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Honeymoon with My Brother: A Memoir Hardcover – January 27, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Franz Wisner had the world by the tail. He was engaged to the beautiful Annie, with whom he shared a passion for conservative politics and a command of quotes from the movie This Is Spinal Tap. He worked as a government-relations official for a California real-estate giant, rubbing elbows with bigwig politicians. But then his fiancée dumped him days before their wedding, and his boss demoted him. So he dragged his younger brother, Kurt, a Seattle realtor and divorcé, to Costa Rica for his already-scheduled honeymoon, where Wisner spilled his guts to a prostitute in the hotel bar. ("Not once did it occur to me that I was having a heart-to-heart with a woman who faked orgasms for a living.")

Both inspired and desperate, the two quit their jobs, sold their houses, gave away their belongings, and traveled the world for two years, romping through Europe in a newly purchased Saab, then hitting the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa. Along the way, Wisner got to know his brother in a way he never had ("Kurt had become ... my new best friend") and fought to move past his failed relationship.

Wisner's story is straightforward, heartfelt, and highly readable--though without any true, biting insights--and should connect with readers who've gone through a breakup, career change, or midlife crisis, or fantasized about quitting the rat race. His best travel tip? Throw away the guidebooks, and talk to the locals instead. --Andy Boynton

From Booklist

Coming soon to a library (and movie screen) near you is this true story of two brothers rediscovering each other and the meaning of life during 24 months of world travel. Jilted by his fiancee mere days before the wedding and demoted at work, Wisner collared his brother, Kurt, a Seattle Realtor, to celebrate his Costa Rican nonhoneymoon. That experience, with the help of a Saab purchase in Sweden, grew into subsequent lengthy trips to Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Sandwiched between the chuckles are letters to their grandmother and short, pointed chapters on best trip advice--for instance, attend a professional soccer match to understand culture--and some good lessons in hustling (bid against yourself, pretend there's a language barrier, among others). Humorous and heartening, it will be fun imagining which Hollywood hunks will star. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312320906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312320904
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,458,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The last thing I wanted to do was to read about two good-looking straight guys from Orange County, Calif., who traveled the world to bond with each together and with exotic women. I thought I had nothing in common with them; I grew up without a brother and a father plus I read mostly military and political books. The clincher was watching my wife read "Honeymoon" in two nights, often laughing aloud.

Boy was I wrong.

"Honeymoon" took me for a ride, through California politics and business, then to the altar where Franz, the author, got dumped. Instead of becoming a sour puss, he took Kurt, his estranged brother on his non-refundable honeymoon that lasted for two years. Together they reconnected and shared their dispatches to a bunch of envious desk jockeys back home. Their grandmother gave them the ultimate approval--she was the glue.

I get weird responses whenever I recommend this book to my male buddies, especially Marines. But I'll continue to do so because it's funny, it's personal and it's adventurous. Live a little. Life is short. Never look back. Look for the movie and a sequel in the near future.
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Format: Hardcover
Had a bad day? Lost a job? Relationship troubles? Why not just go travel for a couple of years? This book made me want to go on a Honeymoon with My Brother. I enjoyed living vicariously through the Wisners. What a refreshing read. It made me laugh (the "dating" stories). It made me cry (LaRue). It made me remember my own travels (Prague). The writing was honest and real. I was impressed with Franz's ability to share so many personal experiences so openly. The adventures were fascinating. I had a hard time putting the book down and was bummed when I was finished with it. My book club read it and enjoyed it tremendously. We have read memoirs before but found this one to be one of our favorites. We cannot wait to read what Franz and Kurt are up to next. And I keep thinking of ways they might need an extra person (to carry a backpack?) so that I can go along...
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Format: Hardcover
I too had great hopes for this books after hearing the NPR segment. But I found the book supercifial , and not particularly well written (to say nothing of the annoying use of italics). Franz is demoted in his position at work, and his long term relationship falls apart, but there is no real reflection on the reasons for either. He tells you that his performance was exceptional and he was incredibly successful in his job, and implies that the demotion was entirely arbitrary. He never even explores why his employer stripped his job of its key responsibilities and knocked him out of the inner circle. The demotion and break up take up the first 75 pages. I just was not drawn in. The expression that keeps coming to mind is: a mile wide and a half inch deep. His travel tales and personal travails are explained, but never beyond the surface. His description of culture of and recent developmts in Prague is non existent, as he dwells on his escapades with a woman he hooked up with, and then dumps. He states in the book that one of his friends advised him to "go deep", meaning deep into the continents, away from the obvious tourist destinations. Good advice. I wished that the author would have gone much deeper, and not just skimmed the surface.
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Format: Hardcover
The author describes at some length his jobs as a Republican op--soliciting money for governmental favors--and a corporate op--soliciting governmental favors for money. He seems to see it is sleazy, but...so what? he's making out--even demoted, he gets a $70,000 bonus. It's all a big game--any consequences for anyone out of his cohort is not on his radar.

So off he goes around the world with his brother and we learn more about his character: If you aren't a member of elite lounge in the airport, just brazen your way in--you're male, good looking, have a high end watch, and you're white. No problem! There's a long line at customs--two hundred people. Just barge your way to the front and cut in. No problem! He screws women in cultures about which he is totally ignorant and then is offended if they a)ask for money or b) stick around after he is bored (which is soon). No problem!--he just blows them off. Beggars? No problem!--after all they're all fakes, right? He gives numerous hints for making fun of them, getting rid of them, etc. everything but giving them anything.

He loves Africa: the people are suffering horribly but they're still cheerful, still have some fun. Perfect! It means it's no problem!

I find it discouraging that no other reviewer seemed bothered by this stuff.
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Format: Hardcover
I saw this book in the bookstore and the name caught my eye. This book was wonderfully fun to read and so interesting. I feel like I know Franz and Kurt just from reading about their travels.

As another reviewer said, don't judge the brothers because they have money. They had fun....how many of us can say that we just had a wonderful and fun experience (for 2 years)? Their travel into and insight on lesser known countries was so interesting. The way the brothers reconnect is inspiring.

Hopefully I will be able to travel vicariously through the brothers again and again.

Lastly, Annie made a BIG MISTAKE!
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