Gerald opens his memoir by describing himself at age 12, sitting in a church pew in great anticipation of the impending Rapture. When the clock turns and 1999 becomes 2000 and he and his fellow congregants remain, is he relieved, or disappointed? Gerald then looks back at the beginning, as he remembers it ... Gerald pulls no punches in telling his extraordinary story, which he relates with unsparing truth, no small amount of feeling, and a complete lack of sentimentality. Painful lessons dart in and pummel his unsuspecting self, and scenes of startling intensity are often pierced—and pieced back together—by light and humor. Also an accomplished public speaker, Gerald will hook readers with richly layered writing on poverty, progress, race, belief, and the actual American Dream.
[There Will Be No Miracles Here is] a stunningly original literary memoir from a young man who's just as good a writer as he is an entrepreneur ... And while the book isn't exactly cynical, it's refreshingly lacking in all things optimistic and inspirational. Gerald writes openly about his struggles with faith in his family and in anything divine. To be sure, Gerald does have epiphanies, but he looks at them with a healthy skepticism ... Gerald would probably roll his eyes at the phrasing, but his memoir is a shining and sincere miracle of a book.
... magnificent ... At times Gerald moves too quickly to the next scene or idea, when he might have benefited from a more sustained explanation of his thinking. On the other hand, he just might have crafted a consummate 21st-century memoir for readers whose brains have been rewired by Google, their attention always under siege. Gerald also pushes stylistic conventions, with short passages where he writes about himself in the third person or directly addresses the reader. He includes metanarratives as well as letters, emails and speeches. And ever present is the enchantment of his voice, one that is at turns exuberant, humorous, unsentimental, imaginative, keen. While Gerald’s style is engaging, the locus of the book is his extraordinary journey ... But [Gerald's] life, and this memoir, serve as proof of his prodigious talents, of the truth that, for the gifted like him, struggles that range from a serious hardship to a little mistake can yield something miraculous.