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Jacob M. Appel

Teoksen Einstein's Beach House tekijä

25+ teosta 2,335 jäsentä 752 arvostelua 6 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Sisältää nimet: Jacob M. Appel MD, Jacob M. Appel MD

Sisältää myös: Jacob Appel (1)

Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

Fish Anthology 2006 — Avustaja — 2 kappaletta
Colorado Review, Volume XXXI, No. 3, Fall/Winter 2004. (2004) — Avustaja — 2 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
I just finished reading this book, and I’m left with some conflicting emotions. I must preface this by saying that I lost my mom and sister to suicide, so reading this was an interesting perspective (though Millard lived a hell of a lot longer than the two of them). I was so hoping for a happy ending, but perhaps the ending WAS happy, to Millard at least. Part of me feels a bit numb now, which admittedly threw me for an emotional loop. All in all, this was definitely an interesting read.
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sealford | 45 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 16, 2024 |
2.5 stars

I thought this would be full of truly challenging dilemmas that would make me think. As a longtime viewer of SVU and other procedurals, and a lifelong reader of nonfiction, I didn't find these 'dilemmas' to be very thought provoking at all. (I'm also a devout Christian and I believe the Bible clears up the gray areas in many of these situations.)

In addition, I thought that the author was going to present each situation without bias, but even though he doesn't come right out and say "This is what I think," the way he words each scenario makes it clear where he stands on many of the issues. (He believes that overpopulation is a real problem, and references Darwinian evolutionary theory as fact.)

There was one particular situation I feel he really failed to present without bias, which was a Christian doctor refusing reproductive services to an LGBTQ couple due to religious objections. The issue was framed as one of LGBTQ rights and religious rights in this scenario were more or less ignored.

Lastly, I just tired of his cutesy fake names for the people in his scenarios: Ms. Ratched, Dr. Death, Senator Cheapside, etc.

Certainly, if someone has not thought about these issues before, the scenarios will provoke discussion. But I just didn't love this read.
… (lisätietoja)
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RachelRachelRachel | 22 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 21, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
Great book. Good characters
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Linje | 145 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 1, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
I deeply thank the author for an ARC copy via Librarything. It sure took me ages to read & review it, but better later than never!

I entered this book without having any idea what to expect. While I knew the book would be a story from the viewpoint of a psychopath who starts going on a murder spree, I didn't really focus any attention to the particular aspects from the blurb, and didn't dare read any other reviews either.

We all know psychopaths are living among us, and have been spoon-fed from Hollywood flicks and ultra-dramatized tv shows that explain their murder sprees with succinct detail, making the layman suspect these sorts of unsolved homicides are happening everywhere. In reality, most homicides are usually spurs of the moment from muggings, gang or cartel crime, or very grisly crimes of passion. Serial killings are actually very rare, but the causes that spur psychopaths to cross the fine line are as varied as their personal profiles.

That said, the vast majority of psychopaths that engage in crime are usually both mentally very unstable and/or come from a blue collar background. This book instead decides to focus on the small group of psychopaths that are intelligent, successful, initially very likeable and have prominent social lives.

Jeremy Balint is a prominent Jewish Cardiologist living in an upper class suburbanite neighborhood in New Jersey, with a controlling and pragmatic wife named Amanda and two endearing young daughters. His life seems at first sight perfect until one day, he gets distracted on the commute home and runs over a dog. Initially desperate to save the animal's life, his instincts take him to the house of a young transplant surgeon named Warren Sugarman in the derelict hopes the man might save the pooch’s life. Little does he know, he discovers the man is alone at home half naked and caressing a woman in his living room sofa. Jeremy's prior life of being an outstanding citizen crumbles apart when he discovers the woman paying his coworker a visit is his wife!

Instead of feeling angry at Amanda or decide something civil such as reconciliation or divorce, Jeremy decides a different tactic according to his newly found twisted sense of logic: he has to murder his rival in order to save his marriage.

He never felt like a typical Hollywood stereotype psychopath with a rough upbringing and poor social skills. At first, he seems almost redeeming and his mental ramblings more the result of shock and denial of Amanda's treason. As the book moves forward and Jeremy starts deceiving people for his own benefit, you start to see figments of the monster hiding beneath the surface. A crazy cat lady neighbor yells at him because she doesn't believe those scratch marks on his face come from a wild raccoon, plenty of coworkers have spotted him leaving the hospital with a nursing student named Delilah, or the time he shuts off the radio in front of his wife in the car abruptly out of frustration when the blunding idiot of the prosecutor in charge of the new Emerald Choker killer case has stated a new discovery of the investigation that Jeremy knows is completely off track. Maybe these little things seem off-putting in a sort of way, but if people had known that Jeremy was killing complete strangers while juggling an endless life surrounded by playdates with his kids, meals with his neighbors, patient consults and the new free clinic he was coerced to supervise, these minor incidents would prove his true character.

Jeremy is quite an ironic character in the sense that he is viewed as an outstanding doctor going to great lengths to prolong the lives of terminal patients, but he sees no qualms in killing old people because they have outlasted their usefulness. His narcissism and high intellect only makes him an even more dangerous person, fueled by the way his mother puts him on the highest pedestal.

Jeremy goes to great lengths to ensure the cops have a hard time finding the killer, and he even feels a tinge of regret that he will probably get away with it.

The book was clearly well edited, and I didn't find any typos or meandering writing. There is enough description to give you a feel of the places without being overly flowery. I thought the story was thrilling to read from start to end, and if I have just one complaint, it would be that even though the book is focused solely on Jeremy's twisted POV, it would seem like he was the only smart guy and everyone around him was dumb. I also started to feel like the endless social gatherings Amanda forced on Jeremy to get tiring after a bit. Furthermore, Jeremy was being sued by the family of a girl who drowned in his pool and hesitated to even say hello to the traumatized mother due to the fears of losing the lawsuit, but he still ends up renting the house a few weeks later without any concern in the world even though the lawsuit hadn't been settled yet.

Other than that, I had a lot of fun reading this book!
… (lisätietoja)
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chirikosan | 51 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 28, 2023 |



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