Everything Is Going To Be Great by Rachel Shukert

Everything is Going to be Great by Rachel ShuckertThis book (2010) is subtitled: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour. This is Rachel Shukert’s second memoir, at only 30 years old, which would suggest many more memoirs could follow. However, according to the author information she is now living with her husband and a cat. That sort of lifestyle may not generate enough material for a memoir in the near future, but who knows what she’s really up to?

In Everything Is Going To Be Great, Shukert manages to get herself into some odd situations. She eats penis-shaped hot dogs in the company of skinheads in Vienna, she buys a bike from a junkie in Amsterdam, and while inquiring about a dentist she ends up in bed with two friendly men (but against her will).

This and more you can find in this funny memoir. There’s funny writing and funny situations. I personally liked reading about the things that happen to Shukert a lot, but I found her attempts to write in a humoristic way a little forced at times. In fact, I found the more serious parts of her book much more interesting and entertaining.

The books starts off with a pre-face, How to Use This Book, which includes tips for those who are also planning to go on Rachel Shukert’s The Grand Tour™. I didn’t enjoy this pre-face all that much. I found it too forcefully funny and also unnecessary.

Luckily, the writing became a little more serious later on in the book (but nothing too War And Peace), which I appreciated. There were actually a few times that I was doing something other than reading and I found myself thinking about what had been happening in the book. A good sign!

What does actually happen?
Rachel Shukert, in her early twenties, goes on a European tour with the theater company she is employed by. Employed is a large word, as there is no money involved. After performances in Vienna and Zurich, she goes to Amsterdam to visit some friends and to stay with them for an indefinite time. There’s love (lost and found), good (international) friends and a lousy job.

I’m Dutch but I don’t know Amsterdam well, but Shukert’s Amsterdam seems quite likely to me. She experiences things that I’ve never heard of (such as eel pulling) while other things sound oh so familiar and typically Dutch. She went to Paradiso and the Anne Frank House, which I’ve never done, but her gay friends are so familiar, I feel like I know this particular couple!

Final verdict
It’s a fun book to read, full of adventures (some of a sexual nature). It describes a young woman trying to find what she wants in life. She’s not a very sensible woman as she ends up in situations that her mother wouldn’t have wanted her in. On the other hand, had she been sensible, she would not have acquired the money and fame that goes with being a celebrated memoir writer.

If you’re interested in travel writing of the student back-packing kind, involving international people hanging out together, taking lousy jobs, low on money but with many parties, then do read it. If you just like a fun book to break your usual pattern of thrillers, fiction, or cookbooks, then this is for you, too.

Rating: 4/5

Note that I got my copy for free from the publishers, in return for a review.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

3 Responses to Everything Is Going To Be Great by Rachel Shukert

  1. Suzanne says:

    I’m looking forward to reading this one — right now I have to travel to Europe vicariously through books.

  2. Pingback: Review: Everything Is Going to Be Great by Rachel Shukert

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