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The first-person narrative is remarkably performed by Jeff Woodman, who finds detailed nuances of inflection and pacing to bring each of the novel’s vast range of characters man or woman; sophisticate or rube; human or supernatural to life. His imperious Dr. Freud, befuddled Dr. Zamenhoff, haughtily passionate Frau Bernfeld, and Ita, in her many shocking incarnations, are just a few of his convincing portrayals. Most of all, Woodman captures Sammelsohn’s painful and humorous propensity to over-think and vacillate, a la Woody Allen, especially about women (thus explaining why it takes him until his third marriage to lose his innocence).
As Sammelsohn’s journey takes him through several sub-cultures of Jewish life in Europe from before the first World War until the apex of the second he finds he is searching for a larger love, perhaps one of his own people. Skibell’s bright, soulful, imaginative storytelling is complemented by Woodman’s skills, and together they make listening to A Curable Romantic truly enriching. Elly Schull Meeks
Arriving in Vienna in 1890, a chance encounter with Sigmund Freud leads our hero into the arms of Emma Eckstein, one of Freud’s most famous patients. Later he romances the beautiful and wealthy Loe Bernfeld, who carries him into the world of Esperanto and the universal-language movement. Finally, Dr. Sammelsohn finds himself in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1940, only to become a pawn in a battle over the path to heaven.
A Curable Romantic is a novel of personal and historical exile that could spring only from the literary imagination of a virtuoso. Often fantastical yet always grounded in tradition and history, it is that rare literary feat - a truly incomparable tale, ingenuously laid, peopled with characters who live on in the memory.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By gillimoss on 02-18-11
an amazing book
I really enjoyed this audiobook. It follows a fascinating story through eminent figures and occurances in 20th century history and also paints a vivid picture of pre war Vienna. Well worth listening to and quite compelling.