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Schadenfreude, a Love Story : Me, the Germans, and 20 Years of Attempted Transformations, Unfortunate Miscommunications, and Humiliating Situations
by Rebecca Schuman


Overview -

"This book is a wild and wonderful ride. Your guide, Rebecca Schuman, is a super-smart and very funny person who writes brilliantly about Germany and Germans (who are not what you think) and being young and insane and life in general and just read it, OK?"
-Dave Barry

You know that feeling you get watching a pompous jerk whine into his cell as he s booted out of a restaurant?  Read more...


 
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More About Schadenfreude, a Love Story by Rebecca Schuman
 
 
 
Overview

"This book is a wild and wonderful ride. Your guide, Rebecca Schuman, is a super-smart and very funny person who writes brilliantly about Germany and Germans (who are not what you think) and being young and insane and life in general and just read it, OK?"
-Dave Barry

You know that feeling you get watching a pompous jerk whine into his cell as he s booted out of a restaurant? When the elevator doors slide shut just before your sadistic boss can step in beside you? There s a word for this mix of malice and joy, and the Germans (of course) invented it. It s Schadenfreude, deriving pleasure from others misfortune, and with Slate columnist Rebecca Schuman, the Teutons have a stern, self-satisfied blast at her expense.

Rebecca is just your average chronically misunderstood 90 s teenager, with a passion for Pearl Jam and Ethan Hawke circa Reality Bites, until two men walk into her high school Civics class: Dylan Gellner, with deep brown eyes and an even deeper soul, and Franz Kafka, hitching a ride in Dylan s backpack. These two men are the axe to the frozen sea that is Rebecca s spirit, and what flows forth is a passion for all things German (even though, as everyone is quick to remind her, Kafka wasn t German at all). Dreamy Dylan might leave the second he gets accepted to a better college than Rebecca does, but Kafka is forever, and in pursuit of this elusive love she will spend two decades stuttering and stumbling through broken German sentences, trying to win over a people who don t want to be bothered.

At once a snapshot of a young woman finding herself, and a country slowly starting to stitch itself back together after nearly a century of war (both hot and cold), Schadenfreude, A Love Story is an exhilarating, hilarious, and yes, maybe even heartfelt memoir proving that sometimes the truest loves play hard to get.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250077578
  • ISBN-10: 1250077575
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books
  • Publish Date: February 2017
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Cultural Heritage
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Humor > Topic - Language

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-10-24
  • Reviewer: Staff

Schuman structures this disarming memoir around nine German words, including the eponymous schadenfreude (pleasure derived from anothers suffering), inviting the reader to enjoy her travails. She writes with hilarious candor about herself as an entitled teenager, complete with bleached hair and goth makeup, tormenting a German host family, and later as an assertive, vegetarian, chain-smoking 20-something sharing a loft deep in postreunification Berlin. Schuman relates her metamorphosis into monstrous Eurotrash, complete with clashing bright separates accessorized by multiple scarves, worn year-round, to illustrate Wohngemeinschaft, the German name for an apartment shared with someone who isnt family. The concepts behind her selected German terms may be universal, but Schumans application of them is uniquely Teutonic as she weaves anecdotes with lessons learned to hilarious effect. Schumans journeys to Germany and her pursuit of further connection with her beloved Franz Kafka bring to mind another great travel memoirist, Geoff Dyer, writing about D.H. Lawrence. As Dyer does, Schuman entertains while relating her inner conflicts, personal and cultural hypocrisies, and overblown self-delusions during her decades-long struggle with the German language and those who speak it. Schumans engrossing book is a feast of honesty, humility and humor, all the hallmarks of great confessional literature. (Feb.)

 
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