Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
In The Frankfort Files: Tales of an American in Germany, David Conte provides the reader with a series of memoirs about his move to Germany in the Spring of 2006. Following his girlfriend, a German native, the author tells of his initial impressions of the German culture, a not-so-positve assessment of a culture to which the author had not been previously exposed. At first, he appears to concentrate on the lack of luxurious accommodations, cramped and pressured amenities, his inability to understand the language, the annoyances of slow,citizens and the nuisances of unruly German children. The reader begins to conceptualize the author as an emotionally immature, ugly American abroad.
Mr. Conte decides to take classes in the German language after he has lived in the country for over a year. From that point on, his judgments appear less harsh, and he occasionally makes fun of his own rigid personality characteristics, a refreshing self-disclosure for the reader. He goes on holiday, touring France, Denmark, Italy and other famous European venues. Although he does remain somewhat negative toward the German culture in general, he begins to open his sensitivities to experiences which would delight the majority of foreign visitors.
The author writes in a sarcastic, but humorous, style, and his recollections are an ongoing source of information to the reader. If the reader dares to read between the lines of the recollections, there will be rich information as to the relationship between the author and his soon-to-be wife. This is a well-written book which will delight many and annoy some. All in all, it's an interesting read for those wanting to know about expat life and the psychological transition from rigid idealism to stark reality.