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News & Features » August 2022 » Rave Reviews spotlight: Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

Rave Reviews spotlight: Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

Fresh off a thunderous publication month, Jerry Stahl’s new memoir Nein, Nein, Nein! has been receiving some much deserved attention. In print, the New York Times Book Review notes, “Stahl embarks on Holocaust tourism in this meditative yet humorous account, weaving personal narrative with reflections on current and past global events.”

Stahl spoke eloquently (and often hysterically) about the process of writing the book at his book launch in conversation with Ben Stiller at the 92nd Street Y., as well as WTF with Marc Maron, who calls the work “A disturbing, funny, dark travelogue.”

And praise for the novel is coming from a variety of sources:

“[Stahl’s] razor-sharp gallows humor will have you howling one moment, breathless the next in the presence of wrenching generational pain, of humanity at its very worst, and goodness at its camouflaged best.”
Brooklyn Rail

“An audacious, emotional journey.”
The Village Voice

One of Kirkus Reviews 20 Best Books to Read in July 2020

“There aren’t many authors today who are willing to revisit the Holocaust and write about it. But then again, most authors aren’t Jerry Stahl, who has the chutzpah to pull it off masterfully . . . The author’s witty prose is appreciated because without levity a trip around the concentration camp horn would make any man or woman beg for mercy. His ability to provide his readers with a seat on the bus to experience the tour is exceptional. There was only one man for this job, and that man is Jerry Stahl.” —Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“While Nein, Nein, Nein! is darkly confessional, it is also an exploration of how we remember the Holocaust and whether it is even possible to properly mourn and honor the victims of unspeakable tragedy . . . The result is a sort of gonzo travel book about the ways the Holocaust is memorialized, commercialized and trivialized in the countries where it took place.”
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

“Mordantly funny . . . Fusing provocative insights with razor-edged wit, this offers a captivating take on a haunting chapter of history.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Gonzo meets the Shoah in this wildly irreverent—and brilliant—tour of Holocaust tourism . . . A vivid, potent, decidedly idiosyncratic addition to the literature of genocide.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Stahl’s talent, one that’s central to a rich Jewish legacy, is turning the tragic and cruel, the unjust and infuriating into something funny. With nimble pacing, he wryly reveals humanity’s baser instincts—the hypocrisy, the often commercialized, performative morality—exposing what lies (in all senses of the word) beneath.” —Coachella Review

“[D]aring, caustic, often laugh-out-loud manic in its staring down of Holocaust tourism.”
Moment Magazine

Featured Review of the Day in PW Daily

“Crackling . . . Bizarre, distressing, hilarious and hopeful. Read it immediately.”

Nein, Nein, Nein! is the unbelievable true story of a guided bus tour to Nazi concentration camps, told as only Jerry Stahl can tell it, with an acid wit as deadly serious as it is hilarious, insane, and weirdly life-affirming. The destinations he describes are real, but who else would dare to take us there? Stahl is fearless, gripping, and most unsparing about his own damned soul. I read everything he writes.”
—Eric Bogosian, actor/playwright

“There’s dark humor, and then there is Nein, Nein, Nein! Jerry Stahl manages a balancing act here that would put all the trapeze artists of the world to shame.”
—Lucy Sante, author of Low Life

“A disturbing, funny, dark travelogue.”
—Marc Maron

“Few have such an eye for life’s perverse absurdity as Jerry Stahl, and his disturbing, hilarious, self- deprecating, and honest voice jumps off the page in Nein, Nein, Nein! There is nobody I’d rather take this gnarly journey with than Stahl, whose gonzo literary madness belies a steady, tender core.”
—Michelle Tea, author of Against Memoir

“Jerry Stahl, whose manic self-annihilating riffs dance on the volcano-lip of the abyss, is a writer I’ve been quoting compulsively for twenty-five years. His voice is a hell-broth of fascinating contradictions: the king of mordant cool who writhes with anxious terrors, the professed nihilist with a scalding moral vision, the gifted ironist who really bleeds.”
—Christopher Goffard, writer/host of the podcasts Dirty John and Detective Trapp

“Darkly hilarious . . . a tour bus through literal hell. Nein, Nein, Nein! is the manic chronicle of a Jew confronting personal and historical demons at sites of past devastation and modern-day tourist kitsch. The result is a surreal carnival of cringe amid bursts of profound historical clarity and often unsettling emotional resonance.”
—Eli Valley, cartoonist, creator of Diaspora Boy: Comics on Crisis in America and Israel

“Stahl explores the dark side of the dark side.”
—Larry Charles

Purchase a copy of the book here:

Posted: Aug 2, 2022

Category: News