Schadenfreude: The Little Book of Black Delights
By: Tim Lihoreau
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:
Turparphilia: To delight in the less than aesthetically beautiful nature of a friend’s offspring.
Nimbuphilia: To delight in driving wildly through a kerb-side puddle which you know to be too close to a pedestrian.
Famaphilia: To delight in witnessing a celebrity in an everyday pickle.
Schadenfreude: The Little Book of Black Delights uncovers the shady details of our darkest pleasures. Naming, defining and explaining each one in turn with fascinating insights and erudite wit, it drives at the heart of what it is we find so irresistibly delightful when faced with the other people’s discomfort.
Whether you actively pursue them, only think of them or even try and deny them, your blackest delights are in here somewhere…
I was just about to cast [the book] from me in a righteous rage when I realised there were delights that really rang a bell with me. Damn. The delight in seeing a fare-dodger caught out, for example (locluxophilia) well, I can’t deny it. I am the daughter of a very Old Testament kind of mother, and as such, I positively rejoice in a comeuppance.
- Lynne Truss, Saga magazine