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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

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  3,649 Ratings  ·  285 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
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by Free Press (first published 2006)
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Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Sterne ++++
Mar 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, el-camino
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......
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Always Reading
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dieses Buch hat meine Großmutter mir ausgeliehen. Anfangs war ich wirklich sehr skeptisch. Ich bin nicht wirklich ein Fan von Hape Kerkeling beziehungsweise möchte ich mal behaupten, dass ich im Allgemeinen wenig von ihm kenne.
Doch ich wurde positiv überrascht. Dieser Reisebericht ist eine ruhige, nachdenkliche Geschichte. Es geht um die Erkentniss wer man selbst ist.
Das Buch ist in einzelne Tage aufgeteilt. Die Etappen in denen Kerkeling den Jakobsweg entlanglief. Ich fand diese gesamte Erzähl
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
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
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lieblingsbücher
Hape Kerkelings Bericht über seine Erfahrungen auf dem Jakobsweg war für mich unglaublich inspirierend. Ich habe das Bedürfnis etwas an meinem Leben zu ändern und selbst auf Wanderschaft zu gehen!
Ms. Smartarse
This book has been translated into English, as I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago.

Hans Peter "Hape" Kerkeling is a comedian of some reputation in Germany. A self-proclaimed couch potato, he sets himself the lofty goal of walking the Camino de Santiago... all 800 km of it. Ok, make that most of it, and definitely include the last 100km into said bit.

Modern-day pilgrim from the back

It actually started out really well, with Kerkeling setting a suitably doubtful tone for this entire endeavor.
We have
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Das Buch berichtet von Hape Kerkelings Reise auf dem Jakobsweg, dem Camino Francés, nach Santiago di Compostela und beschreibt gleichzeitig seinen Weg zur Selbstfindung. Mit seiner Erzählungsweise und seinen Schilderungen hat mich Hape Kerkeling sowohl zum Lachen als auch zum Nachdenken gebracht. Ich habe die Reise sehr genossen, man hat einfach das Gefühl gehabt, direkt dabei zu sein. Danke für die Geschichte und dieses Erlebnis, ich kann das Buch nur weiterempfehlen.
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
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
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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.
...ich brauche dringend auch sein neues Buch!
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Großartig und inspirierend! Solche Bücher sollte ich nebenbei viel öfter lesen.
Jasmin Martin
This is an okay book. I know he's a comedian, and not a hiker, but I expected more about the hiking of the Jakobsweg and less about how he was almost dying some of the way. I guess it wasn't the right book for me. Aimed at another kind of audience. But I learned some interesting things about the Jakobsweg, including the history.
Gisela Zimmermann
Kurzweilig und sehr amüsant. Die Herbergen haben sich seit 2001 ziemlich verändert und sind nicht so schlimm, wie Kerkeling sie beschreibt.
Tinka Beere
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Als Hörbuch inhaliert und als sehr motivierend empfunden.
Holger Haase
Hape Kerkeling is a German entertainer and comedian (yeah, I know) and this is a diary of his 6-week journey on the Santiago de Compostela way.

It's a book that's been well received in Germany (and apparently also translated into English) and some of my German friends and family were raving on about it but must admit that I didn't find it very well written.

I have often pondered the idea of walking the Camino myself but can't say I am feeling very inspired about it after reading this. Luckily I kn
May 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, nonfiction, 2011
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
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Stacey Neve
Apr 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so You are popular AND gay, the way was so damn difficult, you didn't have any blisters and Your new friends are awesome - I UNDERSTOOD, i understood it for the thousandth time!

Beth Foote
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: camino-books
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
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rating overview
Schreibstil: ★★★★★
Inhalt: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★★ (5)


Ich bin unendlich froh darüber, dass ich mich entschieden habe dieses Buch in die Hand zu nehmen. Persönlich habe ich mit Kerkeling nicht viel am Hut aber der Jakobsweg und die Geschichten derer, die ihn gehen, fasziniert mich sehr! Kerkeling's Schreibstil ist leicht und dringt doch tief durch, das Buch war bewegend, bedeutsam, besonders... Es ist sehr selten, dass ich ein Buch zweimal lese (und schon gar nicht eine Biographie!)
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jill Bowman
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...
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“It’s funny, at home you look different on the outside with each new day, yet on the inside you stay virtually the same. Here you’re always the same on the outside, but on the inside you change by the hour.” 3 likes
“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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