Miracle Man by William Leibowitz © 2015 Manifesto
Bobby Austin has the highest IQ ever measured. The four-year-old also has terrible nightmares and goes into trances for long periods of time. His adoptive parents relinquish him to a special school for young geniuses, where he achieves multiple PhDs by age 16. The deaths of Bobby’s adoptive parents and another mentor inspire Bobby to devote his brain to curing diseases, which, for some reason, enrages the schoolmaster, who kicks Bobby out on the street. But Bobby quickly affiliates with Tufts University and goes on to cure many diseases and win many Nobel Prizes, which thoroughly pisses off drug manufacturers and crazy fringe groups around the world. Then someone sets off a bomb in Bobby’s top secret laboratory. Will Bobby survive? If he does, will he ever be the same? Will the perpetrator be caught?
In overall concept, Miracle Man was good. It face planted in the pacing, glossing over big events in Bobby’s life and going into laborious detail in scenes of little or no consequence. The reader doesn’t need to know every character’s height and weight and hairstyle and what their hands look like unless those items matter to events in the story. This probably stemmed from Leibowitz trying to keep the reader guessing about who was Bobby’s real enemy, which was okay in concept, but would have worked a lot better if Bobby actually engaged with his potential enemies. It was boring to wade through scene after scene of bad guys saying bad things in a vacuum. Fun starts when the good guy takes the bad guys on, which never happened in Miracle Man.
I give Leibowitz credit for cleverly hiding the identity of Bobby’s real enemy. I just wish I could have seen more of Bobby struggling with the real bad guy and much less of the red herrings. The good story idea failed to counterbalance the bad writing, so, in the case of Miracle Man, the scales of frightwrite justice tip toward the recycling bin.