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Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another's Misfortune
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Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another's Misfortune

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  27 reviews
An entertaining and insightful exploration of schadenfreude: the deliciously dark and complex joy we've all felt, from time to time, at news of others' misfortunes.

You might feel schadenfreude when...

the boss calls himself "Head of Pubic Services" on an important letter.
a cool guy swings back on his chair, and it tips over.
a Celebrity Vegan is caught in the cheese aisle.
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published November 20th 2018 by Little, Brown Spark
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Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found parts of this book to be LOL funny. The author takes a topic getting mirth from someone else's mishap. The book dives into psychology, literature, etc. as it examines the topic. The reader may just find that it gives them a little more perspective and possibly more able to laugh at themselves next time they do something foolish. Of course, we would never do anything foolish ;).

Thanks to Netgalley for providing an advanced reading copy for an honest review.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great little assessment of a curious psychological phenomenon. I appreciated how the author broke down the chapters into categories that seemed to flow nicely from one to the other. I also liked her afterword section that solidified her message succinctly. I will probably have trouble getting this for my library as it is British, but I will certainly look to order it!
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice, quick reading palate cleanser.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This year, Tiffany Watt Smith's The Book of Human Emotions: An Encyclopaedia of Feeling from Anger to Wanderlust will be making my Best of 2018 list. So I was overjoyed to get my hands on a copy of her new book Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another's Misfortune .

Ah schadenfreude, how I love you. Love the sweet, somewhat taboo enjoyment of seeing others get their comeuppance. If you, dear reader, occasionally savour the joy of others' mistfortune, then you'll probably appreciate this book. It is a w
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Have you ever laughed at someone slipping on a banana peel? Have you gloated when the other team's star player missed an easy layup? Do you snicker when your obnoxious co-worker comes out of the bathroom trailing toilet paper on their shoe? Welcome to the world of schadenfreude.

Tammy Watt Smith has written a good book on one of humankind's stranger phenomena. It could have been a great book (more on that later).

Schadenfreude refers to the pleasure you derive from observing another person's misfo
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Seeping with a welcome, wry sense of humor, Smith has given us a book that puts on glorious display the inner-workings of that feeling you get when someone (or maybe yourself, depending on the situation) gets their comeuppance. Reveling in that sweet, tasty goodness when someone's given a karma-induced what-for can sometimes be nothing short of the nectar of the gods; but seriously, what's going on in your head when you're experiencing this? Is it beneficial, or just contributing to your cynical ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Since the term Schadenfreude (literally joy-damage) has had quite a lot of pub lately (Smith notes from her research that this has been called the Age of), this book is a completely engaging and accessible look at the way we (guiltily) take pleasure at others’ misfortune. Though she doesn’t belabor a direct correlation, the prevalence of social media and constant news has contributed significantly. When everything looks rosy in someone’s online life, a comeuppance is sometimes welcome. Special t ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for honest review. :)

I'm not sure this book was for me.

The subject matter was interesting to me because I had never heard of the term "Schadenfreude" before, but I realized quickly that it's something I've felt many times, to my shame. Or not. The author does an excellent job of reassuring the reader that it's something that a lot of people feel.

I liked the examples of schadenfreude included in in each chapter; some of th
Andrew Howdle
Not as profound as the author's book on human emotions, which can be read as a series of mini essays. Being released just before Christmas, this volume is an attempt to reach the whimsical rather than literary market. Schadenfreude, finding joy in another's misfortune, is an ever-increasing human emotion, according to the author, which would seem to be true as it has become the focus of so much modern comedy. I found the book entertaining, but got bored with some of its scatological humour, and ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times I wondered why I was reading this. It is often repetitive in its definitions of schadenfreud paired with quotes from famous people describing it again. But I did enjoy this book. Perhaps it was the funny examples that start each chapter, or the amusing examples given to the author while researching this book. Either way it was a short read and not too taxing. The author has a bit to say on the subject which is interesting, but mostly it’s descriptions of fails and embarrassments which m ...more
Kristi Betts
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I first heard the word Schadenfreude in the musical Avenue Q. I didn’t even know there was a word for that evil little feeling one has when hearing of someone’s misfortune. This book was an interesting look into this feeling we all have, whether we admit to it or not. I enjoyed the examples and even laughed out loud at some of them. I appreciated the “Helps” at the end of the book, especially for the realization that everyone fails and it is all harmless fun. Interesting and thought provoking bo ...more
Mugren Ohaly
Dec 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The premise is that people find pleasure in other people’s misfortune. That is somewhat misleading because she lists sport as an example. When the team you support wins because the opponent misses a shot, you are obviously going to be ecstatic. We don’t need a fancy word for that.

I don’t need a book that’s nothing but a list of examples of Schadenfreude to tell me that I find joy in knowing that no one’s life is perfect.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mystical and almost taboo subject of sorts, schadenfreude has always interested me. This is a well written and informative guide to all things schadenfreude and many examples the author uses, from popular culture references to politician's getting egg on their chin, are funny and timely occurances we experience in every day life.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s a neat little book, perceptive and amusing, on a sentiment that we all surreptitiously have felt towards a competitor or a difficult colleague, or even someone we have never met, politician etc, schadenfreude at their minor demise. I am not sure that reading a book on schadenfreude is absolutely necessary but it was well reviewed, short, and ultimately enjoyable reading.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Don’t be put off by the subtitle. This witty and entertaining little book describes how our evolutionary need for justice maintains harmonious societies and the awkwardness we all feel with a good dose of deserved commupance.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent fun read. I was lucky enough to see the Author give a short talk about her book and it intrigued me enough to read it.

An wry look at that most un-English of feelings!

(Not really and furthermore now I feel less guilty, hurrah)
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simultaneously a swift read, but also a lot of depth. All the different types of schadenfreude, and why, it is only human, to sometimes enjoy realising someone else has got their comeuppance and it doesn't necessarily make you a bad person.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this delicious book on how to deal with Schadenfreude-how to justify, what it means, what benefits and so on. It contains lots and lots of samples for a good snicker or two before each chapter.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Light read. It seemed to be one example of Schadenfreude after another with very light theory in between
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book
Jan 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had to jettison this one, it was just so dry and dull that I couldn't keep going.
Alan Baxter
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was an excellent book. Fascinating, entertaining and, at times, somewhat confronting. Hugely enjoyable.
Bethany Barnes
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, 2018-reads
My favorite emotion.
Tai Tai
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
insightful and deliciously 'freude
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Dec 31, 2018
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Dec 03, 2018
William Healey
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Jan 21, 2019
Naomi Ross
rated it it was ok
Nov 26, 2018
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Jan 21, 2019
John Peers
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Dec 24, 2018
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Dr. Tiffany Watt Smith is a cultural historian and author of The Book of Human Emotions. In 2014, she was named a BBC New Generation Thinker, and her TED talk The History of Emotions has over 1.5 million views. She is currently a Wellcome Trust research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London. In her previous career, she was a theater director.