Monday, February 14, 2011
Miracles, Inc. by T.J. Forrester
Vernon Oliver was the hottest, rocking-est, money-making televangelist going, the "biker preacher," riding onto the stage on his Harley, then grabbing his audience by their souls and giving them what they wanted—hope. Of course it was all a sham, the healings staged, but the people were getting what they wanted, they got a show—a rock show, really. They willingly handed over their money. Of course this whole carnival known as Miracles, Inc. eventually came crashing back down to earth.
The novel begins with the narrator, Vernon Oliver, telling his story from his cell on death row, the story of how and why he got there. The writing and voice of Vernon grabs you right from the get-go and doesn't let go. The structure of the novel cuts back and forth between his life as a rich and famous faith healer and his solitary jail cell, where he is working on his autobiography, as he marks down the time to his execution. The contrast between the two keeps the story and the tension moving forward. How did Vernon become the face of Miracles, Inc? How did he end up on death row? Is he really guilty? Will he really be put to death at the end?
A great cast of characters is along for the ride: His girlfriend Rickie; Miriam, the woman who runs Miracle, Inc.; Alton, the ex-preacher who is teaching Vernon everything he knows; and the cast of actors who are "healed" by Vernon on stage.
Miracles, Inc. (Simon & Schuster, 2011) is definitely a "page turner," the back and forth of the plot, along with Forrester's deft, clean, tight, well-edited, and engaging writing keeps your nose in the book until you find how it all turns out. This is one hot book, one that would translate into a film very well. Check it out!