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The Liars' Asylum by Jacob M. Appel
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The Liars' Asylum

by Jacob M. Appel

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Same as below! 4 stars! Great mix of stories. A very interesting read. Well written.

I think you'll like this book! The Liars' Asylum https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35664645?source=ebfg_sms
  BookxGirl | Oct 4, 2017 |
Finished this free PDF copy from Librarything in exchange for an honest review. It's a collection of stories about relationships. This is what appealed to me. However I didn't particularly enjoy the writer's style.
Granted, the stories were very diverse but it's not one of my more enjoyable reads this year. I found the tales a bit strange. Maybe I haven't lived enough! It's unlike any other book on relationships that I've encountered and probably too much of a departure from what I suppose might be described as my usual girlie love stories and historical dramas.
I didn't fall in love, nor connect with, the characters and found it all a bit dark and didn't pull the right emotive heartstrings for me. ( )
  teedee_m | Sep 11, 2017 |
Once again Jacob Appel has managed the amazing: he has created a stable of characters in these stories that are funny, sympathetic, hilarious, tragic and most of all realistic. He manages to get inside the heads and inhabit the bodies of very diverse kinds of people and he does it so effortlessly that it is easy to believe that a different author wrote each story.

A teenager girl trying to help her aunt hook a husband. A middle-aged husband trying to help his wife deal with her mother's second marriage. A daughter unraveling the mystery of her father's suicide. A Finnish World War II vet estranged from his wife. Appel masterfully inhabits the souls of such a diverse group of characters here. Their lives are artfully imagined, their personalities and histories so fully fleshed out you could be reading autobiographies instead of fiction.

Thematically the stories share a look at strained familial relations and the underbelly of love. In the first story, "Bait and Switch," we have a quasi mother and daughter (in reality an aunt and niece) who end up almost competing for the same man. In "Good Enough for Guppies," a mother and daughter clash over the mother's second husband-to-be. The third story presents a daughter trying to make sense of her father's suicide.

Some themes developed in most of these stories are: family dynamics and the melodramas that play out in them; another thing they share is they are first-person narrated by characters trying to make sense of the world and situations around them, sometimes to amusing, and other times to tragic, conclusion. Another theme is the difficulties we have in knowing and understanding each other.

As usual the author ends his stories with wallops of emotional punches. He manages to both to wrap up a story, and at the same time pull the rug out from under the reader.

I thoroughly enjoyed these.

Thank you to the author and publisher for a review copy. ( )
  ChayaLovesToRead | Aug 21, 2017 |
Overall a unique collection of short stories that are both well written and well developed. It explores the not-often-depicted aspects of relationships and has some dark aspects. I enjoyed it, but it didn't really fit my personal interests. ( )
  ezwarych | Aug 13, 2017 |
Once again Jacob Appel has managed the amazing: he has created a stable of characters in these stories that are funny, sympathetic, hilarious, tragic and most of all realistic. He manages to get inside the heads and inhabit the bodies of very diverse kinds of people and he does it so effortlessly that it is easy to believe that a different author wrote each story.

A teenager girl trying to help her aunt hook a husband. A middle-aged husband trying to help his wife deal with her mother's second marriage. A daughter unraveling the mystery of her father's suicide. A Finnish World War II vet estranged from his wife. Appel masterfully inhabits the souls of such a diverse group of characters here. Their lives are artfully imagined, their personalities and histories so fully fleshed out you could be reading autobiographies instead of fiction.

Thematically the stories share a look at strained familial relations and the underbelly of love. In the first story, "Bait and Switch," we have a quasi mother and daughter (in reality an aunt and niece) who end up almost competing for the same man. In "Good Enough for Guppies," a mother and daughter clash over the mother's second husband-to-be. The third story presents a daughter trying to make sense of her father's suicide.

Some themes developed in most of these stories are: family dynamics and the melodramas that play out in them; another thing they share is they are first-person narrated by characters trying to make sense of the world and situations around them, sometimes to amusing, and other times to tragic, conclusion. Another theme is the difficulties we have in knowing and understanding each other.

As usual the author ends his stories with wallops of emotional punches. He manages to both to wrap up a story, and at the same time pull the rug out from under the reader.

I thoroughly enjoyed these.

Thank you to the author and publisher for a review copy. ( )
  ChayaLovesToRead | Aug 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Very interesting read. I enjoyed it.
added by BookxGirl | editGoodreads.com, Kelly (Oct 7, 2017)
 
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Book description
SHORT STORY COLLECTION: SHORT STORIES: The frustrations of romantic love in its various guises—a domineering kindergarten teacher for a dashing artificial foliage designer, a suicidal physicist for his star student, a dialysis patient at a sleep-away camp for the camp owner’s daughter—provide the common theme for the stories in Jacob M. Appel’s seventh collection. We meet a psychiatrist dabbling with infidelity during a crisis in which rain turns into truth serum, a Finnish-American soldier charged with facilitating his commanding officer’s extra-marital affair, and a couple transporting a wealthy, “locked-in” patient across the Piedmont to his new nursing home. Appel’s literary short fiction offers a quirky window into the pangs and promise of love.
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