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The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  158 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
“Believe the hype. I killed myself.”

Having destroyed his life, the suicidal T. Rimberg strikes out on a journey through history and geography. From Minneapolis to Europe to a fiery accident near Green Bay, he searches for a father who is likely dead, digs for meaning where he’s sure there is none, fires off suicide letters to family, celebrities, presidents, and football s
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Broadway Books (first published 2008)
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May 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
An absorbing read, bursting with insightful celebrations of human imperfection.
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
I picked this book up at the library without having heard anything about it beforehand. The blurb on the back was intriguing. I was a little concerned that it was going to turn into a Chicken Soup for the Soul type of "inspiring" tale, given the reference to (Christian?) grace on the cover, but I went at it with an open mind anyhow.

Maybe I should have heeded my intuition. I ended up skimming the second half of the book. I wasn't enjoying it very much. I did appreciate some things about it. It se
Mar 25, 2008 rated it liked it
It perhaps goes without saying that when reading a novel entitled The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, one has to take a fair amount on faith. Geoff Herbach’s debut is framed as a collection of interviews, letters, and journals documenting a year in the life of Theodore Rimberg, a newly divorced, alienated, and suicidal sonofabitch, whose involvement in an improbable accident in Green Bay, Wisconsin convinces a local priest that he may have been the driving force behind a verifiable miracle. That ...more
Two Readers in Love
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, literature
Sample passage (pp. 34-35):
“Dee Anne… You’re a good person, I guess… but is this what a decent life has to offer? Meatloaf dinners and fluorescent lighting? Is this really it?
What a [expletive] nightmare. Your poor kids. Your poor, poor kids.
Of course this is a suicide letter, Dee Anne. Of course it is. You kill me.”

Epistolatory novels must be challenging for author. There are awkward stretches where the author attempts to communicate key points that are illogical for the protagonists to write i
David S.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love the idea of the written format of this book. Mr. Herbach has completed a unique manuscript that I have never really seen anyone else make work. That idea, not to keep you too long in suspense,...well maybe a little longer...oh, that a novel can be completely written through letters, journal entries, and interviews. People have tried, so far, from my view, only Herbach has made it work. He somehow managed to maintain a balanced narrative structure throughout the novel. And this is ...more
Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) Becker
T. Rimberg is ready to commit suicide. He was married. Had two kids. Cheated on wife. Divorced. What else can he do with his life...?
Until a package comes in the mail containing a lot of money from the father who left when he was still a kid. It's an inheritance...but all the notes are dated for the future. So is he dead? Alive? And where to go from here?
With Cranberry, a kid kicked out of his house, T. heads off to Europe. He keeps his intention to kill himself, but finds that having a purpose
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: why-did-i-bother
I should have known going into it what my reaction to this book would be, but there were so many positive reviews, many of them citing the laugh-out-loud funny stuff, that I had to give it a try. Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon, but I found nothing whatsoever to laugh at in this book. It was just sad to be inside the head of this seriously depressed man. And why oh why do "modernistic" novels like this one invariably end up dealing with the Holocaust???? I could have moved past all that, though, if ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is another one of those books that sounded a lot better than it turned out to be. The plot reveals itself in a series of first person accounts gleaned from the lead character's journal, some transcripts from conversations with a priest, and from letters T. writes to anyone who catches his attention, from Anne Frank, to Uncle Charley from My Three Sons, to Brett Favre. Since T. is high through most of his writing, or mentally impaired in some other way, reading this is like being the only so ...more
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because of these lines on one of the first few pages in which the protagonist writes the first of many suicide letters:

"Dear Jesus,
I am drunk. I think I just got rich."

The book is compiled like a case file for Mr. Theodore Rimberg. It flits back and for from the many suicide letters T. Rimberg written in the year leading up to his "accident" and the transcripts between him and a priest while he is recovering in a hospital. The letters (some of which are written to Paul McC
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Dark Comedy- New genera for me.

It did make me laugh - mostly from who he wrote letters to "dear Mrs. Butterworth" etc.

- Through the duration of 90% of the book it was quick enough and slightly humorous enough to compel me to keep reading, but I felt no connection to the plot. As I read I wondered "what am I waiting for here, what are we trying to resolve or discover...?"

The ending is interesting, however had I known this would be the conclusion- it would not have been good enough for me to read
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I think it's safe to say I love this book. I picked up "The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg" after reading Geoff's YA novel Stupid Fast, which is a great read (and fills a huge void in teen literature for guys). Geoff has a unique and poignant way of telling a story, and his characters are real and emotional.

