I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago
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I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,960 ratings  ·  179 reviews
I'm Off Then has sold more than three million copies in Germany and has been translated into eleven languages. The number of pilgrims along the Camino has increased by 20 percent since the book was published. Hape Kerkeling's spiritual journey has struck a chord.

Overweight, overworked, and disenchanted, Kerkeling was an unlikely candidate to make the arduous pilgrimage...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by Free Press (first published 2006)
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I'm rereading this as I'll try to walk the same path to Santiago de Compostela starting this Friday.....Seeing that another overweight couch potato has done this, helps getting over my growing panic......
I read the English translation of "I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago." The author is a very famous German comedian who undertakes the 500 miles pilgrimage with hopes of spiritual and physical improvement. For the first half of the book, I'll admit I was rather frustrated with his approach. He hitchhikes, takes buses and trains, relaxes on several extended breaks and refuses to stay in the refugios (inexpensive dormitories) where most pilgrims stay. Instead he stay...more
I'm looking into the Camino Santiago experience for the first time. I have been following the blog of someone from church, viewed The Way, saw the Walking the Camino documentary, talked about it with my cousin (who has a friend who wants to walk it) and then ran into the man who heads the area Camino group at my Tai Chi class - all within the last three weeks. I started reading this book which I ran across while browsing Camino titles on Amazon. I also read the reviews - good and bad. And heard...more
Of the other celebrity Camino books I've read,

I give Shirley McLaine's one star, and Paulo Coelho's three. This was the most enjoyable by far just because Kerkeling—a superstar comedian in Germany—doesn't take himself so seriously. I would say that not all of the humor translates from the German, and his account isn't mindblowing, (of the three Coelho's is certainly the most so, if that's what you're looking for), as he keeps much of the spiritual content of his experience private. Yet I respec...more
Hape Kerkeling, one of Germany's finest comedians, describes his pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago. The adventures on his way are almost too good to be true. It's a story about trusting in oneself and others, about friendship, about enduring terrible conditions and finding joy in the little things. Hape's humour and way of storytelling are simply irresistible. I had a wonderful time listening to this.

The reader: Hape himself reads his story, and he is of course first choice. He knows his stuf...more
"Ich bin dann mal weg" ist ein gut zu lesender Bericht von Hape Kerkelings Pilgerreise auf dem Jakobsweg. Es war sicher nie als literarisches Meisterwerk geplant, dennoch ist es ein interessanter, aufschlussreiser und vor allem ehrlicher Einblick in das Pilgern, Menschen, Überlegungen und Regionen, der als Lektüre mit seinem Lockeren Stil in jedem Fall zu empfehlen ist.
Meine Begeisterung ist sehr gross, denn nicht der lustige, berühmte Komiker HAPE ist hier auf dem Weg zur Selbsterkenntnis, sondern der einfache Deutsche Hans-Peter, der auf dem Camino genauso schwitzt, leidet, stinkt, nörgelt, hungert, dürstet .. wie alle anderen Pilger auch und dies in seinem Tagebuch sehr detailliert und selbstkritisch aufgezeichnet hat. Sicherlich kommt ihm gelegentlich seine Berühmtheit und sein Werdegang in die Quere, aber dies sind nur ganz kurze Episoden, die sehr wenig...more
This is the first time I've included a rotten book here on GoodReads. Pure and simple, this is an act of revenge.

It seemed to have such potential- written by a German comedian (or was that perhaps an ominous warning?), sold over 3 million copies, was all about hiking a historically famous spiritual hike along the roof of Spain...

The man was out of shape and shouldn't have undertaken it. The reader is subjected to innumerable references to how much his feet hurt and that he doesn't like walking...more
I'm off Then by Hape Kerkeling * I first read about this book a few months ago in Out Magazine [they named it, along with Terry Galloway's Mean Little deaf Queer, as a book to look forward to:] and promptly forgot about it until my friend Austin brought a copy to book group thinking I'd enjoy it. What can I say? Austin knows me pretty well; I loved it!
Each year tens of thousands of people make the pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port to the Santiago de Compestela (The Way of St James) in Northe...more
You know you're reading a great piece of travel writing when every page makes you want to book the next flight out of town. That's how I felt about 'I'm Off Then,' which is German comedian Hepe Kerkeling's account of his 2001 pilgrimage along Spain's thousand-year-old Camino de Santiago. This is a trip I desperately want to make myself, so I initially picked this book up to inform myself about the reality of this 800 km journey in northern Spain. It didn't take long, however, before I started to...more
Because of this book, I want to make this pilgrimage someday. I felt I was on the path with the author. What I appreciated is that he didn't "romanticize" the journey. I felt the pain (his constant swollen feet), his sorrows (watching human frailty and misdeeds in others), and the camaraderie (the friends he made along the way).

