4 star

Einstein’s Beach House

By Jacob M Appel

ISBN13: 9780984940585

Author’s Website: http://jacobmappel.com

Review brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra



A couple adopt a depressed hedgehog; a mother is seduced by the father of her daughter’s imaginary friend; a man kidnap’s his ex-wife’s pet turtle. In eight tragicomic stories, Einstein’s Beach House features ordinary men and women rising to life’s extraordinary challenges.


I am not usually a huge fan of short stories…. I frequently feel like something is missing.  However, I am unable to say this with this book of short stories.

Hue and Cry – 5-star

What an engaging story.  Thirteen-year-old Lizzie wants to please both her best friend, Julia, and her terminally ill father, Bill (who has at most six months to live).  Julia wants to break in and look around the new neighbor’s room, Rex Benbow, a convicted sex offender.   Bill wants to extend an olive branch to Rex, part of Bill’s final acts……forgiving people in his life while he is still living.  Lizzie seems uncomfortable with both of Julia’s and Bill’s wishes with respect to Rex, but goes along with each of their wishes.  Interesting take on Lizzie’s family obligations and her budding infatuation with Julia.  Can the human race truly get to a point where we can forgive and forget heinous transgressions?  Some food for thought.

La Tristesse Des Hérissons – 4 star

Delightful read.  Had a true giggle when Josh, the boyfriend, took to reading Alice in Wonderland (you know, the part when the queen was playing croquet) to Orion – their pet hedgehog – and Adeline’s reaction to this particular night time bed story J.  I seem to think this story touches on how one family copes with a family member’s shaky mental health while maintaining the relationship.  Just my interpretation.

Strings – 3-Star-rating

This story was short and did not seem to contain the depth of the others.  I felt annoyed that Cynthia let her ex, Jacques, get away with another colossal failure (and involving her).  However, at least Jacque could dream big and at least try for his dream!

Limerance- 4 star

I found this short story all encompassing. A quick journey through Jesse’s life from junior high school when he met his neighbour’s daughter Lena. The story ends many years later, when Lena’s dad asks Jesse to talk to his estranged daughter. Jesse had the typical teenage boyhood crush on the gorgeous Lena.  I loved the way the story flowed effortlessly through Jesse’s life and told of his crush with such ease.  While not a challenging story line, it was an enjoyable, easy read, which flowed very well.

Einstein’s Beach House – 4 star

An engaging tale of one man`s attempt to do right by his family and the consequences of such fool hardy actions.  I must say though, I certainly found Delia annoying…she did not seem to stick by her man.  Now I must say that Bryce his actions were risky (and proved very bad for the family) …but that is what you get from a dreamer.  Also, not to accept her husband’s apology was disconcerting.

The Rod of Asclepius-4 star

I found right from the beginning that I was engaged with the story.  While I truly felt sorry for the father’s loss of his wife during childbirth, to include his young daughter in his actions …I found a bit disturbing.

Sharing the Hostage- 5-star

A very cute story with bits of really heavy life stuff thrown in.  I am happy to report that the tortoise was not hurt in the telling of this story.  I found this a complete short story…not leaving me wanting more.

Paracosmos-4 star

This final story was intriguing.  How was it possible that Leslie was involved with her daughter’s (Evie) imaginary friend’s father?  Really weird. An engaging story.

The writing style of Mr. Appel is very readable. This was a truly delightful book of short stories and that is saying a lot from a reader who is not overly fond of short stories.  I will be on the lookout for further writings of Mr. Appel

*OBS would like to thank the author for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*