Condominium - Daniel Falatko

Okay, we have Charles -- a worker bee in finance in some NYC firm, on the verge of a drug problem (well, maybe past the verge) -- and Sarah -- a worker bee in a small press, on the verge of actually working. Charles is making pretty good money, so they decide to buy a condo. They've been together for a few years now, and seem to be getting along okay, this seems like a good next step -- Sarah has dreams of a ring in the near future, and leaving workforce not too long after that (maybe even before her employer realizes that she doesn't do much).


The book follows them in the week following them "moving on up." Somehow, they seem to think that changing their address is going to change their lives. I mean, really, they're obsessed with this place. They can't stop talking or thinking about it.


I guess I should mention Charles' druggie friends, his co-worker that he's madly in lust with, the people at Sarah's work and her friends that she almost keeps in touch with, but...well, that's enough of them, really.


The most intriguing character is their creepy neighbor, Raymond. He's always around, he knows way too much about them, is possibly a peeping Tom, is a little too militant at cleaning the smoking area and claims to be a day trader (hard to tell how he fits all of that in, but it's explained eventually). He seems to have a thing for Sarah, which is pretty inexplicable.


The only one who seems less likely to be into Sarah is Charles. And you'd think that'd be an issue, but neither of them seems to think of that much.


Charles seems to have a healthy case of acrophobia, yet insisted on getting an apartment with a balcony and a great view. He can barely stand to be out there, and spends a lot of time working on overcoming it. He has a phobic attack on the balcony early on. Probably the best part of the book. It was enough to make you feel the same, and yet funny as you know what he's doing to himself. I'd have reacted the very same way - worse, actually -- no way would I have loved into that place.


At the same time, I spent a lot of time wishing he'd fall off the balcony and stop the mess.


Day by day things get worse as they unpack, get high, miss work, fight, and try to organize a housewarming party. Because, how else do you get to show off your flooring, your high ceilings, and your view?


The writing was good enough, the characters seemed pretty real -- I just couldn't understand why Falatko spent his time and ability on either.


Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for this post, which probably didn't work out the way he'd prefer.