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Literature / The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg

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“Believe the hype. I killed myself.”

To quote the Amazon blurb.:"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 stars, and lands in a hospital bed across from a priest who believes that Rimberg has caused a miracle. This funny, moving novel asks us to consider the nature of second chances and the unexpected form that grace sometimes takes."

The inspiration for this novel came when the author had his sister-law and his two nephews stay over at his house one day. In the middle of the night one of them had a nightmare and woke up the entire house. In his half-awake state the author thought to himself "I'm going to write a suicide note" despite not being suicidal himself. In the morning he thought about the idea, and laughed it off. However he then started to think and realized that no one had written a story told through a man's suicides notes. And then set down and wrote this book.


What also makes this novel unique other then the style is that unlike most other examples here is that the Author, Geoff Herbach, actually was a professor of English to at least one troper. Due to this the novel is full of tropes even though he is not a troper.

The novel shows the following tropes

  • Anti-Hero: Of the classical sort. The man cheats on his wife but doesn't even have to courage to go through with it, is flawed, and is so depressed that he decides to kill himself. However he winds up changing a lot of lives and saves a bus of Packer Fans.
  • Bungled Suicide: Despite his best efforts Rimberg is unable to drown himself in the Seine. It's hinted at it might be a case of Deus ex Machina
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Despite the title character doing the cheating it's a case of bad adultery. He even admits it and is one of the reasons he was going to kill himself. There is also another case early on with his college girlfriend hooking up with another man and leaving him while there are on a visit to Ireland. Despite this happening to him he believes it's a case of Good Adultery because he thinks that he deserved to be cheated on as would then go on to cheat on his life.
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  • Happily Failed Suicide: After his failed attempt to drown himself in the Seine he winds up finding his father's second family, discovers his family's history, winds up saving an entire bus of Packers fan through what might be Divine Intervention, and reconnects with his son.
  • In the Blood: Played Straight and then Averted: Both cheating on your wife and Psychic Powers runs in the family. Averted in that neither Rimberg or his father are anything like Rimberg's grandfather.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Both the Miracle and the Psychic Powers are treated like this. Both have a lot of evidence towards being magic.
  • Parental Favoritism: T. Rimburg's father obviously like him more than his younger brother. This is because Rimberg inherited his Psychic Powers and could connect with him better.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Though it's more like Poor Handwriting kicks off the plot. The plot kicks off as T. Rimburg gets his inheritance from his father but not the letter explaining everything. This is because the handwriting on the letter was so poor that it took weeks to find someone who could read it. This leads to T. Rimberg going on the journey.
  • Precision F-Strike: "FUCK YOU ARM!" What Rimberg screams to his broken arm while he is trying to open the door to the bus that's on fire.
  • Redemption Equals Life: Rimberg regains the respect of his family, and the world when he saves the bus.
  • Suicide as Comedy: For most of the book. Averted when he actually tries it by drowning himself in the Seine.
  • The Atoner: Rimberg. The point of the suicide notes is to apologize to just about everyone he ever even remotely wronged before he offs himself. His father was trying to redeem the Rimberg name after His father sold out Jews to the Nazi's
  • The Quisling: Rimberg's Grandfather was this to the Nazi's in World War 2. He sold out Jews to the Holocaust.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Several of the events in the letters never happened and tells the interviewer that. Also in the letters Rimberg is a lot harder on himself then he should be.

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