Miracles, Inc.: A Novel

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 1, 2011 - Fiction - 272 pages
2 Reviews
Vernon L. Oliver, still a young man, lives in a six-by-ten cell in a Florida prison. He has chosen the needle over the chair, has no desire to smell burned flesh on the day the state snuffs out his life. When his attorney suggests he write an autobiography to generate funds to cover legal fees incurred during the appeals process, Vernon sits down to pencil and paper and begins his narrative.

Miracles, Inc., Forrester's debut novel, tells the story of a charismatic slacker in love with Harley Davidson motorcycles and Rickie Terrell, a beautiful woman who quotes poetry and will not discuss her past. They live in an RV, smoke weed and drink beer, play Scrabble late into the night. His boss, a brilliant businesswoman with a far-reaching vision, offers him the chance to make more money than he ever thought was possible. He buys into the faith-healing scheme without reservation, and so begins the journey that leads to the stunning event that changes his life forever.

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User Review  - Tambeans - LibraryThing

Although this book was well written, the story was dull and drawn out. There were more than a few points in the book where I was wondering when something interesting was going to happen. It's a fictional story of a man on death row and what lead to him getting placed there. Read full review

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Forrester teases a cliffhanger-ending from the first page of the story. And even though I caught on that the ending was going to disappoint well before I made it to the murder scene, for some reason, I kept reading. It’s not that the story is bad. It just reads more like an early release draft or the product of a creative writing student than a paid author published through Simon & Schuster. Maybe I’m being unfair, but if this had been released by a smaller press with (presumably) less man power to throw at the book, I would probably overlook some of the issues I have with it. But that it comes from Simon & Schuster makes the gleaming errors I noticed in the logistics of the story hard to ignore. The easiest to spot is that the amount of money being paid to the extortionist changes WITHIN PAGES of separate mentions. First: “She was correct in thinking I wouldn’t come after her for five thousand a week” (181). A few pages later, the amount changes DRASTICALLY: “…five thousand a month was such a small inconvenience it wasn’t worth worrying about” (193). Now, this may seem like nit-picking. But how trustworthy is a story or author if such silly mistakes are so obvious? This isn’t a typographical or spelling error, which would be more forgivable. It’s an error in reporting concerning a subplot that intersects and creates the major conflict upon which the novel is based. (SPOILER AHEAD) Because it is when the extortionist is revealed that the actions occur that cause Vernon to be incarcerated. Getting the amount of the extortionist had been receiving wrong is a GLARING error. However, most of these gripes are based on a foundation of trusting the narrator – Vernon – to be reliable and honest. And, since he’s in prison for lying about committing the double-murder of two high ranking officials in an organization designed to collectively bilk unsuspecting believers out of millions of dollars, maybe he shouldn’t be considered very reliable in ANY regard? 

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20
Section 21
Section 22

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 23
Section 24
Section 25
Section 26

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About the author (2011)

T.J. Forrester is the author of the novel Miracles, Inc., and his work has appeared in numerous literary journals. An avid long distance hiker, he has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail in consecutive years. To learn more, visit TJForrester.com.

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