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Eclectic characters in everyday scenarios populate Jacob M. Appel’s The Cynic in Extremis. We attend a sister’s second wedding with a “hand-me-down groom”; trick-or-treat with a young son; encounter a former teacher long retired, still critical; relive difficult ancestral memories of the Holocaust. These poems present—often unapologetically—uncomfortable truths gleaned from close examination of social norms and conventions mostly taken for granted. Full of fun, wit, and insight, The Cynic in Extremis is a finalist in the 2017 Able Muse Book Award.