What to Read: Book Reviews From Real Simple Readers
Reviewer: William Belcher; age 34; married with two kids; Greenwich, New York.
William’s assessment: This novel follows an unnamed narrator as he travels to a dreary Eastern European city to house-sit for his fastidious friend Oskar. As the simple task of keeping the ultramodern home in prime condition goes awry, his sanity unravels and the plot devolves into farce. The author is the deputy editor of Icon, a magazine dedicated to architecture and design. This background shows: Great attention is paid to objects and rooms, shapes and styles, as well as their meaning. The narrator paints perfection as a fool’s game and posits that we who strive for it are fools—trapped by absurd expectations, spilling wine all over our expensive oak floors.
To buy: $24, amazon.com.