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Extended Audio Sample A Curable Romantic, by Joseph Skibell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (174 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Skibell Narrator: Jeff Woodma Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An irresistible romp about a lovelorn 19th-Century doctor who falls in with Sigmund Freud—and some dangerously attractive women.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “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 (audio review)

  • Selected for the October 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brooke | 2/13/2014

    " The short version: Love transcends death. But this book is so much more than that: the narrator works with Sigmund Freud and his most famous patient, is part of the Esperanto language movement, finds himself in a ghetto during WWII, and then travels to heaven and back--all while his soul mate appears as new characters in different segments of his life. Skibell's world(s) are fascinating. Parts of this novel got a little long, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Gregg Runburg | 2/11/2014

    " Set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, for the most part, this book just keeps going and going and going. Still, interesting enough to keep me reading; the book is about mysticism and love, and the intersection. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Elizabeth | 2/8/2014

    " I loved this book. It's a big, daunting novel, but it's got Judaism, psychology (Sigmund Freud), dybbuks, Reincarnation, life in turn of the century Vienna (and Russia), Esperanto (actually, way too much Esperanto, especially when it gets into the interminable debates about how to update the language), WW2 Nazis, and even somewhat heartless angels. The narrator is self-deprecating and insecure but he really develops (thank God for that). This is a sprawling epic that is touchingly human, romantic, funny, and smart. The language and dialogue impress, and it's a huge quilt of topics that some readers aren't going to be able to process, but overall, I found it a joy to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Stacy | 2/1/2014

    " I gave this book 2 stars, because I hated the ending. Otherwise, it was a good book, but it was long and to go through all that maybe wasn't worth it : ). "

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About the Author

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.