Tag Archives: Jacob M Appel

A Review of Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets by Jacob M. Appel

Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets

by Jacob M. Appel

This is the second collection of short fiction by Mr. Appel that I have had the privilege of reading. He has blown me away once again. His stories make you think. They lay out the idea, and then it’s your job to ponder them and see what they are really saying about your life. This is a small book. It has 155 pages and 8 stories, but don’t rush though them. Take your time. Sit there and think about the story before plunging into the next one. It will ripen and develop new ideas as you let it float around inside your mind. When you have spent enough time integrating the ideas that the story has prompted, then you will be ready for the next surprise, the next set of thoughts, the next new story.

Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets is a must read if you like short stories. Mr. Appel will entertain you, but at the same time he will challenge you. He will make you reexamine some ideas that you may have taken for granted. This isn’t science fiction, but some of these stories have that Twilight Zone feel to them. Do you remember the best episodes of Twilight Zone, where you came away with a feeling that wouldn’t leave, an idea that haunted you, something that just wouldn’t go away? That is the experience that you will have reading these stories. They will push you to think about life and death in a new way.

I’m not going to give you little capsule summaries of these stories. I’m just going to tell you that you will love these quirky, wonderful characters in these surprisingly delightful stories.

I give Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! Read it, if you have a chance, I think you will be won over to Mr. Appel’s camp.

I received a paperback copy of this book from the author.

Book Description

Miracles and ConundrumsA visitor from a distant planet opens a Latvian restaurant next to an abortion clinic; a magician learns that true love will cost him a kidney; a blind barber cuts hair for tourists in a gentrifying Harlem…. Enter the mad, moving university of Jacob M. Appel’s short fiction.

 

 

 

Book Details

Paperback: 155 pages
Publisher: Black Lawrence Press (June 30, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1625579330
ISBN-13: 978-1625579331
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 8 ounces

About the Author

Jacob-M-Appel-Photograph-7-29-10Jacob M. Appel is a physician, attorney and bioethicist based in New York City. He is the author of more than two hundred published short stories and is a past winner of the Boston Review Short Fiction Competition, the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Award for the Short Story, the Dana Award, the Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction, the North American Review’s Kurt Vonnegut Prize, the Missouri Review‘s Editor’s Prize, the Sycamore Review‘s Wabash Prize, the Briar Cliff Review‘s Short Fiction Prize, the H. E. Francis Prize, the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award in four different years, an Elizabeth George Fellowship and a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Writers Grant. His stories have been short-listed for the O. Henry Award, Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Mystery Stories, and the Pushcart Prize anthology on numerous occasions. His first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012. His second novel, second novel, The Biology of Luck, was short-listed for the Hoffer Society’s Montaigne Medal. Jacob holds graduate degrees from Brown University, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harvard Law School, New York University’s MFA program in fiction and Albany Medical College’s Alden March Institute of Bioethics. He taught for many years at Brown University and currently teaches at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

 

A Review of Einstein’s Beach House by Jacob M Appel

Einstein’s Beach House

by Jacob M Appel

Each of these stories give you something to think about. The people in the stories have something odd happen, and they have to figure out what it means to them, and what they can do about it. Then you have to think about what their plight means to them, and what it means to you. They make you think.

But, oddly enough, what this book made me think about was, “Why do people write books?” I started to wonder why Mr. Appel wanted to compile this book of stories and find a publisher who would publish it. Did he think that this book would become a New York Times Bestseller, and therefore he would become a rich and famous author? I don’t think so. I think that these stories are more an introduction to the way Mr. Appel thinks. I like the way he thinks. I would be interested to read something else that he wrote. A novel or  novelette, would be good; but I might read some more of his stories. These stories are small glimpses into the lives of some people who you could meet, and I’d like to see a little more of their lives.

I give Einstein’s Beach House 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. This is an interesting writing experiment, but I would have like to have seen more. More stories, and more length to some of his works, so that I could get to know Mr. Appel better. He has talent, and can tell a story, so I know I will see more from him.

I received a paperback copy of this book from the author.

Book Description

Einstein's Beach House 2A couple adopts a depressed hedgehog; a stranger shows up, claiming to be the father of a girl’s imaginary friend; a woman kidnaps her ex-husband’s turtle; a family is evicted from their home, but was it ever really theirs? Heartbreaking and hilarious, the eight stories of Einstein’s Beach House examine how we deceive ourselves and others, all to arrive at something far more real.

Book Details

Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: Pressgang (December 5, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984940588
ISBN-13: 978-0984940585
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 8 ounces

About the Author

Jacob-M-Appel-Photograph-7-29-10Jacob 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 two hundred literary journals including Agni, Conjunctions, Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch. His work has been short listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008), Best American Essays (2011, 2012), and received “special mention” for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.

Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.S. in bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, an M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Queens College, an M.P.H. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently practices psychiatry in New York City.

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