Friday, May 15, 2015

Know Your Beholder by Adam Rapp

As musician Frances Falbo's life has crumbled around him (band breakup, divorce, agoraphobia), he conveniently has turned his childhood home into a small community of apartments; this means he has income, friends, and people to watch and interact with, all without ever taking off his robe and slippers.

This apartment microcosm community includes Frances' reclusive ex-brother-in-law, a pair of former circus acrobats whose young daughter has just gone missing, an aspiring thespian, a college artist, and a transient former bandmate, and more.

The book is funny, and also a little heartbreaking. The apartment tenants are a motley crew, and observing their comings and goings is full-time entertainment for Francis and for the reader. It's not the kind of book that everything gets tied in a ribbon bow at the end, but things end in a satisfying manner, and it looks like Francis may get out of the house after all.

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