit with a paranoid streak and unworkable dreams of running a self-sustaining farm. At the start of the book, both he and his life are well on the way to unraveling. The farm has collapsed, his neighbors think he's unhinged, and his wife is starting to agree. Then a dead body mysteriously turns up on his property, and his paranoia hits a peak. Jay is convinced that he needs to destroy all evidence of the body, and his efforts inevitably open up new complications; especially since one hand remains missing. His wife, Sandy, leaves him and takes their son at around the same time Jay starts getting shadowed by policeman Danny Shoals. Jay has a shameful racial crime in his family history, and Shoals—who's soon devoting his efforts to seducing Sandy—has some bad behavior in his own past. Jay's reunion with his son provides a brief moment of hope before his final confrontation with an angry river and an angrier police officer. The main problem is the lack of any sympathetic characters; Jay is simply too far gone to rank as a tragic figure. But Kornegay's skillful writing keeps the story gripping and the atmosphere haunting.(Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10402634
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1975-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Kornegay, Jamie
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Organic farmers
  • Murder
  • Murder
  • Organic farmers
Label
Soil : a novel, Jamie Kornegay
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Control code
1067814
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9781476750811
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014011468
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781476750811
  • (OCoLC)881418167
Label
Soil : a novel, Jamie Kornegay
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Control code
1067814
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9781476750811
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014011468
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781476750811
  • (OCoLC)881418167

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