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There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  949 ratings  ·  168 reviews
13 Hours and 33 Minutes

The testament of a boy and a generation who came of age as the world came apart--a generation searching for a new way to live.

Casey Gerald comes to our fractured times as a uniquely visionary witness whose life has spanned seemingly unbridgeable divides. His story begins at the end of the world: Dallas, New Year's Eve 1999, when Casey gathers with
Published October 2nd 2018 by Penguin Audio
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  949 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Tina Panik
Unlike any book, or any memoir, I have ever read. Casey’s honesty is equal parts shame and pride, brains and ignorance, hope and despair. His story is still unfolding, and I’ll be first in line for a follow up volume...

This was an ARC from Book Expo NYC, where I saw Casey speak at a dinner that left everyone in tears.
Casey Gerald may have an interesting and worthwhile story to tell, but I was unable to stick around for another 300 or so more pages to find out. I couldn’t stand what to me was an affected, ostenatious, fake and folksy, down-home-jokey narrative voice. Unfairly or not, it made me mistrust him and any observations he might make. I stuck my toe in the water, and the writing so turned me off that I could wade in no farther. I can only report that no, there were no miracles here—with respect to lea ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of memoirs. I love memoirs. This is one of the best I've ever read. It's so beautifully written, so honest, and so timely. The perfect trifecta of a memoir.
The title comes from a seventeenth-century sign in a French village that was intended to get the God-dazzled peasants back to work. For Gerald it’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek reminder that his life, even if he has made good after an unpromising beginning, is not some American dream or fairytale. It’s more complicated than that. Still, there’s no sugar-coating his family issues. His father missed his tenth birthday party because he was next door with dope fiends; his bipolar mother was in the psy ...more
Hayley Stenger
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting read. I always felt like Casey Gerald was walking a tightrope in life and on the verge of falling. He lived in a world that was chaotic and he was balancing emotional trauma with educational and athletic success. The writing was aggressive and a little chaotic, it fit the story well. Gerald was reflective and honest. The only issue I had was the writing wasn't as tight as I would have liked. I look forward to hearing more of what Gerald has to say, I think he has some int ...more
Bryna Zumer
This was sort of interesting, but I didn't finish it... Casey Gerald is obviously a good, unique writer with his own voice, and he has some interesting stories to tell. Ultimately, though, I wasn't totally sure why I should read a memoir by such a young author who basically just started a business-school co-op and has written for a lot of high-brow media - and, since he's basically from my generation, I felt like some of it was a little pretentious/posturing. I guess I just wasn't interested eno ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I came into this knowing nothing of Casey Gerald. Listened to the audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s interesting to read the varying reviews of his literary voice, which I absolutely loved. Humble (in a self-deprecating way), honest, and refreshingly humorous. While one might consider some of the subject matter “timely” in our current sociopolitical climate, I believe he is just telling his story... and he just happens to be a black, gay man coming of age and meeting success in his Americ ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, memoir
I tried to force myself through this book and succeeded through it for awhile. It might have a message somewhere in there about who Casey is/was and what he has learned. Obviously, he had an unsettled childhood from what I did read. I do not want to wade through the rest of the book to find out the moral of the story (if there is one) because of the coarseness of the narrative and language. It was interesting to hear the lingo of his world.
et2 Brutuss
Just How?

While I liked it and found there were many profound and moving passages, I find it a little bit disingenuous. It seems that he sort of just falls into these positively life changing situations. He sort of just ends up at Yale, Yale! He sort of just ends up a Rhodes Scholar candidate. These are circumstances that people carefully craft their entire childhoods and young adulthood to be able to access and still fail. Yet Casey seems to sort of meander into them, unwillingly even. You need
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was asked to read this ARC/memoir for an honest review. It is already receiving notable buzz from many reliable, reputable sources - Lissa Muscatine (One of the owners of Politics & Prose) and Colm Toibin (Author) to name two. And, the true life story of Casey Gerald's rise from "rags to riches" is truly astonishing in the way only true stories can be.

The book begins at a religious revival with 12 year old Casey discovering doubt for the first time in his life. He grew up in Texas with a
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gerald's life has been extraordinary in many ways, from his often absent parents during childhood to his days playing football for Yale to his work in a think tank in DC. This memoir comes across as an exercise in radical honesty, a reworking and fact checking of the stories he's told himself and others over the years. It's also beautifully written in a voice that is somehow both achingly earnest and deeply skeptical. He tells us how he felt during an episode in his life and then examines whethe ...more
Sonora Taylor
This book had a great start and an uneven finish. I got the sense while reading that Gerald's public speaking skills dictated the way he wrote. Sometimes this worked really well, and sometimes this didn't work, especially in the last third of the book. I started to feel lost and disjointed. Perhaps that was intentional on the author's part, and if so, then maybe that's a style that isn't for me.

Still, it was a good read overall, and a great read for the first half of the book.
Brady Jones
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This is not a story, and it’s not a lecture: It’s a lesson.

Gerald’s autobiography sheds light into the diametrically opposed natures of our society through lenses of race, class, gender/sexuality, generations, religion, and regionalism. It is, at its core, an indictment of power in all its forms.

