Book Review: Enigma by Charles Stoll

Nothing drives a man to reevaluate his life like the death of someone he loves. In Enigma, young Josh runs back over the major events of his life in order to make sense of a tragedy. It’s a deeply introspective, brutally honest look at the series of choices and relationships that made him who he is today, and leads to a transcendent experience which blurs the lines between life, death, and the afterlife.

The disjointed pacing and pedantic tone of this book made it an extremely difficult read for me. It was frustrating, how powerless I felt to relate and follow along on this character’s journey, since the actual stories he told would normally have been riveting for me. This book is another prime example of tripping into the deadly pitfall of “Telling” and not “Showing”.  If you “tell” a story without ever “showing” your readers that story  (through the setting, body language of characters, believable dialogue, etc.) then the book has no life. It’s just a sequence of words on the page.

Couldn’t have been more disappointed.


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