This review contains some spoilers.
It is difficult to read a book such as Einstein’s Beach House and know exactly what to say in order to recommend it to a friend. More so than any book I’ve read in a long time, it leaves you with a mood, a feeling.
Often there are no resolutions in the strict sense of the word, and yet the author gives you just enough room into his characters’ lives to understand where they are going. It’s a testament to the work that the author has managed to evoke such real emotion.
This is, at times, a dark exploration into humanity, covering death and loss, be it metaphysical or real. In ‘Limerence’, my personal favorite, a judge muses over his childhood, when he met his first great love. He’s proven powerless to forget her, and yet he’s lost her to time and circumstance. The author captures that spark of emotion we all understand; our past so vivid and real, and in the blink of an eye perhaps we could be back there again. Yet, it’s funny how we always romanticize what we lost, rarely considering if it was in our best interests.
In ‘The Rod of Asclepius’, a young girl accompanies her father to the hospital where he works. However, she is soon forced to contend with our father’s power over life and death. And in ‘La Tristesse des Herissons’, something of a dark comedy, a man is locked into a nightmare relationship with a woman who drives him further and further to the edge.
As one might expect from a short story collection, I did not thoroughly enjoy every entry; one or two did not capture my attention quite so well as their stronger counterparts, but still provided moments to appreciate.
Appel’s characters feel four dimensional, and are not mere vessels carried through each dark and quirky story. Instead, they are living, breathing people that take action, but often find their world immovable.
The writing and presentation are superb, and will keep you locked in. I read this work in one sitting.
This is just one opinion. If you’ve read the book, why not leave your own rating below?
Find yourself thinking about this for days