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Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour Paperback – July 27, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780061782350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061782350
  • ASIN: 0061782351
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When actor and writer Shukert realizes her passport was never stamped on her entry into Europe, as an ensemble-cast member in a New York–based play on tour, she decides to take advantage and string her vacation along indefinitely. After the show’s stints in Vienna and Zurich, Shukert stays (squats might be more appropriate) with two friends in Amsterdam. Indeed underfunded and overexposed, Shukert’s life as an expat in the so-called Venice of the North provides lots of hilarious fodder for the memoir it will become. Shukert possesses a certain talent to find the funny in almost any situation, and her shockingly personal and irreverent writing makes for many laughs, but not at the cost of losing our sympathy in the face of her deepest disappointments. She breaks up the narrative frequently with sidebar tips for the European traveler (Emergency Room and When Someone Mistakes You for a Prostitute, for example). While those searching for a pithy, informative travelogue might roll their eyes, others will appreciate this entertaining and very current meditation on what it means to be a young American artist abroad. --Annie Bostrom

Review

"[Shukert] takes gleeful flight, abasing herself with a zeal reminiscent of Chelsea Handler...She nails the despair that assails so many innocents (or not-so-innocents) abroad." --(The New York Times)

“Rachel Shukert manages to do something almost unprecedented in the female travelogue subgenre: she is funny.” (The New Yorker)

“Rachel Shukert’s memoir is more than just ‘girl-gone-overseas’; it’s a hilarious, brave and surprisingly piercing work of art.” (Diablo Cody, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Juno)

“[Everything is Going to be Great] comes off like a cross between David Sedaris and Chuck Palahniuk….lurking beneath the jabs and one-liners is an affecting—and pretty unforgettable—coming-of-age tale.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“[Shukert’s] wit is pitch-perfect and amusingly self-conscious….The story itself spans continents, but the consistency with which Shukert perceives everything anchors and enlivens wherever her antics land her.” (Nylon Magazine)

“Rachel Shukert’s new memoir Everything Is Going To Be Great does something unfortunately rare in women’s writing: celebrating mistakes….what Everything affirms is that screwing up from time to time—or even a lot—doesn’t make you a terrible person.” (Jezebel)

“Thoroughly enjoyable.” (Time Out New York)

“A great summer read for anyone who likes funny ladies—or who has a friend who is threatening to give it all up to teach English in Prague. This should stop them cold.” (The Daily Beast)

“Shukert possesses a certain talent to find the funny in almost any situation, and her shockingly personal and irreverent writing makes for many laughs….[an] entertaining and very current meditation on what it means to be a young American artist abroad.” (Booklist)

“The humor with which [Shukert] recounts her experiences allows her work to transcend beyond the cliché of overseas-love-affairs-gone-awry….An entertaining and often laugh-out-loud—though not altogether atypical—story of soul-searching abroad.” (Kirkus)

“If you read only one memoir by a disaffected, urban, 20-something Jewish girl this year, make it this one. Shukert rocks the lulav.” (Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan)

“Everything Is Going to Be Great is full of smartly observed cultural detail, sexual misadventure, heartbreak, and helpful tips. This outrageous and hilarious memoir will make you laugh, gasp, and occasionally squirm—sometimes all three at once. A weird and wonderful read.” (J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Commencement)

“Shukert is a hugely funny, wildly smart, and menacingly original writer. I don’t much care for leaving the house, but if I were ever to travel, I’d want to do it in book form and alongside Rachel, who has one billion crazy stories set in foreign lands, all beautifully told.” (Julie Klausner, author of I Don’t Care About Your Band)

More About the Author

Rachel Shukert is the author the the critically acclaimed memoirs Everything Is Going To Be Great and Have You No Shame? Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including Salon, McSweeney's, Slate, Gawker, the Daily Beast, Heeb, and Nerve, and been featured on National Public RAdio. She has also contributed to a variety of anthologies, including Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists and Best American Erotic Poetry: 1800 to the Present.

Rachel's plays include Bloody Mary (NYIT nominee), Johnny Applef*&ker, Everything's Coming Up Moses, The Sporting Life and The Nosemaker's Apprentice (both with Nick Jones) and The Three Gabor Sisters, and have been produced and developed by Ars Nova, Soho Think Tank, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and the Ontological/Hysteric, as well as extensively throughout the Netherlands. With Julie Klausner, Rachel co-created, co-wrote, and co-starred in Wasp Cove, New York's favorite live prime-time 1980's soap opera. She is currently developing her first feature with Yarn Films in Los Angeles.

