Author: Jacob M. Appel
*This review based on .pdf version provided free in exchange for honest review*
I'm not often left without words (as my husband would attest with a grin on his face). I've read, discussed, and reviewed a lot of books in my time. It's not often I read one, especially a collection of short stories, that leaves me grasping for the right words. I've been pondering what to say in this review for days after finishing this book of 8 short stories by Jacob Appel. The best I can come up with is this:
Ecclectic. Witty. Brilliant.
I don't give praise lightly. Although I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, the free book doesn't have any effect on my opinion. I receive many free books to review. But this one is special. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every story. Nothing about these stories is old hat, or reworked dusty plotlines. I found myself finishing a story and wondering what interesting adventure the next one held in store for me. A childless couple who adopts a depressed hedgehog, a real estate lie that takes on a life of its own, a custody battle over a tortoise. Each story was something new and different, providing an interesting, unusual peek into the lives of the characters. The stories deal with the dark life struggles we all share -- divorce, mental illness, death, growing old, forgiveness, disillusion, lost love, revenge -- but in an ecclectic, magical blend of tragedy, comedy and the absurd.
Appel has a true gift for story telling. I'm not going to give a synopsis of each story. other than the small snippets I've given above. To me, telling more is akin to spoilers. For this collection, a reader should experience each story cold, without any knowledge of what is to come, until they read it for themselves. Not knowing makes it more fresh and surprising. These stories are amazing! Enjoy!
My rating: 9/10
Adult themes. Minor profanity. Ages16 & up.
Excellent short story collection!