A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell

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Synopsis

I fell in love with Emma Eckstein the moment I saw her from the fourth gallery of the Carl Theater, and this was also the night I met Sigmund Freud.” So goes the life, times, and loves of Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn, a fairly incurable romantic venturing optimistically through modern history. In this inventive and satiric tour de force, Joseph Skibell, award-winning author of A Blessing on the Moon, presents a picaresque novel of exile that could spring only from the imagination of a virtuoso.
 

About Joseph Skibell

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Joseph Skibell is the author of two previous novels, A Blessing on the Moon and The English Disease. He has received a Halls Fiction Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, among other awards. He teaches at Emory University and is the director of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature.
 
Published November 7, 2011 by Algonquin Books. 624 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Curable Romantic

Kirkus Reviews

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Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn, an oculist, falls in love with two different women at two different periods in 20th-century history—and along the way prominent figures, most notably Sigmund Freud, get caught up in his relationships.

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Publishers Weekly

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Dr. Jakob Sammuelsohn shares his astute and often sardonic views of the Jewish communities of Europe from 1890s Vienna to the 1940 Warsaw ghetto in Skibell’s lush historical novel.

Nov 29 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

Publishers Weekly

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Skibell's fat, cheeky, and sweeping latest begins in early 1895 Austria when his endearing protagonist, young Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn, comes face-to-face with Sigmund Freud in a room full of mirrors that create an ironic "unending trail of Freuds."

May 31 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

New York Journal of Books

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Jakob Sammelsohn hovers on the fringes of central European history, meeting real life figures and becoming caught up in landmark events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.He is a peripheral figure who seems to epitomize the dilemma for European Jews of that era, wanting to belong but at th...

Sep 07 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

Dallas News

After the success of his first novel, A Blessing on the Moon, winner of a Texas Institute of Letters Turner Prize for First Fiction, Joseph Skibell now offers readers the tale of a feckless Jewish antihero, nebbishy Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn.

Sep 26 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

Oregon Live

"A Curable Romantic" is an ambitious novel that mostly succeeds and remains more engaging than the average novel even when, like Esperanto, it doesn't quite live up to its promise.

Sep 11 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

Review (Barnes & Noble)

This dybbuk claims to be none other than the specter of Jakob's unwanted bride Ita, who killed herself after Jakob abandoned his birthplace and is now making an other-worldly plea for his attention.

Sep 27 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

The Roanoke Times

Sammelsohn falls in love with Zamenhof’s beautiful colleague Loe, but the besotted dybbuk is never far behind him.

Oct 10 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

The New Yorker

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Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

Austin Chronicle

Before Franz Ferdinand met his untimely end – the first domino toppled in the worst period of persecution for the Jews of Europe in history – A Curable Romantic's Jakob Sammelsohn wandered sexually liberated Vienna more concerned that he had been married twice yet was still a virgin.

Sep 17 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

My San Antonio

Fathers, and father figures, play a colossal role in the picaresque life of Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn, an ophthalmologist whose lack of self-knowledge is only exceeded by his lack of self-confidence.

Oct 17 2010 | Read Full Review of A Curable Romantic

Reader Rating for A Curable Romantic
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