“This marvelously alert, one-of-a-kind book fascinates by virtue of its eccentric honesty, humor, warmth, and intelligence. Sam Apple’s writing style sparkles, and the two brilliantly achieved, richly sympathetic characterizations at the heart of the book–the singing shepherd and the author himself–make for a dazzlingly satisfying read. I absolutely loved it.”
“At its best, Apple’s narrative voice is as grave as W.G. Sebald’s while as self-deprecating as a poetic version of Woody Allen’s. Europe in the wake of the Holocaust is risky material. I know of no other American of Apple’s generation writing non-fiction who has attempted as subtle and oblique an approach as this.”
“In this wonderful book, Sam Apple has written a brilliantly comic and very dark pastorale about shepherds, Nazis and Jews, modern-day Austria, love and fidelity, and he has done it with such subtlety–with bright colors at the center and darkness around all the edges–that the effect is quite singular. I have never read a book quite like this, and I loved it; it’s that simple.”
The liveliest, most unusual travel tale in recent memory."
--The Washington Post
"[A] rtful, amusing, yet also serious. You will be hard-pressed to find a better read."
"I don't know whether Sam Apple, a young Jewish writer living in New York, meant to write a travelogue, a wryly comic memoir on being Jewish, an examination of modern Austria's continuing anti-Semitism, or a reflection on a strange but wonderful friendship. ... But the saving grace of Schlepping Through the Alps is that he's succeeded on all counts."
"Seamlessly blends travelogue with memoir and humor with sadness ... Schlepping through the Alps is a brave and unique debut. Apple somehow manages to make the absurd combination of sheep and the search for anti-Semitism work. His skill lies in blending the disparate storytelling genres that make up this sad, yet funny book; taking us on a journey into the life of a man struggling to reconcile his existence with his country's past.."
--The Jerusalem Post
“A brilliant, hilarious and touching foray into the brave new world of fatherhood ... So exhaustively researched, hilariously recounted and tenderly written, no new parent should be in the delivery room without it!”
–Betty Londergan, author of The Agony and The Agony
“If What to Expect When You're Expecting somehow mated with Bill Bryson, the result would be American Parent. It's funny, smart, surprising, and useful. Sam Apple is a great writer.”
—A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
“Parents-to-be, you may feel that you're entering a foreign realm: a land of complex rituals, deadly hazards, and tiny screaming natives. That's where Sam Apple comes in. His book is an honest, funny, and oddly reassuring look at the reality of becoming an American parent.”
—Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard
"[A] quirky exploration of expertise that aims to shape us. Digging into assorted techniques that variously promise to ease pain, instill calm, promote child perfection—Apple unearths the Stalinist origins of the Lamaze method!—he discovers a retinue of peculiar proselytizers whose zeal leaves him highly dubious. As emboldening insights with which to embark on adulthood, I'm not sure a kid could do better."
—Ann Hulbert, Slate.com
“As a guy about to have my first child, this book was incredibly valuable."
-- Joel Stein, columnist, Time Magazine and The Los Angeles Times
"This volatile mix of manipulative marketing and anxious, affluent parents has helped to give rise to the "baby industrial complex", a market that has enjoyed unprecedented sales in the last decade. Enter Sam Apple: aclever and funny writer and new father. When his wife became pregnant with their first child, he decided to turn his attention to this intimidating world of $700 strollers, prenatal education CDs (which mothers wear around their ballooning waists), hypnotised births and baby yoga. The result is "American Parent", an anthropological tour of the breathtaking absurdities of modern baby-making, mixed with an endearing dose of memoirish dread."
—Emily Bobrow, The Economist
"In college and graduate school, I studied English. One of my favorite pastimes is browsing through the library. As you might imagine, then, I’ve read — and read — a lot of books. And, I can’t remember the last time I read one that made me murmur, “Mmm!” in total understanding one moment, and then laugh out loud the next (so loud, in fact, that more than once I startled Little G, who often was nursing as I did my homework for Maternity Ward’s first book club conversation). American Parent: My Strange and Surprising Adventures in Modern Babyland by Sam Apple is such a book: creative nonfiction that musingly blends personal essay with a journalistic approach to the anthropology, history and health science surrounding contemporary parenthood."
—Melissa Leddy, My San Antonio