Miedo 2: A Reckoning With Fear

Miedo 2: A Reckoning With Fear concludes the Miedo story. As Miedo comes into young adulthood, he is confronted with new demons while he searches for answers to his past first through Spiritualism and then through Christianity. But, rather than finding answers, he is left with more questions as a plethora of paranormal experiences occur in his life yet again.

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Amazon Review: I enjoyed Cooper’s first memoir, Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear, and when I finally picked up this sequel, I liked it even more than the first. It continues the story of Cooper’s early life through his teens, including his struggle to find his place in the world, understand the role of faith in his life, and control the demons that continue to plague him.

Told in the 3rd person, the memoir reads like a story, and Miedo is a highly sympathetic character. I related to his feelings of displacement, and the rambling style of Cooper’s narration perfectly reflects that time of life when young adults are stumbling about and trying to define who they are. In some ways, the narrative reminds me of Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes) as it picks up on the day to day seemingly insignificant events that make up a life. People and jobs, plans and friends come and go like water through Miedo’s fingers. His sense of belonging never seems to have a strong anchor though there are some relationships that he relies on.

Cooper does an excellent job of telling his story in Miedo’s authentic “voice,” reflecting his age and education at the time events unfold. The narrative also happens in the moment. In other words, this is not a memoir that the authors relates with the benefit of hindsight, but one that unfolds for the reader as it happens.

Miedo 2: A Reckoning with Fear isn’t a long read. Cooper’s style is unique and his story is addicting. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys memoirs and stories about the struggle to overcome difficult childhoods… D.W. Peach

GoodReads Review: This is the second book in Kevin Cooper’s autobiographical series about the young boy Miedo, who has strange paranormal experiences in his life and a disrupted childhood.

We’ve left the young boy and the teenager of the first book behind as Miedo moves into adulthood. He discovers spiritualism and christianity in his quest to rid his life of demons. And like most young men, he discovers motor bikes, girls and unemployment. As with the first book, Miedo’s resilience sees him through dark times: the frightening nights and the bleakness of periods of unemployment between jobs.

His involvement with the Church of the Nazarene provides him with a social life, as well as a religious purpose. There is a youth group and day trips organised by the church. When a young American student comes to the church, Miedo starts by showing her around his home city of Hull but their feelings for each other quickly become deeper.

Miedo 2 is very much a book about that transitional period of our life when we leave behind the safety net of our childhood years and strike out on our own. Finding work, deciding on a direction in life, keeping old friends and finding new ones, and embarking on sexual relationships.

Kevin describes these years well, particularly the highs and lows of the emotions that accompany this transition into adulthood. The strengths of the book are in the portrayal of his relationships with family and friends, the intimate sharing of his thoughts with us, and the optimistic, positive ending, which draws a line under this stage of his life yet leaves us wanting to know how Miedo will cope with the start of his new and very different life.

Miedo 2 stands as a story in its own right, but it’s also well worth reading the first book in the series. Kevin has a distinctive writing style that makes it easy for the reader to empathise with Miedo, who, despite the disadvantages and setbacks that come his way, is determined to overcome them and make a success of his life. It’s an inspiring read. Roughseas…

Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear

Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear is a memoir written as a British Drama set in the historical city of hull during the mid-1960s-1980s. This is the true story of a boy who after losing his mother at a very young age, begins to experience a plethora of paranormal incidents brought about through the circumstances of living within a dysfunctional family, resulting in a childhood filled with fear.

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Amazon Review: It’s been quite a number of years since reading a book seized my day completely – from dawn to dusk, and this time it was “Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear” by Kevin Cooper.

Experiencing, as a reader, the grip of the adult world of tragic and disquieting events, and emotions they bring, through a child’s then a teenager’s eyes comes only via a literary recipe for human endurance that takes true mastery to complete. Kevin Cooper, most skillfully, brings us the story of a boy who at very early age loses his mother in circumstances he did not understand or know and, although experiencing fears and nightmares render him a ‘bed-wetter’, his grandparents shape his childhood into a rich plethora of joy and fun undertakings until his father remarries and he is taken away from his grandparents’ home to live with his father, step-mother and two older sisters.

