By Jacob Appel
**** NYC special
The Biology of Luck by is a contemporary fiction/romance of sorts by Jacob Appel that takes us through the Boroughs of Gotham as our male lead, Larry Bloom, goes about his day as a tour guide. We learn what happens the day he receives a letter from a literary agent regarding a book he has written for the woman he loves, Starshine, based on the day they meet for their first date. The letter is such a crucial piece of the puzzle that he carries it in his breast pocket the entire day, even losing it once along the way.
As a reader you experience one section about Larry's day as he gives a tour of NYC for a group of Dutch tourists. Mr. Appel does a remarkable job of letting the reader take the tour with the tourists. Each Boroughs the group traipses through has an extraordinary way of making your feet hurt because you feel like you’re right there walking along through The Bronx, or the Lower East Side.
After each chapter about the tour of NYC’s Boroughs, there is an actual chapter from Lary Bloom’s book about that very same day-the one in which Starshine will be meeting him for their dinner date. The two sets will culminate in their dinner date that night where the story becomes one.
Mr. Appel introduces us to Larry by not only professing his love and devotion to Starshine but also by what his and her days entail. Call me crazy but if Larry’s recounting of Starshine's day in his novel is even a smidgen close to being accurate, I would be hesitant not to call Larry a stalker no matter how in love with her he is.
The odd thing is that Larry’s novel-the one previously submitted to an agent so one can assume it was written prior to the day all of this takes place-actually shows a strange correlation in the lives of Larry and Starshine. You might think as unworthy of Starshine Larry thinks he might be that their lives run parallel, but Mr. Appel shows us where their lives intersect in more than one way. And saying more than that would be a spoiler alert for sure.
Mr. Appel writes a clever book with well-developed characters. It is an inspiring book full of subtle twists and turns that lead to a far from predictable ending that will leave you wanting more. My only caution to readers is that you may need a dictionary and/or thesaurus to get through this prose poetry. Aside from that, I found the book interesting-even though a bit off the beaten path-and worth reading.