Isaac and the Egg by Bobby Palmer

The day Isaac and the Egg popped up on my twitter feed I knew straightaway that I had to take a closer look at the pair of them. The premise of the book was intriguingly bizarre and that meant that it had the potential to join the pantheon of my favourite if rather surreal books of last year, which included Piranesi and The Porpoise. I am delighted to say that Isaac and the Egg have lived up to their potential.
The story starts with almost an ending as Isaac Addy hovers over the parapet of a bridge, readying himself to jump to his death. He gives one last, gut-wrenching and harrowing cry of pain – and is answered by one of equal, gut-wrenching and harrowing quality. And so Isaac and Egg find each other, or rather Isaac finds the egg.
This is a surreal tale, just about tittering on the edge of reality, but that does not detract from its raw emotional authenticity. Both Isaac and Egg are lost and confused, frightened and grieving the loss of what each used to consider their whole world. Their friendship is built on their mutual need for each other and their joint discovery of what lies beyond bereavement, because there is always something out there to live for.
I don’t know what tragedies life has thrown at the young author to drive him to write this book, but, by golly, he knows what he’s talking about. Isaac is palpably throbbing with emotions and Egg is like a big, fluffy plaster to cover the open wounds and make their ragged edges come together in the end.
But what a crazy journey it is before that ending arrives! I wept, I gasped, I sniffled, and I laughed, too. Yes, you will laugh too because as much as this book is poignant and vivid in its description of loneliness and pain, it is also incredibly funny. The gentle humour makes it all so much better for the reader, for trust me, you as a reader will need your heart rescuing by the book’s subtle comedic quality.

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