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Airmail by Naomi Bulger


by Naomi Bulger

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This is a book that is so enjoyable, that it can easily be read in one sitting. I could not place this book into a single genre, it is a bit of paranormal and fantasy without ever fully setting foot into one of those camps.

I loved the cover, it is like you are stepping into the characters world without opening the book yet. As the book suggests the lives of the characters interact through letters and this brings a touch of humanity to the novel I feel.

Both the characters were very likeable. Anouk seemed a bit crazy at times and was very unpredictable. Whereas G.L. Solomon life up till he started to receive letters for Anouk was very predictable. The reader is also provided with a couple of chapters that sum up the weeks that go past without letters between the two characters.

I had not idea throughout this novel what was going to happen next and got surprise after surprise, every time I turned the pages.

Overall a fantastic novel that deserves great recognition.

A copy of this novel was received for free from the author and all opinions expressed are my own through reading it.

This review was first published on http://everybookhasasoul.wordpress.com ( )
  everybookhasasoul | Feb 28, 2012 |
Airmail is an enigmatic yet engaging journey from the ordinary to the surreal.
In Sydney, Australia, Mr G L Solomon lives a life of quiet routine, sipping tea and whiskey, watching daytime television and hissing at his neighbor's cat. Yet every so often an envelope arrives in his mailbox containing a rambling letter and perhaps a trinket, from a stranger in New York. Anouk lives in a small apartment in Manhattan and writes letters to Mr G L Solomon in a desperate bid to anchor herself as she begins to quite literally 'lose her marbles'. Caught between reality and glimpses of divine interference Anouk withdraws, her letters stop and a concerned G L Solomon eschews his everyday routine to solve the mystery of his vulnerable acquaintance.
I was immediately intrigued by the protagonists of Airmail. Anouk's state of mind is shrouded in as much mystery as the identity of the woman in the pink velour tracksuit about whom she writes. Her emotional and mental vulnerability incite empathy and I thought her desperation to connect with her past a fascinating motivation for writing to Mr Solomon.
Mr Solomon's stoicism in honouring the missives he receives from a complete stranger is equally as interesting. Here is a forgotten old man who forms an ethereal connection with a young woman whom he cannot even directly contact but nevertheless he is willing to abandon his familiar life in order to rescue her. For both Anouk and GL the shift from an abstract relationship to a personal acquaintance is a catalyst for personal change and redemption.
Airmail is a quirky novella with a premise that takes a decidedly surreal turn. Bulger explores themes of communication, connection and alienation from both others and self. It has a dark tone intertwined with moments of humour and tenderness. It's not the story I was expecting when I accepted the book for review from the author, I wouldn't identify it as magical realism but something more speculative and abstract, nevertheless I found it an engaging story. Airmail is not a light novel despite being a short read at just 103 pages as the author keeps the reader off balance by softening the boundaries of reality. To be honest, I'm not sure I fully comprehended the author's message but I did find it a thought provoking tale and readers with a philosophical bent will likely find Airmail an entertaining novel. ( )
  shelleyraec | Aug 21, 2011 |

To make the cover look like a postcard was ingenious. I think it original and shows the creative imagination of one smart individual.

Plot/Main Characters

Although this book was short, it causes a reader to think while, and after, reading it. It was definitely ... interesting and different.

Anouk is a strange person. She writes letters to a person she doesn't know and spills out all her feelings. I have yet to figure out why she includes a memento with each letter, but I do think it a neat idea.

Mr. Solomon is an older gentleman stuck in his routinely ways. I won't say he's lonely because he seems rather content on his own. For some reason, though, one of Anouk's letters causes something in the old man's brain to spur him into action. As a result, he travels to New York on his very first trip out of his Australian homeland.

What then results is that the old man changes ... he becomes more outgoing and constantly experiences new things. Will he find Anouk? Can he help her?


This was a smartly written book. Definitely an entertaining quick read that will make you think "what if ..." ( )
  MRShemery | May 28, 2011 |
Anouk is currently living in New York City and writes letters about her life, sent via airmail, to a complete stranger in Australia. Mr. G.L. Solomon is that stranger. He's an elderly retiree and his life is centered around highly structured albeit empty days. This life of his is given a lift when he starts receiving letters from this strange woman in New York City. His life takes an unexpected turn when he the letters begin to state that they are being written from the "other side."

There's a bit of quirkiness and the strange woven into this tale that borders on paranormal or fantasy without quite taking the step fully into either of those genres. Ms. Bulger presents us with two lives, Anouk and Mr. Solomon, that seem incomplete without the other even though they don't really know one another. They both seem to be biding their time and waiting for something miraculous to happen. I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this story and was pleasantly surprised throughout my reading. This story kept me on edge, never knowing what was going to come with the next line or what the characters would do. If you're looking for something different to read, then please add Airmail by Naomi Bulger to your list. ( )
  BookDivasReads | May 5, 2011 |
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"Reclusive old Mr. G.L. Solomon's favorite things are single malt whiskey, Steve McQueen movies, and gingersnap cookies. He hates processed cheese, washing detergent commercials, and the way the teacup rattles in the saucer when he picks it up. Solomon has become accustomed to his lonely routine in Sydney, Australia--until the day he begins sporadically receiving letters in his mailbox from a complete stranger. On the other side of the world, Anouk is a mentally delicate young woman living in New York who insists she is being stalked by a fat woman in a pink tracksuit. When Anouk declares to Solomon that she is writing "from the Other Side," the old man breaks away from his daily grind of watching soap operas and reading Fishing World and travels to New York to find her. As he is drawn into Anouk's surreal world of stalkers and storytelling, marbles and cats, purgatory and Plato, Solomon has but one goal--to unravel the mystery before it is too late."--Publisher's website.… (more)

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