Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coffee and Fate - R.J. Erbacher


To start this review, I'll play the game my son loves to play. What if...you had visions of future events, knowing that you were supposed to stop them from happening? You could see the long-term effect of the event, and how it impacted the world as we know it. Would you try to step in and change fate?

What if...you had the unique gift of being able to move objects. You could prevent someone from jumping to their death, prevent someone from being shot, or just move that box of truffles within arm's reach so you didn't have to get up. Would you use that power to step in and change fate?

Heavy questions, these. Ones that I'm not sure I could answer. If you've watched enough movies and read enough books, you just know that messing with fate is dangerous.

The two characters in the book Coffee and Fate can't avoid these questions though. An elderly white widower (Bud) and a young black college girl (Val) have these "powers". Bud has a vision involving Val, and intervenes before she takes one small action that could ruin the rest of her life (and possibly change the course of humanity). Wayward, misunderstood souls, they forge an immediate and strong friendship. Together they face a number of mind-screwing choices that have impacts on their own lives and the lives of others. And yes, these two do love a good cuppa, hence the title.

I'm not sure if I can adequately summarize my thoughts on this novel, I have such mixed emotions. How could a book with just a little over a hundred pages render ME speechless? Anyway, a few words come to mind, so let me try that. Intriguing. Page-turning. Controversial. Outlandish. Sick. Creepy. Theological.

The prose flowed and was very easy to read. The characters were likable, and the unlikely friendship was...sweet. For awhile. Then it started to creep me out just a little bit. Then it creeped me out alot. I admired Erbacher's lack of predictability and convention (it is always good when I find myself screaming "WHAT?" at the top of my lungs). And he certainly made me sit and ponder the implications of fate. But can I say with a high degree of assurance that you would like it? No - there are landmines in there that could blow your leg off, or at least alienate you. If you make it through the mine field without losing a limb, you may just laugh nervously and say "Wow, that was different. Kind of a rush. I'm glad I did that. I think."

This book is not for everyone, but if you are looking for something a little off the beaten path, and can allow believability to slide for a few hours, you need to read this book.

I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy of his book.


4 out of 5 stars



18 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

I like the sound of Intriguing. Page-turning and Controversial. Not too sure about the Outlandish. Sick and Creepy, but Theological is a big turn off for me. Not sure this one is for me!

Zibilee said...

I like a good creepy read every now and then, and I have to admit that your shocked reaction to this book is intriguing in itself. I have read books that have made me a little squirmy in the past, and they always leave me with tons to think about. I am adding this one to my list (not that I need anymore books!) It does sound very fresh and interesting. Fantastic review, Sandy!

Robert said...

Wow! Sounds interesting maybe I'll read it - wait I don't have to, I wrote it. Thanks so much for the review Sandy.

bermudaonion said...

Holy cow!! I'm not big on creepy, but you've got me really curious about what was creeping you out.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

wow, sounds perfect for Halloween, but I think I'll suffice with only your review! :--)

Tabasco said...

Sandi- I read this book and just googled it for a friend and found your site!
I loved this book. I found myself thinking about this book weeks after I read it and pondering how I would have handled the stomach turning decisions in the book. I personally could not have put into words my emotions and how this book made me feel, but Sandi...you really nailed it. Your review inspired me to want to re-read this book over the weekend.
Great review, great book. Glad I found your website!
Tabasco

Anonymous said...

this is a great book and i left me wanting more and i highly recommend everyone to read this book if you like a page-turner and something new and not the same old things. excellent!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Well you are certainly bringing out the curiosity factor with this review. Haven't heard hide nor hair of this one but I would definitely pick it up and examine it a little further if given the chance

Julie P. said...

Sounds so interesting and your review has definitely piqued my interest.

irisonbooks said...

Hm.. Those are the kind of questions I usually avoid, but then when a book of a hundred pages renders you speechless, I guess that says it is a very worthwhile read?

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Wow - I think you've definitely made me start to wonder a bit about this book and it might be something I might be interested to read. I don't mind something that might be a little disturbing -- I might have to check this out!

Jenners said...

Ok ... everything you said just made me want to read this book. I love freaky, interesting, not for everyone books. (At least I think I do.)

And I would definitely use those powers to move truffles closer. Just saying.

amy said...

My daughter and i both read the book and we enjoyed it immensely....really made us both think about life and fate etc....not sure i would use the word creepy however...Definitley worth the read!!! Can't wait for the sequel!!!

Iliana said...

Wonderful review Sandy! I'm intrigued at all those emotions such a slim novel could manage to bring up.

And, yea, I'm with Jenners. I'd so love powers to move truffles closer :)

heidenkind said...

HMMMMMMM. Sounds like a must-read!

Alyce said...

It sounds really interesting, but I don't know if I'm up for the creepiness aspect.

Alice Teh said...

Creepy I like!

The Bumbles said...

Yes and yes, I would do both. If I have the power to see what is going to happen if I don't intervene, could I not have the power to see what would happen if I did? And then make a choice? No? Ah. I see. Internal struggling with moral dilemmas. I'm glad I don't have these powers!!!