Summary and book reviews of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

By Brady Udall

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Apr 2001,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: May 2002,
    432 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head. As formative events go, nothing else comes close.

With these words Edgar Mint, half-Apache and mostly orphaned, makes his unshakable claim on our attention. In the course of Brady Udall's high-spirited, inexhaustibly inventive novel, Edgar survives not just this bizarre accident, but a hellish boarding school for Native American orphans, a well-meaning but wildly dysfunctional Mormon foster-family, and the loss of most of the illusions that are supposed to make life bearable.

What persists is Edgar's innate goodness, his belief in the redeeming power of language, and his determination to find and forgive the man who almost killed him. The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint is a miracle of storytelling, bursting with heartache and hilarity and inhabited by characters as outsized as the landscape of the American West.

Chapter One
THE MAILMAN

If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head. As formative events go, nothing else comes close; my careening, zigzag existence, my wounded brain and faith in God, my collisions with joy and affliction, all of it has come, in one way or another, out of that moment on a summer morning when the left rear tire of a United States postal jeep ground my tiny head into the hot gravel of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.

It was a typical July day, ten o'clock and already pushing a hundred, the whole world lit with a painful white light. Our house was particularly vulnerable to the heat because, unlike the other HUD houses on the road, it was covered with black tar paper—the siding had never been put on—and there were no shade trees, not even a bush to block the sun. There was an old lightning-struck cottonwood in the front yard, a charred skeleton of a tree...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
The introduction and discussion questions that follow are designed to enhance your group's discussion of Brady Udall's extraordinary first novel, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint.. Also at BookBrowse, you'll find reviews, an extensive excerpt, an interview and a short biography.


ABOUT
At the beginning of this high-spirited and inexhaustibly inventive novel of the American West, a seven-year-old boy on an Apache Indian reservation has his head run over by a mail truck. Though his skull is crushed, Edgar miraculously survives the accident after being resuscitated by a possibly deranged hospital intern, Dr. Barry Pinkley. After three months in a coma, Edgar wakes up to find himself in St. Divine's Hospital in Globe, Arizona, surrounded ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews
Author Blurb Tony Earley
If Dickens had been born in Arizona, he might have written a book like this.

Author Blurb Junot Diaz
A story that tears at you and calls you back.

School Library Journal - Emily Lloyd

Adult/High School-With Dickensian flair and mastery. This novel is a wonderful, wise debut, with a strong story told in language that teens will find easy to embrace.

Kirkus Reviews

A remarkably assured debut novel that brings to life a unique world, tells its story with skill, and remains enthralling throughout. A bit of a miracle in its own right.

Chicago

Vibrant, big-hearted . . . A poignant, picaresque odyssey.

Elle Magazine

[An] ingenious tale, which takes its heart from Dickens and its soul from America's great outlaw West.

Los Angeles Times

Marvelous . . . Edgar Mint is nobody's Everyman, but he is the hope and the pain of a child looking for, and eventually finding, a home.

The Oregonian

Be prepared to fall head over heels for Edgar Mint . . . a charming and delightful narrator you can't help but cheer on through the end.

The Wall Street Journal

Profound and stirring . . . brilliantly executed.

Newsweek

Extraordinary . . . Fall-down funny . . . It's like nothing else you've ever read.

Reader Reviews
Lydia

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
I love the idea of Edgar living his life in reverse, going from severe almost unendurable hardship to come "home" and be a child, something he deserved in the first fifteen years of his life. A refreshing and poignant ending. I was rooting for Edgar ...   Read More

Kim

Entertaining read
As has been mentioned elsewhere, this author's style is similar to John Irving's -- lots of quirky characters, unusual circumstances, by turns very funny & deeply moving (More like the World According to Garp Irving than the Owen Meany Irving.) I ...   Read More

vincent

reading a novel is not my strong point. however, i was able to finish the entire book within 4 days. many thanks to its creator

Pamela J. Smith

I heard parts of Miricle Life read on Public Radio while at work in a prison in Iowa. I became obsessed with being in the right place at the right time to hear the daily half hour readings read by Dick Estell, although given the nature of my job it...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.