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Xenophobe's Guide to the Germans (The Xenophobe's Guide)

3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  235 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Teutonic torment

In every German there is a touch of the wild-haired Beethoven striding through forests and weeping over a mountain sunset, grappling against impossible odds to express the inexpressible. This is the Great German Soul, prominent display of which is essential whenever Art, Feeling, and Truth are under discussion.

Angst breeds angst

For a German, doubt and anxie
Paperback, 92 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Oval Books (first published October 1st 1995)
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Quite a hilarious read... yes, it sterotypes Germany and Germans but so what, there's a lot of truth and realism in it, and I think the authors really hit a nerve here and there. Made me laugh out loud quite a few times, here are some tidbits:

About obsesssions... "The Germans love their cars more than almost anything. While the Italians reserve this kind of adoration for their children, Germans prefer to keep their children indoors, so the cars can play safely in the streets." (p.40)

About cultur
Oct 17, 2015 Hannah rated it liked it
This was interesting! It showed me that my host family here in Germany are not the stereotypical Germans. I already kinda suspected that though.
Sean Goh
The irreverent tone of the book sometimes detracts from the content it contains, because the reader does not know whether to take it seriously or not.

The Germans pride themselves on their efficiency, organisation, discipline, cleanliness and punctuality. These are all manifestations of "Ordung" which doesn't just mean tidiness, but correctness, properness, appropriateness and a host of other good things. No phrase warms the heart of a German like "alles in Ordnung", meaning everything is all rig
Aug 04, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, reference

As a Brit living in Germany for more than twenty years can only say that behind the satire in this book there are so many truths. Yes, it really is funny if you know Germany and the Germans, only then do I think you can really appreciate the satirical truth in this book. Loved it and had me laughing on the train on the way to work for a couple of mornings.
Apr 08, 2011 RoXXie SiXX rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For being a German it is really funny and also weird to read that book. And I gotta say, that I definitely seen myself in some of the written facts. :)
Jan 14, 2009 Gabriele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything I wanted to know about myself. Too funny and contains a lot of truth
This is an interesting book, and at first it was really funny. I would read and laugh, then read and laugh some more. (For the record, Germany is where the majority of my genes and a good part of my subculture originated.)

Somewhere towards the end of the book, though, it sank in that most of the humor was sour. Yeah, the things it said were funny, but they were also caustic and biting. Weak points are attacked with glee. Where good things had to be said about the culture, the book does it grudgi
Pretty spot on, though its unsettling that it really highlights the Germans as pretentious jerks. Which certainly can be the case, but on the whole my interactions with them have been more pleasant than this book would suggest. Then again, I am an optimist and am knowingly choosing not to dwell on the negative. We all have our negative attributes.
Jenna Veirs
Jun 06, 2015 Jenna Veirs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Xenophobe books, and have a collection of them in my kitchen. Why the kitchen? They are cute and look nice with the cookbooks. These books are very stereotypical, but fun.
Laurence Buysse
Although a bit over the top, very funny and recognisable! Very good tool to understand some way of thinking of the Germans
Jul 23, 2015 Angelica rated it liked it
Shelves: english, own, non-fiction
yup, it was good, I felt entertained. Then again, I have intimate knowledge of the Germans.
Patrice-loup Rifaux
Oct 28, 2014 Patrice-loup Rifaux rated it it was ok
Not the best book of the Xenophobe's guides
Aug 03, 2015 Zoe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book cracked me up. hahahahaha
Ulrike Böhm
Nov 25, 2014 Ulrike Böhm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ja, ja, man erkennt sich wieder ;-)
Jan 21, 2015 Steph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also cute.
Jul 30, 2011 Natacha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I laughed so much, agreed with all that is mentioned and appreciated the explanations on why it is like it is. Just wish germans (in general) would be able to laugh at themselves because it makes life healthier, like the story with an apple a day (like this am I convincing any german?).

PS: Obviously Love Germany and its inhabitants :-)
May 26, 2013 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious, though a bit offensive, as all are in this series. I am definitely hooked on all The Xenophobe's Guide books.
This one, in particular, brought interesting insight into the German character. However, I have read funnier books in the series.
Enjoyed it, though struggled to separate fact from fiction. As my knowledge of the Germans is not so keen, I am afraid I came away with some of my stereotypes reinforced rather than challenged. Still enjoyed the read.
Aug 13, 2014 Marzena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, humor
Slightly boring, slightly melancholic, this one wasn't as amusing or entertaining as other books of the series I read.
Mikko Ihalainen
Jul 10, 2013 Mikko Ihalainen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this before you visit Germany, althought Berlin is very very different from other parts of Germany.
Feb 22, 2012 Lysergius rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
Not many insights here, mostly prejudice and ridicule.
Mar 14, 2011 Candice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very funny and surprisingly accurate.
Oct 09, 2008 Aneta is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Very truthful and lots of fun!
Vikas Datta
Jul 05, 2013 Vikas Datta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nov 02, 2008 Virginie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
so true...
Apr 18, 2007 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who knows a German
Shelves: intercultural, german
Oli rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2016
Paul rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2016
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2016
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