The following is an excerpt from Miracle Man. Dr. John Uhlman meets a young Robert James Austin, our anti-hero protagonist, for the first time:
Uhlman took some time to just look at Bobby.
There he sat, all forty-seven pounds of him, feet dangling in his shiny black dress shoes. A cute but unremarkable looking four and a half year old, whose only distinguishing physical characteristic was his striking eyes. He would blend into any pre-school play-room without difficulty. Uhlman tapped Bobby’s thick file. Could this child really be so unusual or was he just another in the ranks of the top one or two percent of the population that psychologists and educators routinely encounter? Why would this little boy be so special—why should he be? From what Uhlman had read, there was no reason to believe that this child had any extraordinary genetic inheritance. He was likely the progeny of, at best, mediocre genetic material—and very possibly sub-medicore. ‘Nature or nurture?’ What populist rubbish, Uhlman thought. There was no ‘nature’ here and no ‘nurture’ either. Bobby’s parents weren’t brilliant avant-garde educators who had devised a revolutionary learning program starting in the child’s infancy. Edith and Peter were ordinary people who provided nothing more than the average home environment. So what was this child? A genetic mutation –like a two-headed horse or a child born with four arms? Uhlman scratched his head, wondering if he should start getting religious. Leaning forward at his desk, he cradled his chin in the beefy palm of his left hand. There was so little that he and the others really understood. The more he studied and the more research he did, the more he realized how little about human intelligence was known.
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The following is an excerpt from the prologue of Miracle Man:
He was disgusted with himself and disgusted with her, but they were too young to be burdened. Life was already hard enough. He shook his head incredulously. She had been so damn sexy, funny, full of life. Why the hell couldn’t she leave well enough alone? She should have had some control.
He wanted to scream-out down the ugly street, “It’s her fucking fault that I’m in the rain in this crap neighborhood trying to evade the police.”
But he knew he hadn’t tried to slow her down either. He kept giving her the drugs and she kept getting kinkier and kinkier and more dependent on him and that’s how he liked it. She was adventurous and creative beyond her years. Freaky and bizarre. He had been enthralled, amazed. The higher she got, the wilder she was. Nothing was out of bounds. Everything was in the game.
And so, they went farther and farther out there. Together. With the help of the chemicals. They were co-conspirators, co-sponsors of their mutual dissipation. How far they had traveled without ever leaving their cruddy little city. They were so far ahead of all the other kids.
He squinted, and his mind reeled. He tried to remember in what month of their senior year in high school the drugs became more important to her than he was. And in what month did her face start looking so tired, her complexion prefacing the ravages to follow, her breath becoming foul as her teeth and gums deteriorated. And in what month did her need for the drugs outstrip his and her cash resources.
He stopped walking and raised his hooded head to the sky so that the rain would pelt him full-on in the face. He was hoping that somehow this would make him feel absolved. It didn’t. He shuddered as he clutched the shiny black bag, the increasingly cold wet wind blowing hard against him. He didn’t even want to try to figure out how many guys she had sex with for the drugs.
For more, you can purchase the book here.
1. “Tens of billions of dollars have been spent on research, but where are the cures? No major disease has been cured in decades.”
2. “Cure research is a self-perpetuating industry of its own with no sense of urgency but lots of people making a living from it.”
3. “The thrust of Big Pharma’s research is not to find a cure, but to create a treatment—a product that can be sold. Ongoing treatments with drugs rather than cures.”
4. “Keep selling those pills day after day rather than eradicate the need for them. That’s Big Pharma’s mantra.”