Bookworm In Your Ear: The Stranger In Us
There are times when the person we least know is ourself. These two novels explore aspects of that; producing great, entertaining novels in the process.
Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles
This is categorized a novel by the author; but is in fact, based on the lives of very real people. It’s more in the liberty that Miles takes in entering the minds of his protagonists that the work ends up a novel. An army vet, Cameron Harris became a paraplegic in 2010 when shrapnel from a land mine in Afghanistan caused seeming irreparable damage to his spine. In 2014, while waiting for his sister outside a convenience store in Biloxi, Mississippi, he ‘miraculously’ stood up and took unassisted steps. The local press got wind of this, then social media, the national press and TV news and how this even led to a proposed reality show, is chronicled in this book. Cam being Catholic, even the Vatican investigated. Fascinating read with twists and turns, and feels like a documentary.
The Oracle Year by Charles Soule
Soule is highly regarded by comic book fans as he wrote The Death of Wolverine and She-Hulk. In his first novel, he creates a modern-day Nostradamus in NY session musician, bassist Will Dando. Will awakens from a dream with 108 predictions and puts them up on a site. When the predictions, from politically charged to the most mundane, begin coming true, he is christened The Oracle. Soon, corporations, politicians, evangelists are all seeking to uncover his identity, or discredit him. The first half of the book is more about the predictions and its ramifications; while the second half goes darker, as forces are amassed to take Will hostage, or keep him permanently quiet. As existential issues crop up, and the notion of responsibility for the predictions rise, the book becomes even more gripping. Great speculative yarn.