Review Excerpts

The Recorder – December 10, 2007
“Schmidtberger has written a decidedly irreverent comedy of manners with… a healthy dose of satire aimed at the legal profession. The novel is also something of a fairy tale. In a land far, far away everyone gets the chance to right the wrongs that they see inflicted on them everyday. Schmidtberger writes engagingly of the calamities that befall [his protagonists] who are not without the usual assortment of human weaknesses. It’s a story about our ‘design flaws.’ As he says, ‘People are a miracle of design, but we’re not perfect.’” – Kathy McBride

Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star – September 9, 2007
“Howlingly funny… A sense of delicious anticipation grips the reader right from the opening paragraphs. Schmidtberger is a delightfully clever writer, nailing personalities, nay, whole cultures, with a deft turn of phrase. Schmidtberger’s telling attention to detail, his tongue-in-cheek humor and his obvious affection for his protagonists make Design Flaws a superior read.” – Lucia Anderson

Boulder Daily Camera – August 31, 2007
“In his appealing debut, Designs Flaws of the Human Condition, Paul Schmidtberger… sets the lives of two likable characters on a collision course, with results reminiscent of vintage Armistead Maupin. And as the plot thickens, things just get more fun. The greatest strength of Design Flaws is its humanity and the sense of community it creates. Whether it’s true or not, it’s nice to think that in an unfriendly world where boyfriends cheat and stewardesses are unfailingly unhelpful, that you could enroll in a class at the local Y and end up with a pair of close friends and a new sense of adventure in your life.” – Greg Glasgow

Connecticut Post – August 20, 2007
“A fresh and funny New York novel … a very witty examination of the perils of wearing blinders with your romantic partner … Schmidtberger has a great handle on the contemporary New York scene, so the novel is packed with wonderful local color and witty insider touches.”
— Joe Meyers

Tucson Citizen – August 2, 2007
“This hilarious debut novel is about a straight woman and a gay man who are railroaded into an anger-management class, where they become fast friends. Set in present-day New York City, this wickedly irreverent story explores anger, betrayal and friendship with perfectly placed humor. Crisply written and featuring well-developed characters, this is fun summer reading.”

USA Today – July 26, 2007
“For better or worse, the gold standard for the gay guy/straight gal dynamic is Will & Grace. But Paul Schmidtberger comes up with a clever variation… Ken and Iris meet cute in anger management class (they’re both New Yorkers whose crimes are sitcom-level inoffensive offenses). Ken is single after finding his boyfriend cheating; Iris suspects that her boyfriend may be straying. These two team up Holmes-and-Watson style for a little mutual spying and wreak considerable havoc along the way. Design Flaws of the Human Condition alternately has you chuckling and rolling your eyeballs.”

Out Magazine – July 2007
“Debut novelist Schmidtberger’s take is very funny, and his hilarious observations about contemporary urban life, from its escapable therapy-speak to the damage done to the skyline by Donald Trump, play well alongside this ultimately sentimental story about the virtues of friendship. While its hard to imagine any actual New Yorker having the spare time necessary for their delightful acts of derring-do, Schmidtberger’s wryly wrought characters lend authenticity to this confection of a summer novel.”

The L Magazine -July 2007
“Schmidtberger is a capable storyteller whose prose is bright and engaging … authentically entertaining.”

Publishers Weekly – April 2, 2007
“A not always realistic but assuredly entertaining romp… Former lawyer Schmidtberger delivers a promising debut about love, friendship and anger-management. The results: a bit about what happiness really is, whether or not staying in a relationship guarantees happiness, and a whole lot about how friendships form and shape who we become. Schmidtberger handles his characters with a sympathetic grace.”