Design Flaws of the Human Condition (Paperback)

By Paul Schmidtberger

Broadway Books, 9780767926751, 323pp.

Publication Date: July 17, 2007

List Price: 12.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


As can only happen in New York, two strangers find themselves railroaded into an anger-management class, where they soon become fast friends. Iris is there because of an eminently justifiable meltdown on a crowded flight, whereas Ken got caught defacing library books with rude (but true ) messages about his former boyfriend. The boyfriend that he caught in bed with another man.
Needless to say, Iris and Ken were cosmically destined to be friends. What follows is a strikingly original comedy as Ken enlists Iris to infiltrate his ex-boyfriend's life in the hope of discovering that he's miserable. And Iris reciprocates, dispatching Ken to work himself into the confidence of her own boyfriend, whom she suspects of cheating. But what if Ken's ex isn t crying himself to sleep? What if he's not the amoral fiend Ken wants to believe he is? And what should Iris do when her worst suspicions start to come true? Exactly how perfect do we have the right to expect our fellow human beings to be?
Anger, betrayal, loyalty, and friendship "Design Flaws of the Human Condition" explores these universal themes with wisdom, compassion, and a wickedly irreverent sense of humor.

About the Author

PAUL SCHMIDTBERGER was born and raised in Schooley s Mountain, New Jersey, and currently lives in Paris. He is a graduate of Yale College and Stanford Law School, and is a member of the California State Bar. This is his first novel."

Praise For Design Flaws of the Human Condition

Design Flaws of the Human Condition contains the kind of pitch-perfect observations that make you want to phone the author, crying, “Yes! Yes! Yes! I feel exactly the same way!” A searing satire of every imaginable inconvenience and indignity, Schmidtberger’s novel of ill manners shimmers with wit, whimsy, and wisdom.”
—Marc Acito, author of How I Paid for College

“In New York—a city of coincidence and contradictions—Iris and Ken are the quintessential couple, the straight woman and her gay best friend. And what a pair they make. Their adventures bubble with humor but never become absurd, and the story of their friendship charms without becoming sentimental.”
—Shari Goldhagen, author of Family and Other Accidents