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Miracle Cure Paperback – September 27, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
- Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Burke, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This novel did very little for Coben's writing career. MIRACLE CURE didn't sell very well, and it would be another four years before Coben wrote his next novel, DEAL BREAKER, which introduced Myron Bolitar. I recently read an interview with Coben where he openly admitted that this novel was bad.
MIRACLE CURE isn't exactly terrible, but it is easily the worst written novel I have ever read by Coben. The characterization in this book is pretty cardboard, and most of the dialogue is rather stilted and flat. The plot is slow-paced at the beginning, and then quickly spirals out of control toward the end, with one overblown plot twist after another.
This is also the most political book written by Coben, with a very strong gay-rights stance and many barbs aimed at religious conservatives who oppose AIDS funding (in fairness, there's a twist at the end that will probably annoy a lot of liberals too). I'm guessing that some of the political views taken by Coben in this book were probably quite daring at the time. Unfortunately, some of the scenes in this book are overly preachy, which may even annoy readers who agree with Coben's beliefs.
I was also somewhat surprised by some of the rather graphic sexuality and language in this book.Read more ›
Miracle Cure isn't quite in the masterpiece league of his debut novel Play Dead or what he achieved with Tell No One and the other independent storyline (non Myron Bolitar) novels, but it is still a very good novel. Written when the paranoia of AIDS was at its height and before it crossed massively into the heterosexual community and many people saw it as a homosexual or drug addict disease, Coben through his characters argues adamantly that funds need to be allocated to find a cure for this disease. Unfortunately 19 years after this story was published we still haven't found a cure, but this book asks the question of what would happen if we had and a powerful bigoted element of society who did whatever it took to stop that cure being known.
Like with Play Dead (and later the Bolitar novels) one of the main characters is a basketball star.Read more ›
"Mircacle Cure" has a lot of problems. The most egregious is the storyline, which revolves around the HIV/AIDS crisis and the search for a cure; and is badly dated. It includes a fallacious debate about the morality of AIDS sufferers, where more than one person posits that victims contract the disease because they are gay or drug users. More than more than hurtful comments, they totally omit any reference to the millions of non-drug using heterosexual victims of the disease worldwide. Who the principal victims of AIDS were was a known fact even in 1991 when this novel was written.
"Miracle Cure" includes a serial killer and a high-level conspiracy to torpedo research being done to develop a vaccine to stop AIDS. Those elements are the book's greatest strengths although the conspiracy angle is never fully resolved at book's end. The novel's characters--a pro basketball player, a popular TV journalist, politicians, scientists and assorted family members--had interesting possibilities, but they are not really fully developed. The one exception is the serial killer who is described in careful detail, but ultimately becomes nothing more than a device to further the storyline.
Author Corben in his opening warning about the book states that for all of the book's flaws, he still admires it for its energy and risk-taking. I don't share that view. This just isn't very good writing. So why reprint it now?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written in great care and thoughts keeps reader in suspense until endPublished 15 days ago by Marge DeMaio
I enjoy Coben's books. This was one of his first books and the subject matter was dated but the mystery/thriller aspect was still good reading.Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
Stocking stuffer for my husband; I have not read the books yet. But he is a huge fan of Harlan Coben!Published 1 month ago by cheryl scibelli
This book had a very good mystery killer, and well developed characters. It brought back lots of memories of the fears and stigmas of AIDS in the early '90's, and how different... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Merikatmom Mary