I laughed out loud at "The Miracle Letters" and contemplated life and felt sad and felt joy. I can see myself reading this book over and over; I'm placing this on my bookshelf next to Christo
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it
There are passages in this book that are so funny, you will insist on reading them aloud to your family and friends, even though this annoys them. There are other passages that will haunt you for days, causing you to stare into space and look pensive. T. Rimberg is a lovable, disgusting headcase, and he makes an endearing protagonist and an entertaining narrator. As much as I enjoyed the process of reading this novel, though, when I finished it, I couldn't help feeling that the whole was oddly l ...more
Beth Lacey
May 06, 2008 rated it liked it
I read this book really quickly--it's got a different style (with letters mixed with interviews mixed with journal entries). I picked it up originally because I liked the color combos on the cover and the author is on NPR. I hung in to finish it because I wanted to know what the "accident" was, and in the end felt pretty satisfied. I'm not sure I would really deem it a "miracle," and kinda thought the priest was unnecessary. And I didn't laugh as much as I wanted to, but liked the development of ...more
Meredith  Payne
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book made me happy. Sad and funny is a winning combination.

At first, I wasn't sure I'd like the construction (the story comes together through a series of letters T. Rimberg writes to people and a one-sided transcript of an interview he has with a priest) - sometimes things like that can end up feeling forced and gimmicky instead of natural. But it was artfully done and totally suspension-of-disbelievable. I couldn't put it down.

Good show, Mr. Herbach!

Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my smart students told me to read this at the end of the school year. I didn't like the text on the back and I wasn't sure about the first few pages, but then I was hooked very hard. It is an easy read and is amazingly funny. Actually coughed coffee on my copy of the book. I found it moved from very far out and wild to so touching at the end. I didn't have a great relationship with my father and maybe that is why the end got to me like it did. Good book.
Darshan Elena
Dec 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
If you loved Nicole Krauss' History of Love and Mark Haddon's Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, I suspect you too will adore Geoff Herbach's Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg. The book has charm - all the more so for folks in their earlier thirties who'll get the protagonist's pop cultural references - and a whimsical approach to history and how it stalks some of us. Loved it, plain and simple.
Lisa Albrecht
Aug 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
definitely interesting concept...just a little out there for my taste. i also thought that the "accident" that the book kept eluding to as its climax was pretty lame. it took way too long to get there and wasn't near as interesting as all the fanfare had me hoping for. thankfully, it was a quick read or i don't think i would have made it through.
Oct 21, 2010 rated it liked it
A surprising page-turner. Thoroughly depressing at times, but hey, that's postmodernism, right? Herbach had a way of weaving this story that kept me intrigued--and even rooting for the twisted protagonist.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was very funny, and I love it when authors write in simple language but manage to pack so many ideas and messages in. I just picked it up on a whim at the library and ended up really enjoying the story line and the main character.
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it
I really got into this book in the beginning, enjoying the format of letters and interviews. However, I really felt like the meat of the book, the actual plot, left a bit to be desired. This is definitely a "guy book". Meh.
Oct 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who aren't boring
Recommended to Agathafrye by: the new book shelf at the library
Interesting, well written, funny, innovative, great cover, good characters. The ending? Could have been better. One of the better books I've read this year. Too lazy for a plot synopsis at the moment.
Apr 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
If you like Geoff Herbach's caracter at the Arc radio show you have to read his book. I just started and like it so far.
Jan 12, 2013 added it
I read this at camp Summer 2008.
Kayleigh Ann
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far i am really loving this book. I am so glad i decided to grab it off the shelf when i walked by. Really entertaining.
Mike Angelillo
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reads
Excellent on many a story about fear, father-son relationships, dealing with loss and finally grace. Wonderful...
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Amusing epistles of going mad and coming back.
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book was written by a grad of the Hamline MFA program and it is amazing. Funny, smart and haunting all at the same time. Herbach is a master at making the smallest detail seem oh so important.
Apr 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-top-10
Just about perfect. Captures the joy and misery of being human. I loved it.
Lynn Swecker
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought that I would enjoy the letter style writing, but it didn't allow for enough character development.
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. Humorous, clever, interesting
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I am the author of the YA title, Stupid Fast (June 2011 from Sourcebooks Fire). I also wrote The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, a Novel from Three Rivers Press. When I'm not writing books, I'm writing for Radio Happy Hour or developing ridiculous musical bits.

When I'm not writing, I'm teaching writing at Minnesota State, Mankato, which means I write a lot of comments about writing on student writi
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