I wished I read this in German because I may have appreciated the writing more. I probably would have given it 5 stars (instead of 4).

To those less adventurous and not w...more
The content was of special interest to me since I will be walking the same pilgrimage later this year. It was nice to read someone else's reflections written during the ramble. Walking hours a day, usually alone, makes for a lot of time in which to reflect, one of my favourite bits was when he was thinking about how in his normal life he looks different every day but is the same inside, whereas on the pilgrimage he looks the same every day, but is so different inside, sometimes even from one hou...more
Kerkeling geht den Jakobsweg. Und schreibt unterwegs seine Gedanken auf. Autobiographisch, prophetisch, manchmal auch recht banal. Humor kommt nicht zu kurz, das Buch ist damit aber auch nicht überladen, wie man vielleicht annehmen könnte.

Die lichten Momente werden leider gegen Ende des Buches weniger, was wohl überwiegend daran liegt, das Kerkeling seinen Mitteilungsdrang bei seinen unterwegs gefundenen Mitwanderinnen ausleben kann und kein Stück Papier mehr dazu braucht. Das ist für den Leser...more
El autor del libro es un cómico muy popular en Alemania. Por razones que no acaba de explicar, aunque parece que relacionadas con el exceso de trabajo y algún problema de salud, se propone recorrer a pie el Camino de Santiago desde St. Jean-Pied-de-Port hasta su meta y, salvo un par de etapas que se salta en tren o en autobús, lo consigue.

El libro trata sobre lo que encuentra por el camino: peregrinos de muchas nacionalidades, buscavidas, lluvias torrenciales, calores mesetarios, trigales, subi...more
Stacey Neve
Take my review and rating with a grain of salt I suppose, since I didn't finish the book. On the other hand, I pretty much never give up in the middle of a book. I can remember only one other time that I did that.

I stopped reading for two reasons. First, the writing was choppy and awkward. I'm not sure if that was a problem in the writing/editing process or if something was lost in translation, but periodically there would be a random sentence or thought in the middle of a paragraph that seeming...more
Jill Bowman
Wow. I loved that book. I leave in a week to walk the first third of the Camino de Santiago. I have no doubt that after my return I will reread that book from the other side of the story.
It is now 12 years after that pilgrimage of Hape's. It'll be interesting to see what has changed. I KNOW that more people walk it. We'll see what else...
Beth Foote
This is the most fun Camino memoir I've read so far.

When I walked the Camino last summer I walked with several German-speaking pilgrims and they all asked me, "Have you read Hape Kerkeling's book??"and I said, "Who??" They couldn't believe that I'd never heard of him.

Well, now I have read his book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. He would be good company on the Camino. I liked his style---he got up late in the morning, had lots of cafe con leche, and stayed mostly in hotels.

But he makes wonderful...more
This was an interesting memoir of a comedian’s trek through the challenges and various experiences of the Camino de Santiago. It felt like a modern day Canterbury Tales with the various colorful characters who the author met along the way. The author’s candor goes a long way to giving life to the characters he meets along the way. He also encounters many challenges that become magnified because he is experiencing them at the moment and writing his memoir shortly after experiencing them. The impr...more
Well, I'm a sucker for on-the-road books. And this one, covering the official Camino pilgrimage through the Pyrenees to St James, Spain, (cool!), written by a German TV comedian (well, no idea who you are, dude, but OK!) seemed promising.

But. The prose is clunky, with waaaaaay too many exclamation points. So, maybe not the best translation. Fair enough.

But. There were certain mentions of Shirley MacLaine, and a rather dubious account of a past-life memory. Hmm. And then on page 177, there it was...more
Großartig und inspirierend! Solche Bücher sollte ich nebenbei viel öfter lesen.
Vladimir Kobetic
I read the Czech Translation of the book "Tak já teda jdu anebo moje Svatojakubská pouť" and it is a good book indeed. No matter if you plan or you have been to the pilgrimage. The czech translation was not one of the best, but the whole story that the author is telling is simply catchy. I ate the book in a very short time. And maybe starting to pack the stuff for the pilgrimage itself =)
It is difficult to tell the story since I truly believe that everybody will create the story of himself on th...more
Guna Ostrovska
Lasīju tulkojumu latviski "Kādu laiku būšu prom". Sākotnēji nebiju pārliecināta, vai tā ir tā grāmata, ko ir vērts lasīt līdz galam, taču palēnām gājēja attieksme pret ceļu un apkārtējiem līdzcilvēkiem gluži nemanot izmainījās. 300 lp garumā redzams, kā cilvēka apziņa transformējas un cinisms pārvēršas sirsnībā, apziņa paplašinās, nāk jaunas atklāsmes. Sižets - slavena vācu humorista svētceļojuma dienasgrāmata vairāku simtu kilometru garumā. Lielākais dārgums, manuprāt, - ceļā tu vari būt pats,...more
Me ha encantado dejar este comentario a medias para comprobar que puedo ser reprendido por mis más fieles seguidores :-) Pero para llenar mi ego del todo, podíais escribir comentarios a mis críticas literrarias. Termino pues ésta.

