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"Violence, lurking offstage throughout the story, makes a shocking entrance near the end, setting in place everything that's come before. The effect is devastating, in the best possible way."—Denver Post
"A beautiful meditation on brutality and culture, which are sometimes one and the same."—Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Hot Five" list
"THE APARTMENT is an exciting debut novel, and leaves one eager for Baxter's follow-up, whenever that may be."—The Daily Beast, Hot Reads
"It is one of the best novels I have read in a long time... It is very much to Baxter's credit that he presents this struggle as if it were thriller, love story, philosophical novel and dark comedy combined, in a novel not like a bullet but like an arrow flying straight to the heart of the matter."—Stacey D'Erasmo, New York Times Book Review
"Absorbing, atmospheric and enigmatic...With its disorienting juxtaposition of the absolutely ordinary and the strange and vaguely threatening, the novel evokes the work of Franz Kafka and Haruki Murakami, while its oblique explorations of memory suggest a debt to W.G. Sebald... Baxter's provocative, unsettling novel is, among other things, about the inexorability of identity and 'the immortality of violence.'"—Los Angeles Times
"In this bleak but affecting novel, an unnamed American expat spends a day walking through a frigid, unidentified European city in search of an apartment...The details of his day are rendered with anaesthetized precision and achieve a cumulative force of grief, equanimity, and resolve."—The New Yorker
"In a year marked by epics, it's a relief to delve into this quiet, surprisingly tense debut novel - small enough to fit into a stocking but packing a huge emotional punch."—Entertainment Weekly
"An elegant portrait of a man half-fractured, half-intact-a post-war somebody caught between repair and capitulation, controlling his own fate and imprisoned by regret." —- The Texas Observer
"In the layered narratives of Baxter's piercing first novel, a young American returned from Iraq struggles to find a new life in Europe."—New York Times, Sunday Book Review, Editor's Choice
Posted April 21, 2014
This is a very strange book. The nameless narrator is looking for an apartment in an unnamed city in a foreign country, apparently somewhere in Eastern Europe. It is composed of his observations, digressions and philosophical reflections and has little in the way of a plot. Rather than having a normal ending, it stops. This was not my cup of tea, but if you like something unconventional, you may find it enjoyable.
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