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The Coincidence Makers: A Novel by Yoav Blum

The Coincidence Makers: A Novel (edition 2018)

by Yoav Blum (Author)

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10117188,614 (3.86)None
"The Coincidence Makers tells the story of Guy, Emily & Eric, whose job is creating coincidences and initiating various events in other people's lives. The three graduated from a "coincidence creation course" that took place 2 years prior to the events in the book, in which they learned techniques for creating what look like random events which will cause people to change their own lives. Fate is nothing more than a well-executed mission. Coincidence Makers are not regular people. They are responsible for organizing random encounters between lovers-to-be, creating moments of inspiration that help people make life changing decisions or "building" coincidences that cause important scientific discoveries. But when Guy gets a new special mission, that mission, along with a mysterious killer who appears in town and other hidden forces that he is not aware of, are going to change everything for the three coincidence makers and teach them about fate, free will & the true nature of love" --… (more)
Title:The Coincidence Makers: A Novel
Authors:Yoav Blum (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Press (2018), 287 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Coincidence Makers: A Novel by Yoav Blum



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Someone is reading this review at exactly 4 PM. There’s no way I could know this, but it’s likely that at least one person actually is, and for them, that’s one hell of a coincidence. Yoav Blum takes the concept of coincidence and expands on it exponentially in his new novel, The Coincidence Makers.

When Guy, a former Imaginary Friend, starts his new role as a Coincidence Maker, he revels in his new-found freedom and sense of self. Guy’s preferred type of coincidence making involves matchmaking, likely a result of incessant pining for his lost love, Cassandra. His friends, and fellow co-workers, Emily and Eric, enter and exit his life from day to day, as well as appear in flashbacks as Guy reflects on his past.

The novel doesn’t just focus on Guy and his friends, as it occasionally departs into side characters that will play a role in later events. Short chapters interspersed throughout the novel also provide excerpts from Coincidence Making textbooks. The myriad of flashbacks and explanatory chapters allow Blum to unveil his world slowly and purposefully. While clever, this method of storytelling does hinder investment in the story. It is difficult to spark a connection when you’re thrown right in without much explanation.

Guy, the main character, is impassive to a fault. His motivations are hard to pin down, and his interactions with Emily and Eric seem forced. Emily has more depth to her, and she feels deeply, which is expressed well on the page. Eric comes across as unfocused and irreverent, and subsequently, is the most mysterious character. At times I wished he appeared more often.

The various roles in Blum’s world, including different levels of Coincidence Makers, the highest of which is the “Black Hat,” those “responsible for complex coincidences with extensive repercussions,” are fascinating, but not fully fleshed out. They were too self-contained within Guy’s past, and since Guy is such a dull character, his experience as both an Imaginary Friend and a Coincidence Maker never branch out beyond the mundane.

While the last quarter of the book picks up and the various plot threads start coming together, the novel still felt unfocused. The introduction of new characters more than half-way through the book didn’t help. I never quite connected with Guy and his decisions, and I found myself wanting more.

In The Coincidence Makers, Yoav Blum cleverly re-defines coincidence. In a world where coincidences are purposefully created by a third party, does that still make them coincidences? While I didn’t always appreciate the roundabout way the story was told, it certainly made me think, particularly about fate and free will. Blum has written an incredibly unique novel that not everyone will like, but that most readers will respect nonetheless.

The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum will be released by St. Martin’s Press on March 6th, 2018.

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this novel from Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.
( )
  Codonnelly | Jun 24, 2019 |
An imaginative construct playfully expanded to a really accessible treatment of stochastic free-will vs clockwork destiny. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Apr 26, 2019 |
In this genre-bending novel, there is no such thing as chance and every action is carefully executed by highly trained agents. You’ll never look at coincidences the same way again.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Jul 28, 2018 |
For most of this book, I don't see where The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum is going. I mean that in the best way possible. At times, the story is a set of distinct threads. I know that they are coming together. I have hypotheses as to how, but it is not until almost the end that everything does come together. It does so in a way I do not see coming. So, clearly, I concentrate on the wrong thing, and for that reason have a great reading experience.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/the-coincidence-makers.html

Reviewed for NetGalley ( )
  njmom3 | Jun 17, 2018 |
What an interesting idea for a book! Giving beings-like humans, but not- jobs such as imaginary friend or coincidence maker. They keep children and adults from feeling alone and are the ultimate in match makers and event planners. They can do lots things but within the rules of those above them.
Coincidences often go unnoticed, and at the very least, we may consider them either random or fated. What if they were instead carefully worked out by these beings with many things having to be adjusted and lined up in order to accomplish a particular event like falling in love or choosing your career. We don't necessarily see these events as coincidences, but in this book, they are.
The premise is quite interesting and makes for a great story. The author in most instances manages to make this work very well. I was a bit hung up in trying to understand some of the instructions for coincidence makers that are printed between chapters, but it was quite novel.
Within this supernatural story, there is also a love story. As with the rest of the book, it is somewhat unique and imaginative. However love is love and always seems to add a bit of familiar to the otherwise fanciful. It is a perfect foil for the more scientific angle of the rest of the story.
I enjoyed this book in spite of not understanding some of the details at times and would recommend it to readers who enjoy out of the box stories with quirky twists. It is a pretty light and fast read that moves along nicely.
My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title. ( )
  c.archer | May 2, 2018 |
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