Einstein's Beach House
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, ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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....more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
The only flaw I found for my own reading that in order to be humorous, and all ...more
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 Sadness ...more
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 ...more
I would like to thank ...more
Not only does the author, Jacob M. Appel, tackle the subject of a ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
Appel's writing style is unique, humorous, and completely real. He holds ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more