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The Biology of Luck by Jacob M. Appel
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The Biology of Luck

by Jacob M. Appel

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A thought provoking read and very well written book, I enjoyed the read. It is difficult to understand how Starshine and her friends live the lives they lead but that is perhaps the books charm, seeing how others cope with the hands they are dealt.
Get it, read it, I think you will enjoy it as I did. ( )
  Novak | Sep 5, 2018 |
I received this as a LibraryThing Member GiveAway extra.
  BridgitDavis | Aug 11, 2017 |
Ahhh. Literary writing beyond description. The writing is so exceptional, I had to remember to pay attention to the story. This author is a writer's writer. Ordinary people, an ordinary place, a slightly unusual career, and one eventful day, tumbled together with characters and daily ruminations produce a splendid work of art through the amazing creative wordsmith, Jacob Appel.

Quotable lines abound. It is a book within a book, with the main character writing a book about the love of his life in an Indie sort of way. An eventful day interferes with this character's time to plan and daydream about his date at the end of the day. He has two life-critical subjects to broach with his lady.

As the colorful day progresses, relationships and history are revealed, and it appears doubtful any plan by the main characters will come to fruition. The book is delightfully detailed, subtly and boldly by turns, fascinatingly varied.

Jacob, I hope you are working on a sequel because it's unkind to leave us hanging with such a provocative ending. I highly recommend this book to all. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
The writing is both gorgeous and effective. The 'plot' and character development was awfully confusing. I couldn't tell if Bloom's manuscript was his fantasy, or whether he actually knew enough of Starshine's life to write something worth reading about her... I kept fearing that the end would reveal that she's nothing like what Bloom imagined her to be. Turns out they did already know each other well enough, and she had bent his ear enough about her complaints, that we can just go along with his novel as if it's the omniscient author showing us her life.

Um, even though these characters were people I wouldn't ever meet irl, and probably wouldn't like all that much either, Appel is talented enough to make me feel empathy for them, and to root for their success.

I also wonder about the bit when a character disparages Walt Whitman and 'those daffodils.' Is it the character, or Appel, who is confusing the WW authors? (the famous daffodil poem is by William Wordsworth) *I* think the author is not confused, and is poking a bit of fun at the character. But that begs another question: Does the author really expect all his readers to know that about the two poets? Or is that bit an 'easter egg' for those of us who do?

Well, there's lots more I could attempt to say, but none is worth trying to find the words for. All you and I need to know is that I enjoyed it, and am continuing to read from Appel's oeuvre.

( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I had expected to like it very much, but it simply did not work for me. The travelogue was nice, but the characters, though very well developed, just didn't do it for me. I feel bad about that, because so many others enjoyed it as much as I had expected to. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Apr 8, 2016 |
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For Rosalie, obviously
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Harlem sleeps late.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0975374680, Paperback)

Odd-job queen Starshine Hart is about to go on somebody else’s perfect date. At 29, the usually carefree Starshine has realized that it is easier to start sleeping with a man than to stop. Her lovers include one of the last underground members of the Weathermen and the dilettante heir to a lawn chair magnate. Both men have staked their romantic future on her. Her only respite is her impending dinner with the nonthreatening but unattractive tour guide Larry Bloom. But Larry, too, has a stake in her future. He has written a book about their impending dinner in which he fantasizes about Starshine’s life on the day he wins her heart. Juxtaposing moments from Larry’s guided tour of New York City on the June day of his “dream date” with excerpts from the novel in which he imagines Starshine’s concurrent escapades, this inventive structure weaves a highly imaginative love story across all five boroughs. Provocative, funny, and keenly observed, an imagined pilgrimage through the underbelly of Gotham becomes a bold new voice in contemporary American fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:46 -0400)

"Odd-job queen Starshine Hart is about to go on somebody else's perfect date. Her lovers include one of the last underground members of the Weathermen and the dilettante heir to a lawn chair magnate. Both men have staked their romantic future on her. Her only respite is her impending dinner with the non-threatening but unattractive tour guide, Larry Bloom. But Larry, too, has a stake in her future. He has written a book about their impending dinner in which he fantasizes about Starshine's life on the day he wins her heart"--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

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