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Learning German (badly)

A wonderfully entertaining and insightful work that is ethnographic in the best sense; acutely observed, nicely contextualised and highly reflexive. Parts are incredibly honest, even raw, and we really get a sense that this is Luscombe being open about himself, warts and all, which is great.

Cris Shore, Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths University of London 

Not many know and love Europe and our complex relationship with it, like Luscombe. And no-one can communicate that with such fantastically self-deprecating wit.

Federay Holmes, Associate Artist, Globe Theatre, London

This is a diary snapshot in time, and a love letter to Europe - albeit filled with the frustrations of living and learning with fellow citizens of many nations. It is hard to go back to a place before you knew a horror would occur, and unlearn what we know now - but Tim has managed it.

Amazon Review

I read this book because I thought it would be about Brexit and I wanted to understant more about what was going on, but actually I ended up learning a lot about Berlin and Germany. Berlin comes across as the most fantastic place to live, and on the back of reading this book i might start planning a trip to spend the weekend there.
This is a personal, but well informed showcase of what modern Berlin is like: tolerant, international, edgy and yet undeniably German. Luscombe, the author, clearly loves the place, for all his frustrations with the German language, the German people and his German teacher.

Amazon Review

Learning German (badly)


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Print Length:

212 Pages





Available in paperback and ebook

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With Brexit looming, British playwright and celebrated theatre director, Tim Luscombe, has to understand where he belongs: England or Europe. Meanwhile, he also has to pass the German language exam to become a naturalised citizen of Germany. 

A dark comedy of becoming and belonging, learning (badly) and loving strongly. An ode to a potential union, a lament for lost citizenship and a celebration of life, theatre director Tim Luscombe’s comic diary places him in the cosmopolitan bubble of Berlin where he juggles German class and the work of adapting Jane Austen's Emma. 

Witty, charming and always enlightening, Learning German (badly) reflects with deep sadness the reactions of a fierce Remainer when the UK elects to leave the EU, the comedy darkening further as Tim’s priorities and sense of himself as a European shift. A political union is torn apart while a personal union deepens.

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Learning German (badly)
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