Excerpt from Miracles, Inc. by T. J. Forrester, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Miracles, Inc.

A Novel

by T. J. Forrester

Miracles, Inc. by T. J. Forrester X
Miracles, Inc. by T. J. Forrester
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Feb 2011, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter 1

Contrary to news reports, I, Vernon L. Oliver—brother of Lucy K. Oliver and son of parents who raised their children on corn and Christianity—am not insane. Admittedly, my attorney claimed otherwise in my trial against the great State of Florida. I played along, spewed nonsense to the psychiatrist’s questions, rolled my eyes and lolled my head in front of judge and jury, but in the end, I bear no ill will against the justice system. I made a series of choices that led to nowhere good and those choices landed me in a six-by-ten cell with concrete walls and a steel frame bed.

At one time, not too long ago, I was revered—a man who treated his followers with kindness, with love, a man whose heart was open to all. They still send me letters, pleading in their blindness for my innocence, for they cannot believe I committed so heinous a crime. The letters come in bunches, sometimes a hundred or more a day, and I’ve requested that the guard only bring a sampling—no more than ten, no less than five. I spend my afternoons writing in careful strokes, assuring believers that faith is not an illusion. What else can I do? My acolytes want bright lights and speaking in tongues, they want paraplegics jumping around the stage, they want the hum that permeates their souls when my voice tumbles over the auditorium. So, I give them what I can. It’s the least I can do.

Terrence Sandoval, my attorney, is the one who suggested I write an autobiography; a tell-all about Vernon L. Oliver’s fall from grace. He wants money (more than I have) now that the IRS has foreclosed on my property, frozen my assets, sold my private jet. The money that was left over—the $2 million the government allowed me to keep for legal fees—is long gone. When Sandoval suggested in that persuasive way of his, “Write the book, sign over the proceeds, or find a public defender to file your appeals,” I said I would think about it and get back to him.

And I have thought about it. I’ve woken with it on my mind, I’ve thought about it while eating the gruel that Florida calls breakfast, thought about it while watching the clock on the wall, listening to it tick toward the time when the guards will enter my cell and take me on the long walk to the chamber where they will strap me to a gurney and plunge the needle into my arm.

I have no desire to stand nakedly before accusers and believers alike, but I dread the damn clock, hate the thought of my footsteps on that cold linoleum floor. Most of all, I dread not knowing what’s on the other side.







My attorney says he’s here for a visit, to see if I’ve accepted his proposal. In a suit, with a tie knotted against his scrawny neck, he sits outside my cell in a chair pulled up for his convenience. I prop open the horizontal slot in the steel door and sit on the floor so I can see his eyes. He wears cologne, a sweet smell that reminds me of windblown flowers, the sweep of a woman’s breast, of red lips on my pelvis. He peers down at me, all teeth and dimples, asks if I’m getting along all right.

“That cologne,” I say.

Sandoval speaks in a moribund tone, like a bored teacher after a long day of classes. “Do you like it?”

“It reminds me of this guy I knew back in high school. He sucked dick behind the gymnasium in exchange for cigarettes.”

“I can see we’re in a foul mood today,” Sandoval says. “Maybe I should come back tomorrow.”

I don’t want him to leave, yet I don’t want to give him the satisfaction. The satisfaction of what, I don’t know. Maybe I’m lonely.

A quavery voice comes from down the block, a convict bitching about nothing in particular. John T resides five cells to the left, and he’s here because he killed a woman who sold him the wrong foot cream. If anyone should have gotten off on insanity, it was John T.

  • 1
  • 2

Copyright © 2011 by T.J. Forrester. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Death Row Syndrome

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.