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Einstein's Beach House

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,112 ratings  ·  736 reviews
A couple adopt a depressed hedgehog; a mother is seduced by the father of her daughter's imaginary friend; a man kidnap's his ex-wife's pet turtle. In eight tragi-comic stories, Einstein's Beach House: Stories features ordinary men and women rising to life's extraordinary challenges.
Paperback, First, 179 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Pressgang
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,112 ratings  ·  736 reviews

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Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
wow. that was surprising. damn, damn good stories here.

this is one of those books that i grabbed when it came across my desk just because i could. an unfamiliar author on a small press, "maybe it'll be a new discovery" kind of thing. i grab those books like popcorn, and they just sit on my desk, as my stacks of greediness accumulate and make me feel bad about myself as a reader. and then months later the author contacted me, asking me if i would like a copy of his book. i get a ton of requests,
Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“I insert the bevel and draw back the plunger. I know that the syringe contains more than sodium chloride-that even as the toxic contents fill my father’s veins, he is sharing with me his final gift: the horror and thrill of saving lives.”

Reading this collection of stories reminded me that I don’t read enough short stories. I keep hearing that people are becoming more interested in short story collections because they fit so well with our abbreviated attention spans, busy schedules, and our twe
Sanjay Gautam
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Einstein’s Beach House by Jacob M Appel is a collection of 8 short stories. The author has a unique voice which clearly echoes in his stories. Each story has its own unique flavor and taste but has one common thread among them - that they are both funny and tragic (tragic, to some extent). Each story keeps you hooked, and the author has written such that you get so engrossed in it that it feels the story is happening around you, and you are there and watching it. He takes from everyday life situ ...more
Pearl Angeli
Einstein's Beach House surprised me! I didn't know what to expect from this book and from this author but the overall impact it brought me was beyond my expectations. This book consists of 8 short stories, each with different themes but all in all, coming up with one thing -- life experiences.

The writing style of Jacob M. Appel is so impressive. He has this unique plot and great, three-dimensional characterization and he laces everything with humor and emotional conflict that even if each story
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Esil

4.5 stars

I think this secret gem of a book has the power to convert short-story-shy readers. It’s that good. Such a satisfying read! It’s one of those books where the first sentence of each story compels you to continue. Yum yum, read on, my mind instructed me. I kept getting sucked in.

Here’s the opening line of one story, called Paracosmos. Who could resist?

“Leslie traced their difficulties to before the parrot-fever scare, to before even the chimney sweep’s scrotum, to the summer night when h
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
4+++ Stars.

Jacob Appel was kind enough to gift me a copy of EINSTEIN'S BEACH HOUSE last year, and I must apologize for my tardiness in reading and reviewing until now.

After my shock of finding it with the little gift note in my stack of read-next books, my plan was to read the first couple of stories, do some much needed chores and go back to it later in the day, but that didn't work out so well. I could not put this eight story collection down. And oh how I love the look and feel of the book.

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A few weeks ago I noticed that a couple of my GR friends, karen and Mary Beth, had both read and reviewed this collection of short stories and given it highly positive reviews. I was all, "Hey! I love short stories!" even though since finishing my English B.A. the vast majority of the short stories I've read have been of the SF/fantasy variety. So I brashly sent a PM to the author, Jacob Appel, asking him if he'd be interested in sending me his book for review, and he very kindly said yes, and s ...more
Elyse  Walters
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
FANTASTIC STORIES! *****UPDATE: What happened to my STARS??? I rated this book 5 stars when I read it. Also--I ordered "The Biology of Luck" from Amazon --a LONG time where is it? I must go do some research work!

A touch of Jonathan Tropper ...
A touch of Nick Hornby...
A larger touch of Etgar Keret, the Israeli author...
Mostly ... A touch of JACOB M. APPEL!!!!

These creative -hilarious -heartbreaking -complex -entertaining stories will satisfy any reader!

The flawed characters are writt
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a truly excellent collection of stories by award-winning author Jacob Appel. I was impressed by his previous work, Scouting for the Reaper, but the eight stories here seem even more honed and polished, and I can find no fault with any of them.

Like George Saunders, Appel delights in taking a mild-mannered characters who are used to doing only what common sense dictates, flinging weird circumstances at them and then describing how they deal with the intrusion. Here you will meet men whose
Mary Beth
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations

I was actually asked by the author if I would be interested in reading an ARC of his book for an honest review! My answer of course was yes of course! I usually do not read short stories because they usually aren't so good. These stories really surprised me, I was not expecting these short stories to be so good!

