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Touch [Mass Market Paperback]

Elmore Leonard
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

July 11 2002

A Michigan woman was blind and now she can see, after being touched by a young man who calls himself Juvenal. Maybe it was just coincidence, but Bill Hill -- who used to run the spectacular Uni-Faith Ministry in Dalton, Georgia, and now sells RVs -- can see dollar signs when he looks at this kid with the magic "touch." The trouble is that others see them also, including a wacko fundamentalist fascist with his own private army of the faithful and an assortment of media leeches. But everyone who's looking to put the touch on the healer is in for a big surprise -- because Juvenal's got a trick or two up his sleeve that nobody sees coming.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Turned down as a marketing problem because it couldn't be "labeled" 10 years ago, this novel will almost certainly be another of Leonard's big hits. He writes in the sparse, word-perfect prose style that distinguishes Glitz, Bandits and all his bestsellers to tell a tender, funny, suspenseful story. The hero, Charlie Lawson, once served as Brother Juvenal in a Catholic order; now he cares for alcoholics in a Detroit hospice. Charlie/Juvenal cures those he touches through miracles manifested by the Stigmata, the wounds of Christ that appear on Charlie's body. The phenomenon lures a flashy promoter, Bill Hill, aiming to get rich by exploiting the reclusive, gentle man who is also the intended prey of rabid right-winger August Murray. Murray plans to get the healer on his side, fighting against the ecumenism of Vatican II rules, especially the ones forbidding the Mass being said in Latin. Both Hill and Murray are losers when smart, attractive Lynn Faulkner and Charlie fall in love, before the astonishing finale that makes one believe the couple will live happily ever after. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A wry take on fame and the miraculous. CATHOLIC HERALD --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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FRANK SINATRA, JR., was saying, "I don't have to take this," getting up out of the guest chair, walking out. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick but good read June 10 2002
Format:Paperback
The only problem I have with this book is that it's too short. Perhaps where it ends is the right point, because it makes you think for yourself what actually happened, and what whould happen to the main characters after the incident. But take it as a compliment that I wanted to read more about these characters.
The story is about a stigmatic who may also have healing powers. One of the good points of the book is that they explain the phenomenon of those who have stigmata. For those uninitiated, this is the condition where humans periodically experience the wounds suffered by Christ at his crucifixtion. They actually get holes in their hands and bleed. This has been documented enough to prove it does indeed exist. Whether it is due to an extreme power of self-suggestion or an actual miracle I will leave to the reader.
Ditto with the healing power. The main character seemingly has this, and Leonard teases us by not showing any healing until the end, and that is even written to make us wonder. It does, however, have the actual stigmata occur, and when it does, it is powerful writing by the author.
Of course, being a Leonard novel, you have to surround him with a cast of con men and hucksters that see how they can benefit from this. What is tantalizing is that we never really know if the central character is good or just another con man. We think he's good, and we want to believe he's good, but Leonard just leaves little hints to make us wonder ourselves.
I'll also not reveal if he's a good man or not, and for that matter, I might be wrong myself. I highly recommend you read it and make your own decision.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book/Quick Read Jan. 23 2001
By Peach
Format:Paperback
The book was actually written in the 1977 but took 10 years to get published because of the religious undertones. I honestly don't understand what the fuss was about but then again that was over 20 years ago. It's a story about a man, Juvenal, who has the ability to heal the sick and when he does heal them he gets the wounds of Jesus, stigmata. Juvenal does not claim to be a saint however the rest of the world disagrees. All Juvenal wants to help those in need and to be left alone. However, there are too many people who want a piece of him. They want to exploit this miracle for a profit. And then there's Lynne... with Lynne Juvenal has found a soulmate, someone who he can talk to and who understand him. Now this 'saint' has a girlfriend and people are up in arms. Should Juvenal live his life for the Church or for himself?
I highly recommend this book; it's a fairly quick read and very unique story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice small-scale story May 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Excellent, really more of a novella than a novel. The "August" character is prevented, I'm thankful, from taking over the story. Nice to see that Dutch has thrown in some descriptions of settings and some narrative passages to go with all the dialog this time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick but good read June 10 2002
By elvistcob@lvcm.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The only problem I have with this book is that it's too short. Perhaps where it ends is the right point, because it makes you think for yourself what actually happened, and what whould happen to the main characters after the incident. But take it as a compliment that I wanted to read more about these characters.
The story is about a stigmatic who may also have healing powers. One of the good points of the book is that they explain the phenomenon of those who have stigmata. For those uninitiated, this is the condition where humans periodically experience the wounds suffered by Christ at his crucifixtion. They actually get holes in their hands and bleed. This has been documented enough to prove it does indeed exist. Whether it is due to an extreme power of self-suggestion or an actual miracle I will leave to the reader.
Ditto with the healing power. The main character seemingly has this, and Leonard teases us by not showing any healing until the end, and that is even written to make us wonder. It does, however, have the actual stigmata occur, and when it does, it is powerful writing by the author.
Of course, being a Leonard novel, you have to surround him with a cast of con men and hucksters that see how they can benefit from this. What is tantalizing is that we never really know if the central character is good or just another con man. We think he's good, and we want to believe he's good, but Leonard just leaves little hints to make us wonder ourselves.
I'll also not reveal if he's a good man or not, and for that matter, I might be wrong myself. I highly recommend you read it and make your own decision.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THANKSGIVING May 23 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If only I had read this book back in the 70's, then it may have had an impact on me, somehow. But seeing as to the fact that I'm approaching 80, and will soon be too old to actually appreciate the sub-text of this wonderful novel - I'd have to say that tho' it is one of EL's best books he'd ever written, I would have to agree with my wife who keeps telling me to put the book down and connect myself back to reality.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book/Quick Read Jan. 23 2001
By Peach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book was actually written in the 1977 but took 10 years to get published because of the religious undertones. I honestly don't understand what the fuss was about but then again that was over 20 years ago. It's a story about a man, Juvenal, who has the ability to heal the sick and when he does heal them he gets the wounds of Jesus, stigmata. Juvenal does not claim to be a saint however the rest of the world disagrees. All Juvenal wants to help those in need and to be left alone. However, there are too many people who want a piece of him. They want to exploit this miracle for a profit. And then there's Lynne... with Lynne Juvenal has found a soulmate, someone who he can talk to and who understand him. Now this 'saint' has a girlfriend and people are up in arms. Should Juvenal live his life for the Church or for himself?
I highly recommend this book; it's a fairly quick read and very unique story.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a genre writer Sept. 1 2010
By Anthony Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So-called genre writers are typically treated like second-class citizens in the literary world. ("Oh, he/she's just a mystery/romance/sci fi/ whatever writer.") To many readers, unless a book is long and a chore to read, it isn't a serious work. Well, I think Elmore Leonard disproves that pile of poop with TOUCH. This is a departure from his usual good guy/bad guys set-up, but his wry, economical style works like a charm. Sure, the charlatans in this book could have shown up in any of his crime novels, but the stakes are higher here. If you start reading with no preconceived expectations and just go with it, you will not be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, Perfect, A Must for Elmore Leonard Fans July 13 2011
By Cheryl Hanna - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This marvelous novel, with its tone-perfect prose, spot-on dialogue, unpredictable twists and engaging characters caught me by surprise, but it is quintessential Elmore Leonard, varying only from the author's better known works by an unexpected sunniness and sweetness of tone.

How the Coen Brothers have failed to film this, I don't know, but order a copy. You will create your own mind-movie.
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