Freud and Friends

September 28, 2010 | By

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The charming, clever new novel A Curable Romantic starts with a great setup. As the book opens, a poor, affable young man named Jakob Sammelsohn bumps into Sigmund Freud at an opera house and makes an innocent slip of the tongue.

Sammelsohn  explains that he’s trying to earn his “daily bride” instead of “daily bread.” Freud, of course, jumps to analyze the mistake, and Sammelsohn is drawn into a strange and remarkable relationship with the world’s first psychoanalyst.

But that’s only the beginning of this epic novel, which traverses subjects from the pioneers of Esperanto to the fate of the Warsaw Ghetto. Over the course of the book, Sammelsohn gets older and wiser, but retains his bumbling, naïve romanticism–even as the world around him tumbles toward the horrific events of World War II.

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