Friday, February 3, 2012

Charlene Reviews - The Frankfurt Files: Tales of an American in Germany by David Conte

ISBN #: 978-1456536589
Page Count: 192
Copyright: May 10, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace

(Taken from Amazon)

Man moves to a foreign land for a beautiful young woman. You've heard it before: Love conquers all. Happily ever after. But what happens when culture shock sets in and the guy actually has to stick around and survive the experience?

In The Frankfurt Files: Tales of an American in Germany, David Conte finds himself having to relearn life in a very different way as a thirty-something - in Frankfurt, Germany. A humorous and insightful collection of stories and essays, Conte recounts his colorful experiences of living as a "stranger in a strange land." Lugging a couch up a flight of stairs alone after being abandoned by callous furniture movers; immersing himself in the odd but relaxing world of German nudist spas; shedding light on the all-important issue of cream cheese abuse in German sandwiches. 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.

Charlene's Review:

In The Frankfurt Files, Mr. Conte moves to a foreign country, all in the name of love. In a series of essays, he regales us with witty, sometimes sarcastic tales of learning to live abroad. At times disillusioned, other times enchanted in his new home, nothing is sacred as he attempts to navigate an unfamiliar culture, and still manages to keep the girl.

As an expatriate, he acclimates in bizarre ways, such as ordering Thai food in German. Expounding on the idiosyncrasies of the German's use of cream cheese, their love of ice cream, and their indulgent sneezing practices, he takes us on an insiders tour of Europe. He clings tightly to his "Americanism" as he celebrates the Fourth of July, but in the end, he embraces living abroad, and entertains along the way.

The Frankfurt Files is a humorous look at living immersed in a foreign culture. There is no real flow, at least chronologically, in the stories, but they all stand on their own. Add in the romantic element and you have an entertaining, whimsical, happily-ever-after story.

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