Thursday, September 30, 2010
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