Libro que me ha producido sentimientos encontrados. Por un lado, está muy bien el hecho de narrar tus sensaciones etapa por etapa del camino francés. Mi hermano Rafa lo está haciendo con bastante gracia. Interesante para aquellos que van a iniciar o hemos iniciado el c...more
This gets 2 stars instead of 1 because the author had a soft spot for animals and was kind to many dogs along his route. From many of his interactions, I think he might like dogs more than people. I decided about halfway through the book that I didn’t really like this guy, who picked and chose who he’d be civil to along the Camino. Once he made some real friends that he hiked the route with, his attitude picked up a little, but he still thought himself perfectly justified to just not respond to...more
Sarah Russwurm
The camino de Santiago is one of those once in a lifetime events that often move people on many levels. Even reading about it can be inspiring and encourage people to attempt things they never even dreamt of doing. Especially in Germany Kerkelings book convinced loads if people to take the first step on their 900 kilometer journey through Spain in the search of enlightenment, pain and good wine. For this reason alone I would encourage everyone to read this account of one mans pilgrimage.

This 2001 title by Hape Kerkeling, apparently a well-known comedian on German television, is a chronological story of his pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. An overweight and overwrought person at the point in life during which he begins his journey, he undertakes the difficult hike without much enthusiasm or commitment. He takes some bus trips to avoid some of the more difficult stretches early in the trip, spurns staying in refugios or hostels (preferring to stay in nicer inns...more
I was looking forward to this book because I am acutely interested in stories of long physical journeys and the psychological growth they inspire. I had never heard of the Camino and the thousands of Catholic pilgrims who traverse it, but the idea of a long trail through Spain dotted with dozens of tiny villages sounded fascinating, despite my lack of religiosity. The author is a German comedian who was quite unprepared physically and emotionally for such a trek, so I was interested to find out...more
Katy Cruel
Jan 03, 2014 Katy Cruel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
"People who laugh at racist jokes laugh from throat. Their laughter is literally stuck in their throats. They don't open up – they clam up. And so – called dirty jokes don't come from below the belt; They tend to be complex mental constructs. People who tell those kinds of jokes are typically repressed, and experience sex in their heads rather than in reality. They use jokes to overcome their inhibitions. I think this Is why intellectuals may go for dirty jokes that have all the ingredients of r...more
I am about half through with Mr. Whiny. Maybe he isn't but the author comes across as a boorish judgemental guy who likes to make himself feel better by making assumptions and insinuations about other folks on the Camino. I keep reading hoping he will find himself enlightened and release some of those hard knock feelings towards others. For a comedian this attitude doesn't come across as funny as he thinks he is. He has moments of brilliance, only to be dashed by his next sentence.

So far the bes...more
Cindy Oxman
Translated version. Another Camino journal, but this author traveled differently than most pilgrims. He soundsa bit full of himself occasionally, regularly reminding us that he has been on television, but his character and sensitivity does reveal itself as he describes some of the friends he made on the cCamino. He becomes more likeable as you read on. Worth reading for sure if you are interested in walking the Camino.
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Ein Mann, ein Fjord. feat. Horst Schlämmer Amore und so'n Quatsch Kein Pardon Ich bin dann mal weg - Reisetagebuch: Mit Zitaten von Hape Kerkeling Cheese

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“My pilgrimage can be interpreted as a parable of my path through life. It was a difficult birth - which is literally true in my case. At the beginning of the route - and in my childhood - I had trouble hitting my stride. Until the middle of my path through life, no matter how many positive experiences I enjoyed, I experienced many twists and turns that sometimes threw me off-course. But at about the midpoint of my journey, I started moving cheerfully toward my destination. It almost seems as though the Camino has seen fit to grant me a little peek into my future. Serenity might be a goal worth pursuing.” 1 likes
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