It does not follow a traditional arc, ending with a neat bow. Instead it ends with a beginning and more questions than answers - and that makes it great. It is several conversations happening at once,
This is an interesting memoir, to be sure, and Gerald's voice can be so clear and rallying in one section and muddied and herky jerky in others. (He also mentions his own name waaaay too much throughout the book.) In a year in which Educated came out, I realize how much narrative style and authorial voice effect the reading of a memoir, and this was a bit uneven overall for me. Gerald's coming-of-age in a destructive family of origin, his realization of self as a queer black man (he rejects the ...more
Dr. Van
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every page of this book had me sucking in my breath. Gerald is a beautifully complex writer. This work feels unfinished and raw at points, and poetic and perfect at others. For me, it worked. I felt incredibly close to the author and his life in a way that it is not always so easy to achieve in a book. In some ways, this felt more like the intimacy of a podcast in which an authors' feelings literally vibrate through your body as they come in contact with your ears. Gerald draws no broad general ...more
I have to give this book 5 stars because I spent so much time thinking about it when I wasn't reading it. And telling my husband. And looking up articles about him. And watching his Ted Talk. I almost want to equate it to On The Road because it is written in this dreamy out of body type way. He writes about himself with confusion and uncertainty, as if each step in his life is a surprise. Yet this belies how incredibly smart and ambitious he was (is), succeeding with each new phase. I think what ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
I just couldn't get into this one.
Caroline (readtotheend on IG)
This book was just not for me. There were really amazing passages. I really connected to passages where he talks about his Yale football experiences and the relationships and lessons he learned there. I also felt really connected to the passages where he talks about his identity as a gay man - it felt very honest and sincere. But ultimately, I felt his writing to be very uneven and I personally do not love stream-of-consciousness type writing. To be honest, what I felt was lacking was a sense of ...more
Sarah Macdonald
I don't read a lot of memoirs, but I would if they were like this. I think I highlighted a third of the book. By far one of the best books I've read in a long time. As much interesting as it is poignant, I can't believe Gerald can write a book about his life and not have it be either a sob story or a cliche. He writes with breathtaking honesty, humility, and grace, all the more remarkable for how he's built his life.
Germaine Irwin
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is a fabulous book, a life so far lead with no shortage of problems, naïveté, desire, strength, foolishness, and enlightenment- just like many of us and also very different from many of us. He shows us his path without judgements (except for himself) and thus shows us a way to relate experiences while also opening our eyes to other truths.
Cherise Wolas
An interesting memoir. A coming of age tale, of a young queer black boy. Rags to riches. From the other side of the river in Dallas in 1999, in a family of preachers, with a father who was a star football player, and then became a drug addict, a bipolar mother who disappears, a boy who finds himself at Yale, etc. There is fury and poetry in some of the prose that makes it shimmer.
I'm not black, but this book is zoomed into many of the issues I've been pondering. If you want to know how a thoughtful Democrat works for an Obama think tank and, as a result, considers becoming a Republican, read this book.

Anyway, I know I'm old now because the author reminisces about his childhood by mentioning things from my childhood.
Jeffrey Jenkins
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many would classify Gerald's life as a miracle or success story, but from his own account in There Will Be No Miracles Here, his story is quite the opposite. Born to a father whose journey took him from rags to riches, from star athlete to drug addict and convicted felon, Gerald's tale is tragic. However, he offers a rare look into what it is like to be raised as an underprivileged gay black youth who gains access to privilege via a football scholarship to Yale University, a degree from the Harv ...more
Tom Walsh
Not sure why I stuck with it.

I found this book on my Want to Read List. By the time I came across it I had no idea why I chose it. It may have been a combination of the title and an NPR recommendation. I stayed with it to the end, but I have to say it did nothing for me.

Maybe because my life has nothing in common with Gerald’s, but I was not able to empathize as he recounted his varied experiences growing up, playing ball, entering the business world, etc. He’s a young gay, Black man, chosen f
Maddy Boudette
3.5. I alternated between wishing I was reading this on my kindle so I could underline, and wondering if I skipped a page because I felt so lost. Overall, I really did like this book. Casey Gerald’s awareness of social strata , the American Dream, and his place in it all is a case study in race, poverty,addiction; so relevant for today.
Lots of gold nuggets worth digging for in sometimes confusing segues and time shifts throughout.
Maria Elena
I cannot get into this. It is too poetic and all over the place.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I read a lot of memoirs but haven't read one like this often...maybe ever. The details of the journey aren't what makes this book so amazing but rather the raw feeling that comes through every word. Seriously, this memoir is poetry.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on Audible because it was the December book choice for the New York Times/PBS book club. Never, during the entire course of the book, did I develop any positive regard or affection for the author of this memoir. When he decides to start an organization with a college friend he is more concerned with the name of the organization, it seems, than its function. The purpose of the organization is something that can be determined downstream.

He wants to become President not so h
Carol Seidl
3 out of 5 stars is a pretty low rating for me because I don’t usually read a book unless it has already received a great deal of praise. TWBNMH is a highly-lauded new memoir and its author has led a remarkable life but I found the narrative to be overly rambling.

Casey Gerald, is the son of Rob Gerald, the first black quarterback for OSU who played during the late 1970s. As my dad was an ardent Buckeye, I know I watched the senior Gerald on TV many times growing up. So, I was surprised to learn
Andres Villatoro
Before I give my review/rant of this book I must give a disclaimer: halfway through this book, i realized that I don't really like memoirs. After reading two back to back, i have to say i don't enjoy readings people inner thoughts or personal opinions about matters, it bores me a bit. It may be my sociological oriented mind that has always gravitated toward the social and not the inner psyche of an individual but without sounding to harsh, that's what i realized and i may take a break from memoi ...more
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“And the primary if not only difference between the liberals and the illiberals on this issue is that the American alt-right and France's National Front and Germany's National Democratic Party (I haven't been to England, so will leave them out of this) will try their best to kill you quickly or keep you out of the West altogether, whereas the liberals will write elaborate pamphlets about your condition while doing little to change it and even less to come in contact with it -- or with you, for that matter.” 2 likes
“I also longed for something to believe in. That was greedy. My mistake. I had not learned that the search for belief is very likely the most violent known to man, not infrequently ending in death or derangement,” 1 likes
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