The stories were to me daily life moments when everything goes wrong. This book was filled with anger, bad luck, worry, and doom. They are very heart broken stories. Some of them I found
Rebecca McNutt
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: short-stories
I'm really grateful to have had the opportunity to read and review Einstein's Beach House, because it was one of the best short story anthologies I've ever read! This book brought so much imagination and excitement to my March Break; it's full of unforgettable characters, vivid detail and imagery, and a light at the end of every tunnel. Most books don't have the kind of originality that Einstein's Beach House has to offer, it had just the right amount of humor, tragedy and imagination that made ...more
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
And now, for something completely different, sit yourself down with Jacob Appel's book of short stories. Refreshing in their originality, this collage contains bits and pieces of life, truths, and some startling final sentences that will give you pause before going on to the next story.

The challenges of dating when you are older, a coddled turtle, a depressed hedgehog, and why it is always a good idea to carry a spare umbrella. They don't grow on trees, you know. 'So many falsehoods have been co
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
These are entertaining and entrap personality and nuance with few words. That I LOVE. So refreshing to see glimpses of these characters being themselves in such depth of context to their situations. Without the verbose word count hubris of description that has become so endemic in fiction in the last 4 or 5 years, IMHO. If it isn't alternating narrators it's long term verbose copy that belongs in a psychiatric session.

The only flaw I found for my own reading that in order to be humorous, and all
Larry H
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I know how much I love a book when I can't stop myself from devouring it in practically one sitting, although I want to savor it at the same time. And boy, did I love this one.

The eight stories in Einstein's Beach House are slightly quirky (but not distractingly so), somewhat moving and each at least a little bit humorous, and extremely memorable. Jacob Appel does such a great job developing his characters and the plot of each story, I honestly could see many of them developed into a full-le
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to TL by: karen
Shelves: favorites
New favorite author :)
Discovered this by chance when I stumbled upon karen's review last year.. saw this on paperbackswap and jumped on it.

Each story has a different vibe to it... some are disturbing, some are a bit out there, one of the more interesting has bit of a paranormal twist to it.

It's easy to imagine a couple of them as short films *hint hint Hollywood *

These stories resonate and stay with you after you've finished them.. some skewed moments and oddly compelling.

One story in particul
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: That year Lizzie's kid sister kept a list of things that were funny when they happenedto other people: tarring and feathering, Peeping Toms, mad cow disease. The rare encephalopathy from which their father suffered didn't actually come from eating infected cattle, it turned out, but from a spontaneous somatic mutation - which Bill Sucram's neurologist described as 'losing the Genetic lottery ' - yet the ailment was enough like mad cow that Lizzie's mother swore off animal products. Over ...more
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a delightful little gem this book of eight short stories turned out to be. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I'm happy I did. Each story was better, quirkier and more darkly humorous than the last. The author has a wonderful, and eccentric imagination, and I kept chuckling to myself with the way each story progressed. A depressed hedgehog who is taken by its distraught owner to a pet psychologist; a man who sells tickets to tour 'Einstein's Beach House' after a AAA travel guide mi ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Each of the eight short stories in this collection focus on an incident, situation or ethical dilemma that Appel's all-too-human characters must deal with.

In "Hue and Cry,' a young girl confronts her dying father's frailty as he pursues an ideal of forgiveness in the face of public outcry. In 'La Tristesse Des Herrissons,' a couple deals with a depressed pet hedgehog and their own idiosyncrasies. In 'Strings,' a rabbi finds herself entangled in the requests of her former lover, a cellist. In 'L
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2015
This collection of stories was highly readable and held my interest throughout. Most were comical, yet darkly moving. All were a little strange and dreamlike. Characters look back on strange occurrences during a pocket of time when the world is almost as it seems. Almost.

As a people-watcher, I began to notice a pattern with Appel’s writing after reading a few of these stories. As they were introduced, many characters were frozen for a moment and their futures laid out, before being brought back
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
An interesting volume of eight short stories. The tales are quirky, drawing you deceptively in to a "normal" situation only to veer off into something unsettling or odd.

I particularly liked the story where a morose hedgehog (who can tell?) becomes the catalyst for the unravelling of a doomed relationship - leaving the protagonists dripping blood fifty feet up on a precarious ledge.

