12 March 2012

The Frankfurt Tales: tales of an american in Germany by David Conte

A Taste from page 53:
For all intents and purposes, Frankfurt is a mixed breed, a German jungle, if you will. More than twenty-five percent of it's population is made up of foreign born residents. For most of my time in Frankfurt I've been oblivious to its varied nature. Until, of course, I wandered off on a solo journey through the city, where I came across many different folks, freaks, frauds and fun-loving Frankfurters. If there was a time to feel like a vulnerable white bread American, then this was it. From the moment I stepped out of the train station an extra special air of foreignness hovered over me. I was a stranger among strangeness. That was my judgement, at least.
 From the back cover:
 In the spring of 2006, David Conte suddenly decided that he would move to Frankfurt, Germany, so he could save his relationship with his now-wife. He was, and still is, a bit of a romantic. But when he later found himself having to relearn life in a very different way - at the age of thirty - that's when the crankiness set in.

In this collection of essays The Frankfurt Files: Tales of an American in Germany, Conte recounts his colorful experiences of living as a "stranger in a strange land."

Being introduced to nudism at a German spa, transporting a six-foot couch up two flights of stairs alone, and making a compelling case against the Germans' flagrant misuse of cream cheese were just some of the things that had him convinced he had undergone some type of farcical psychological transformation. As a discerning idealist turned maladroit idiot among foreigners, he relates the good, the bad, and the in-between of his offbeat encounters as an expatriate.
If you are interested in what it is like to be a stranger in a strange land, this book is a great place to start. It is a collection of vignettes - a snapshot of life as an expat in Frankfurt, Germany. When I was about half way through the book, I thought to myself 'This book reads like a blog.' So I checked it out and, sure enough, it was originally David Conte's blog about life in Germany. 

The Frankfurt Files isn't uproariously funny but it was interesting and I did have to smile from time to time. It is well written and flows nicely which, added to the blog entry format, makes for a quick read. David Conte's book is what I would call a 'nice read'.

Character Development          5
Editing                                      5
Sex                                            0
Violence                                  0
Romance                                 2
Readability/Flow                     5


  1. You always read such interesting and new to me books :)


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