Rachel is also a contributing editor at Tablet Magazine, and an alumnus of the Ars Nova Play Group. She received a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts, and now lives in New York City with her husband Ben and her bipolar cat, Anjelica Huston.

Customer Reviews

This is a hilarious memoir laugh out loud funny.
lady g
I usually give books 50-60 pages before deciding it's not for me.
J. Fogle
The prose is incredibly honest, clear, and very very very funny.
Marissa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By EJ on August 3, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rachel Shukert is very, very funny. I laughed out loud several times while I was reading this book. The writing is clever with a little bit of edge. But just as an FYI, the book mostly takes place in Amsterdam, with short stops in other cities. If you've been to the Netherlands, you may find this book even more amusing than the average reader.

Shukert takes us through her days as a young college graduate struggling to make it in the theatre world in New York City and with a traveling performance group that stops off in Zurich and Vienna. Following that, she settles in Amsterdam with some friends, and this is where the bulk of the book is set. She has a real knack for pointing things out that will make you say "Oh yeah, I remember that". One example is her mention of the ubiquitous Dutch chocolate sprinkles used for breakfast toast. But the best thing about her writing (besides the humor) is her very well-developed self-awareness. She seems fully cognizant that her trials and tribulations are largely of her own making. She accepts this, she doesn't apologize for it. In other hands, this book might not come off as so endearing.

Bottom line is that this book is funny as can be. I don't want to sound like the MPAA, but beware if you not are not a fan of 4-letter words and adult sexual situations.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Sadler on September 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
Exceptionally well written, funny, shrewd and touching book. Shukert has a keen eye for detail and sharp wit. This is like "Eat, Pray, Love" for the generation that doesn't read books, but does go to see movies. If ever there was a laugh-out-loud version of "Rochelle, Rochelle" - the young girl's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk - this might be it. OK, maybe Shukert never makes it to Minsk, but she does give Europe a good whirl. I'm looking forward to the film version of this, and in the meantime reading her first book: Have You No Shame?: And Other Regrettable Stories
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer VINE VOICE on October 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
1 book I read'Everything Is Going To Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour by Rachel Shukert

2 words that describe the book'Sex Memoir (NOT so much a travel memoir as you might think)

3 setting where the book took place or characters I met

* Setting: Primarily Vienna and Amsterdam, Modern Day

* Rachel Shukert is a Jewish girl from Omaha who moves to New York City to make it as an actress. She is broke and barely getting by when she finally gets her "big break"--working for a temperamental director in an off-Broadway play that eventually has a European run in Vienna. After the play closes, Rachel decides to stay with friends in Amsterdam. After all, why not be broke and miserable in Europe instead New York?

* During Rachel's adventures, we get to meet a colorful cast of characters, including: Berthold ("an Austrian photographer old enough to be my father"); Mattijs and Jeroen (a gay couple who allow Rachel to live in their tiny apartment in Amsterdam); Marco, Ivan and Enzo (Italians--one of whom is an amateur dentist and two of whom are sex-crazed possible sex traffickers); Pete (Rachel's lover and possible boyfriend except for the little business of him having a girlfriend and possibly being a psycho); and Ben (potential husband material).

4 things I liked or disliked about the book

* This book is f#*@ing hilarious! BUT if you blanched when you saw the F word (even typed with nonsense characters), this book isn't for you. It is raunchy, dirty, irreverent, bawdy and wonderfully scatological. In other words, not for everyone. But if this kind of stuff doesn't bother you, you'll be spitting drinks out your nose from laughing and saying "OH NO SHE DIDN'T" as you read along.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Felicia The Geeky Blogger on August 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Purchased: Review copy from Publisher

What I Loved: Rachel held nothing back! When I say that, I am telling you to be prepared for the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly. She didn't try to sugar coat her decisions and/or the people you meet. She was funny and entertaining through out the whole book.

What I Liked: I really enjoyed the "extra" parts of the book. From the how to create a Rachel costume to "How to tell if you are getting sold into trafficking". The book was also full of humor at just the right times, so you never felt to overwhelmed by her journey.

Complaints: Really only one, though this just has to do with a lack of warning: This book is very raunchy at times and while billed as a travel-log it really only goes a couple of places. I don't think either of these distract from how good the book is but it should be noted.

Why I gave it a 4: I thought it was a funny, intimate view into one woman's journey into finding the next chapter in her life. It really drove home the fact that not all of us have uncomplicated journeys and sometimes you just have to be brave and/or stupid enough to take the chance to figure it out!

Who I would recommend it too: People who read Diablo Cody's Candy Girl, would be a great target audience. I also think this would appeal to anyone who likes to read non-standard biographies! It was a good read!

Author's website: [...]
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