Worth a read
Aug 23, 2015 rated it liked it

Einstein's Beach House is a collection of quirky short  stories concerning a variety of ethical issues.  Some have left their impressions on me; others I can't even remember anymore. The title story was one of the memorable ones -- a transposition of numbers in the address where Albert Einstein spent his summer vacations leads one homeowner to profit off the error, and then, well, I won't say what happens next but it leaves you wondering.

La Tristesse  des  Hèrissons,   (Translated: The Sad
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Einstein’s Beach House, at 179 pages, is a short collection of 8 tales that are just twisted a little bit. The stories are about human relationships but it’s about how those relationships play out in odd circumstances.

Circumstances such as who do you present welcome baskets to, what does it say about you when you pay for your depressed hedgehog to get therapy at $200 an hour, how do you deal with your child’s affection for imaginary friends, in what states are tortoises subject to custody arran
Jessica Sullivan
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I struggle with short story collections because they’re unable to hold my attention. This was not the case with Einstein’s Beach House. These are some of the most bizarre stories I’ve ever read, and as someone who is drawn to the strange , dark, and melancholy aspects of humanity, I fully intend that as a compliment.

A couple adopts a depressed hedgehog. A man posing as a doctor kills innocent patients to avenge his dead wife. A woman has an affair with the father of her daughter’s imag
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved all eight of these deliciously off-kilter stories...They were all emotionally riveting in weird and wonderful ways. The author takes seemingly normal realities and turns them into something strange and inexplicable. One of my favorites in this collection was "Limerence" me it's about the harsh realities of life and how your particular circumstance or placement in life can be mercilessly altered by the passage of time. I found this one especially heart wrenching.
I would like to thank
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading short story collections (although it usually seems to take me forever to get through them), so was excited to be offered a complimentary copy of Einstein's Beach House: Stories from the author. This was a book that I probably would never have noticed simply based on the title, however, I happened to see a review mentioning a couple adopting a depressed hedgehog and found it so intriguing that I had to learn more!

Not only does the author, Jacob M. Appel, tackle the subject of a d
Rob Slaven
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As is very often always the case, I received this book free in exchange for a review. Despite the kindness of receiving a free book I'm absolutely candid about the book because I want everyone to know what they're getting as much as I hope to when I'm shopping.

Usually when I'm about to review something I go into a prototypical summary/positives/negatives format but in this case I can't really find anything negative to say so I'm stymied for the last third of the review. This is a keen rarity, as
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This collection of short stories was so enjoyable to read , they were funny, quirky and some a little sad . Some of the stories I loved the characters so much I wished the stories were full books. I felt like some of the characters could be people I know . I recommend this book to anyone who wants a fun read that's hard to put down. It's defiantly an anytime read.
Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews
These all Short stories and I’m short of words. So, I’ll just tell you in simple and shortest way my views on this book.

They were brilliant and unique. Right from the writing to the concept, I haven’t come across this type of short stories till now. The stories contain different theme and characters, their psychologies, and life experiences. In each story, when you reach to the, it keep you thinking about the story what you just read and hit with deep meaning. All stories were fictional and yet
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm not a big fan of short stories because I always leave wanting more. So I was hesitant when the author asked if he could send me a copy for an honest review. I'm happy to say that all of these stories were very enjoyable. I did want more but not in a disappointed way like I was getting a portion of a book. Each of these stories were very individual, unique and enjoyable. They were so well written. I think a couple of the stories I liked more than the other ones but they all were enjoyable. If ...more
Megan Skeens
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review!

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I received this book. In turn, I enjoyed reading the stories in Einstein's Beach House more than I thought I would. They're not normal short stories. They all have a hidden meaning behind them and make you think and contemplate life! Also, each story contains some humor, which I enjoyed since there was also a sense of darkness in the story telling.

My two favorite stories out of this book
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**Please note: A limited number of complimentary electronic copies of several of my books are available for review. Please email me directly if you are interested**

Jacob M. Appel's first novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize. He has published short fiction in more than tw

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26 likes · 3 comments
“I insert the bevel and draw back the plunger. I know that the syringe contains more than sodium chloride-that even as the toxic contents fill my fathers veins, he is sharing with me his final gift: the horror and thrill of saving lives.” 6 likes
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