Schadenfreude: The Little Book of Black Delights
Humor / General
Elliott & Thompson
The shady details of our darkest schadenfreude pleasures, including "turparphilia"—to delight in the less than aesthetically beautiful nature of a friend's offspring
We might not like to admit to it, but everyone—even the gentlest of souls—derives a secret guilty satisfaction from the misfortune of others. Tim Lihoreau has made it his business to uncover the myriad ways in which schadenfreude rears its wicked head, including "nimbuphilia" (to delight in driving wildly through a curb-side puddle which you know to be too close to a pedestrian) and "famaphilia" (to delight in witnessing a celebrity in an everyday pickle). He also discusses the particular delights of highlighting a person's mispronunciation (by pronouncing it properly), having a seat on the train while those around you stand, and being loud during another's hangover. Naming, defining, and explaining each one in turn with fascinating insights and erudite wit, this book drives at the heart of what it is we find so irresistibly delightful when faced with others' discomfort.