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Publisher's Summary

A profound new novel about a paralyzed young man's unexplainable recovery - a stunning exploration of faith, science, mystery, and the meaning of life

Rendered paraplegic after a traumatic event four years ago, Cameron Harris has been living his new existence alongside his sister, Tanya, in their battered Biloxi, Mississippi, neighborhood where only half the houses made it through Katrina. One stiflingly hot August afternoon, as Cameron sits waiting for Tanya during their daily run to the Biz-E-Bee convenience store, he suddenly and inexplicably rises up and out of his wheelchair.

In the aftermath of this "miracle", Cameron finds himself a celebrity at the center of a contentious debate about what's taken place. And when scientists, journalists, and a Vatican investigator start digging, Cameron's deepest secrets - the key to his injury, to his identity, and, in some eyes, to the nature of his recovery - become increasingly endangered. Was Cameron's recovery a genuine miracle or a medical breakthrough? And, finding himself transformed into a symbol, how can he hope to retain his humanity?

Brilliantly written as closely observed journalistic reportage and filtered through a wide lens that encompasses the vibrant characters affected by Cameron's story, Anatomy of a Miracle will be championed and celebrated as a powerful story of our time and the work of a true literary master.

©2018 Jonathan Miles (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Jonathan Miles has written a novel whose comic moments alone make it a wonderful read, but Anatomy of a Miracle quickly becomes so much more: an intense, and intensely profound, meditation on how an extraordinary event might test the limits of both scientific and religious belief. What a superb writer; what a superb book." (Ron Rash, New York Times best-selling author of Serena and Above the Waterfall)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Astoundingly good

Mark Twain might blush with pride
if he could see a son of the south tackle issues of sex, religion, politics and war in such an intelligent and irreverent way, depending on how you tune your ears. The performance is top notch, subtle, supple, believable but never over the top. Time well spent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Contemporary themes, pristine writing

There is so much to praise it is hard to know where to start. Miles' characters are so very well created that it allows much of the plot to be understood from diverse and compelling perspectives. This novel presents several themes relevant to current daily news, but never seemed bogged down or lost my interest. Cameron, the soldier and recipient of the miracle, his sister, and the myriad people either directly effected by the miracle and those who insert themselves into the situation for personal reasons all incur ramifications that were unanticipated and unintended. I love love love this book, even more than Want Not, which is also spectacular. Miles is a totally unique author.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Some good moments,

Even a good narrator couldn't keep me interested in this story that just seemed to jump around. The writing is fine but unfocused. I think an editor could have made this a better story.

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  • L. W.
  • Boston, MA
  • 08-14-18

We See What We Want to See

Really fantastic.

Told as if a narrative nonfiction account, this novel explores issues of faith--in religion, in science, in love, in other people--from the perspective of a narrator who is decidedly not omniscient.

What would you do if you witnessed something that appeared to be a miracle? Would you accept it as that? Or dismiss it as a scientific anomaly for which no explanation has yet been proposed? Or would you try to profit it and make the entire situation about yourself? All these questions and more are explored with humor, compassion and an eye that somehow combines cynicism and idealism. I quite literally laughed and cried at various intervals throughout this novel.

How wonderful.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ending disappointing<br />

Narrator was excellent. Story thought provoking, descriptions painted vivid picture of events as they unfold. Characters & dialogue believable. Ending was disappointing for me.

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  • Jeff
  • Frederick, MD, United States
  • 08-03-18

Insightful

The book was a great exploration of how various people would react to a miracle. It was a bit depressing to see how so many different people would try to fit the event into their pre-conceived notions—even when the facts and character of Cameron did not fit their “beliefs.” I am glad that the storytelling father of the doctor brought some clarity to this at the end.

The story would be a great example if Karl Barth’s theology. Barth was an influential Protestant theologian from the early 20th century who spoke against a tendency for evangelical Christians to “make God in their image.” To Barth, God was always omnipotent and surprising; if you thought you had God all figured out, you were no longer looking at God.

I thought that the transition from the miracle activities (after) to the lengthy discussion of Cameron’s sexuality was a bit jarring. I loved the war stories and the conversations with DeMarcus, and eventually the sexuality “tangent” became clear.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well Written

Jonathan Miles has written a captivating tale. It is clear that he spent his time researching and thinking as there is a great deal of spirit and authenticity that went into this book. I do not want to say too much and ruin the story for others because it is definitely worth reading or listening to. My rating is based on the fact that I find the whole ending to be a tad cliche. There are now tons of books out there that explore sexuality. Even much of YA literature is written to explore this topic. I found myself moved by the brilliance of the writing but felt slight disappointed by the simplicity of Cameron’s demise.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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amazing

The best book I've read in a long time and I was not expecting it. The author did a superb job in recounting this story. The writing was graceful, perfectly paced, and masterful in its revealing. This was a story I couldn't "out down".

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

mostly good, room for improvement.

plot and narrator are amazing. the characters are interesting amd well developed. however, writing is occasionally clunky, and doesn't quite weave all the parts together well.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Left me wondering/a must

I am asking myself: “Is this book true or a unique kind of memoir “? Regardless I wanna know how the life is for him now? A pyramid of stories within a story of the spiritual heart of the great U.S.A. and the faith flowing not so freely anymore because social media has become people drug of choice. A new place where we can choose to worship others B.S.

1 of 11 people found this review helpful