Miedo takes us on a journey both sharply and smoothly jagged with childhood fears, nightmares, insecurities, domestic aggression, abuse, kind love, delightful but cheeky childhood adventures, true friendships that last and those one loses through cruel fate. The reader is transported to and mesmerised by a child’s journey and navigation through a life in which that child often appears as an unnoticed passenger waiting or needing to get off at “the next stop” and yet finds himself stuck in that life where he must find his permanent place, forge his own survival tricks or strategies to emerge as a rather well-balanced teenager en route to independence and adulthood.

The switching between first and third person narration of a child then teenager is quite captivating in this book as the third party narration comes through at times like salvation from utter terror, or defence mechanism from terror or fear. The switches between first and third person narration are executed brilliantly as are the frequent and sharp transitions from scene to scene, life event to life event. Kevin Cooper has mastered in this book the language of “shooting straight and clear” when it comes to the child’s life events, experiences, emotions and adventures and his skillful descriptions of scenes and relationships contain no surplus words – very to the point and unwavering clarity.

Miedo is a gripping account of a child’s survival through many life’s cruel servings and I simply loved reading it. The last time I enjoyed reading a book with similar style so very much – i.e. narration through a child’s/teenagers experiences was some ten years ago when I read the 2003 Booker Prize Winner “Vernon God Little” by DBC Pierre. However, Miedo to me represents a much better read than this; although Miedo has a lot to be bitter about in life he evades and circumvents bitterness and replaces it with hovering tolerance and constructive albeit at times troublesome childhood endeavours. The remarkable tenacity for survival that can be found in a child is well represented in this book; it is a striking thread the reader can detect as weaved subliminally throughout the book.

I thoroughly recommend “Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear” by Kevin Cooper. Ina Vukic, Prof; B.A., M.A. Ps.

Miedo: “Afraid”

Miedo ‘Afraid’ brings together both of the above books of the Miedo story into one compelling volume.

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Amazon Review: “All good things must come to an end”
The book tells a true story of a painful past that emerges from the depths of time, which continues to prick the memory of the man who recounts his childhood.
A novel that touches the heartstrings, rattling arcane emotions, in pure and naked sincerity dictated by the need to rework trauma and patterns that have influenced dramatically a life.
The author rewinds the time as if it were a ball of wool defeat from an old sweater. There are knots, ends tied after the thread is broken… wounded in the most intimate. Other times, the thread appears thin, slim and fragile, almost a metaphor of the moments where the mere fact of “being alive” appears as a condition of punishment.
The author takes us by the hand, accompanying us to meet the places of his childhood tormented by dark and devastating presences.
In the garden of the grandparents, the particularity of a sour apple fall from the tree prematurely, and sugar bowl given to him by his grandmother for dipping the fruit and make it sweeter. On the other hand, the memories of the taste of a chocolate mint “After Eight”, carefully removed from the tin bottle-green colour.
The feeling of an insect that walks on his arm, the sadness of knowing that if a bumblebee stings you then he dies… Many small detailed descriptions that enrich the reader with sensations simple and so purest to make you reconnect with your own childhood.
Yet, the fish & chips, meatballs, and sausage sprinkled with vinegar, taken from the store where worked his grandmother.
The deep affection of the child towards his grandparents, to mitigate his great fear of the present and of the apparitions that at night arise in front of his bed. Then there are the plots and family intrigues, pettiness of both sisters Liz and Chloe… other characters that come and go from the story, distant sounds of panaceas to the suffering that was always lurking.
Then a new change, the author is separated by his grandparents and is living in a new environment, a cold and lifeless house, everything he loved had been taken away… without notice… without asking him what he wanted. “All good things must come to an end.”
Then the presence of true friends, and those supposed, met at school or at work, or the meeting with deep Faith, will lead the author to new and radical changes.

“Suffering is mostly caused by fear, not by the circumstances themselves, but by my response to them” (Jan Frasier)

But I will not reveal more of the 440 pages that certainly will be anchoring you, making you a participant in the most intimate, making you even cry tears of bitterness.
A very good novel, honest and unfussy, which will certainly make the reader ponder!
Claudine Giovannoni