The Nicholas Effect
Reg Green’s Highly-Acclaimed Book, “The Nicholas Effect” Continues to Change Minds Around the World
“I can think of no book that surpasses ‘The Nicholas Effect’ in opening the heart and changing attitudes for the common good,” Bud Gardner, editor of Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul, wrote when it was first published.
It tells the horrifying story of the shooting, as four-year-old Eleanor lay asleep next to Nicholas, the failed efforts to save him and the emotion that engulfed Italy when the decision to donate his organs and corneas became known. The President and Prime Minister of Italy asked to see the Greens privately and talked to them like friends of the family instead of leaders of a nation.
The book shows them going home to their beautiful village of Bodega Bay on the Northern California coast and, in a wrenching ceremony, burying Nicholas in a simple country churchyard, then picking up the threads in a house that suddenly seemed empty.
The media interest was intense from the beginning, as the book relates, with virtually every major daily paper in the world carrying the story and the major television shows, including Oprah, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw, interviewing the family.
The book goes on location for the making of “Nicholas’ Gift,” a CBS movie of the week, for which Jamie Lee Curtis was nominated for an Emmy. It details the arrest of the two suspects and the long-drawn-out murder trial. It describes how Pope John Paul II had a bell made in the papal foundry and sent to the memorial tower that was built in Bodega Bay.
No other country has come remotely close to the rate of increase in organ donation shown by Italy. “A change of that magnitude must have multiple causes, including dedicated volunteers and health care personnel all over Italy,” says Green. “But it is clear that Nicholas’ story was the catalyst that changed the thinking of an entire nation.”
More broadly, the story sharply increased awareness of the tens of thousands of deaths caused around the world every year by the shortage of donated organs. As the book puts it “it sent an electric shock through the human spirit.”
“The Nicholas Effect,” can be ordered at www.authorhouse.com. It is also available through online bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders. For those orders purchasers should specify the 15th anniversary edition.