ARC Review: Know Your Beholder by: Adam Rapp


Know Your Beholder

Author: Adam Rapp

Release Date: March 3, 2015

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Format: E-ARC

Rating: 2 Stars


As winter deepens in snowbound Pollard, Illinois, thirty-something Francis Falbo is holed up in his attic apartment, recovering from a series of traumas: his mother’s death, his beloved wife’s desertion, and his once-ascendant rock band’s irreconcilable break-up. Francis hasn’t shaved in months, hasn’t so much as changed out of his bathrobe-“the uniform of a Life in Default”-for nine days.

Other than the agoraphobia that continues to hold him hostage, all he has left is his childhood home, whose remaining rooms he rents to a cast of eccentric tenants, including a pair of former circus performers whose daughter has gone missing. The tight-knit community has already survived a blizzard, but there is more danger in store for the citizens of Pollard before summer arrives. Francis is himself caught up in these troubles as he becomes increasingly entangled in the affairs of others, with results that are by turns disastrous, hysterical, and ultimately healing.

Fusing consummate wit with the seriousness attending an adulthood gone awry, Rapp has written an uproarious and affecting novel about what we do and where we go when our lives have crumbled around us. Sharp-edged but tenderhearted, Know Your Beholder introduces us to one of the most lovably flawed characters in recent fiction, a man at last able to collect the jagged pieces of his dreams and begin anew, in both life and love. Seldom have our foibles and our efforts to persevere in spite of them been laid bare with such heart and hope.

~ My Thoughts~
I was really interested in this book and thought it sounded so good. I am very sad to report that this book ended up being not for me. It started off great. The author was detailed and it really started off good. However it started getting too detailed. In fact so detailed that I felt that the first sentence of the paragraph was the whole paragraph because after the first sentence I felt like all the others were just describing the first one. After awhile I was reading and I just had to ask myself what have I read so far? What do I know so far and to be honest I had very little idea. The story was lost to all the detail. I wanted to hang in there though to make sure I was giving the book a fair chance. It did start to get better. Then, dum dum dum… yes it got worse again. Then to top it off there was a character drawing nude dudes. Now ok I can handle that until… UNTIL… the nude males were being described in WAY, WAY too much detail too. I was uncomfortable and just couldn’t go any farther. It just was not my cup of tea.
Therefore I don’t know how it ends. I couldn’t even make it half way. I did make it 30% and that was pushing myself hoping it would get better.
The only people I would recommend this book to are those that love really extremely detailed books. Otherwise I am not sure if you will make it through. Hey maybe you can. Maybe I didn’t hold out long enough. Maybe it gets better. Could I continue personally to try to figure it out. No. I just couldn’t.

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