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A Curable Romantic

Fiction: Literary Fiction / Jewish Interest
Unabridged   22.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 09/07/2010

Sami Rohr Choice Award Winner

A Curable Romantic

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781615735303
Digital Download ISBN:9781615735310


An epic and audacious historical novel set in turn-of-the century Vienna and Paris that crosses the lines between characters both real (Sigmund Freud, Emma Eckstein, L. L. Zamenhof, and others) and imaginary (including protagonist Dr. Sammelsohn). It’s an entertaining picaresque novel that seamlessly weaves together 50 years of Jewish tradition, history, and folklore along with a wholly original take on Freud, the Esperantists, and life in the Warsaw ghetto.

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Product Description

As far as romance goes, Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn is fairly incurable. Twice married, once divorced, once widowed—all by the tender age of twelve—he finally flees his small village and his pious, vengeful father. A lovelorn Candide, young Dr. Sammelsohn wanders optimistically through history—pursued by the amorous ghost of his dead wife.

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.

Interview with Joseph Skibell, author of A Curable Romantic
Audiobook Trailer:

Windows Media  or  RealPlayer

Behind the Scenes: The Making of A Curable Romantic
with Narrator Jeff Woodman and Producer Paul Ruben:

Windows Media  or  RealPlayer


“Jeff Woodman is a chameleon. He vanishes into each character and milks every satiric ounce out of Skibell’s merry novel in one of the best audios of the year.”
      —Publishers Weekly [starred review]

“This is a fascinating, ambitious, and very successful novel about Jewish folklore, the quest for spiritual truth, and the darkest days of the 20th century. It is to Skibell’s credit that this complex plot comes off as believable, engaging, and often inspiring. Highly recommended for readers of literary fiction.”
     —Library Journal [starred review]

“Skibell’s sweeping, imaginative epic chronicles the tumultuous life of an endearing protagonist, Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn, which includes a unique relationship with Sigmund Freud, the universal language movement, and WWII ... [Skibell] crafts a vivid, artfully clever tale grounded in turn-of-the century Europe.”
      —Booklist [starred review]

“Skibell’s quirky humor and sweeping imagination transform weighty topics into flights of fancy.”
     —Jewish Book World

“Brilliant ... Astonishingly original ... What life on earth might actually mean.”
     —Dara Horn

“I loved the novel for its realism, for its romantic tension, and for its sentence by sentence brilliance.”
      —Max Apple, author of Free Agents and The Oranging of America and Other Stories

“While the characters struggle in their humanness, God weeps overhead and angels make deals with demons ... This is a funny, poignant, thoughtful, and ultimately satisfying work by an author who stands with the best of them.”
      —Bruce Coburn, singer/songwriter, guitarist, Slice o Life

“Joseph Skibell’s comic intelligence embraces fifty years of European Jewish history in a brilliant tour de force that is hilarious, insightful, and inventive.”
      —Rodger Kamenetz, author of Burnt Books and The Jew in the Lotus

Author Bio

JOSEPH SKIBELL 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.

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