Dear F Drew,
It is always good to read a review that challenges one's own views and as you will see from reviews of Schopenhauer's work that I have posted on Amazon.co.uk I am an enthusiast for the old curmudgeon's philosophy.
There are a couple of points that do need to be made and they are:
1) Schopenhauer's mother, Joanna, did not remarry although she did have at least one very close relationship with a diplomat at Weimar that might have ended in marriage. I think what really rankled with Schopenhauer was that she was obviously so much happier after Schopenhauer's father's death than whilst she was married. Furthermore she went on to have a very successful career as a novelist and travel writer and was quite a social success in Weimar. Goethe was just the most celebrated of her friends but there were many others in literary and intellectual circles in Weimar who found their way to her home for intellectual evenings of food, wine and conversation.
2) You suggest that Schopenhauer was an unsound reasoner using discredited lines of thought. This is a gross misrepresentation. Schopenhauer is the most rigorous of thinkers and only ever argues from empirical data using classic reasoning. He is to be completely distinguished from the Hegelian/Marxist dialectical line of thought which I agree is totally discredited. Schopenhauer's main influences in terms of the nuts and bolts of his philosophical method are Kant and Hume. Indeed he was keen to translate Hume into German but his publishers, fearing a minimal sale, chose not to take him up on his offer. No one reading Schopenhauer now should find any problem with his use of the classic laws of logic such as the law of non contradiction or the law of excluded middle etc. Indeed I would go so far as to argue that Schopenhauer is one the greatest exponents of sustained coherent rational thought. The volume under review is not really the best example of this in the Schopenhauer oeuvre. If you look at The World as Will and Representation or perhaps even more The Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason then I think you will get an appreciation of why I take the view that I do.
3) Schopenhauer actually argues very strongly against suicide and the essay on the subject contained in this volume sets out his reasoning. I have to admit that it is not entriely convincing.
In terms of your rejection of Schopenhauer's gloomy response to life I happily concede that your's is as valid a response as any. I for one find his philosophy a richly rewarding antidote to the empty optimistic sloganising of those who try to sell us human life as being anything other than the ghastly misery filled sham that has been my experience for the 54 years of it that I have had to endure.
I am truly pleased to know that someone has ahad a better time than me.