Johann Gottfried Seume

Johann Gottfried Seume

Why is this book still so awesome after so many years?

Johann Gottfried Seume is neither particularly wealthy nor does he have a big name or an entourage, and his main mode of transportation consists simply of his own two feet. And while others might be a bit bloated and preoccupied with the immense task of..

Patrick Leigh Fermor

Patrick Leigh Fermor

Is there anything not perfect about this travel book?

Patrick Leigh Fermor is only eighteen years old when he decides to take a walk through Europe – all the way from Amsterdam to Constantinople (Istanbul). He walks for one year, picks up languages, talks to locals, learns about history, and keeps..

Michael Holzach

Michael Holzach

What is so awesome about walking through an industrialized country, and why is this book the bomb?

I don’t think there is an English translation of this book available anywhere – so many of you will probably miss out on one of the finest pieces of travel literature that has ever been published

Adam Fletcher

Adam Fletcher

is this book about Germans for foreigners or for Germans?

Adam Fletcher is a young British dude who for obscure reasons decides to spend some time in Germany, first in Leipzig then in Berlin. He slowly gets to know the population and its peculiarities and eventually..

Tuvia Tenenbom

Tuvia Tenenbom

What happens when a cynic get outsmarted by an even bigger cynic?

Tuvia Tenenbom is a Jewish American author and theater guy who gets invited by a German publishing house (Rowohlt) to travel around Germany and write about his experiences. They know he is a cynic, and they invite him anyway. He thus..

Dennis Gastmann

Dennis Gastmann

Should travel writers deliberately look for interesting stories, or should they rather go with the flow?

Dennis Gastmann is a young German TV journalist, probably best known for his subtle use of humor in revealing political misgivings. After having done a show about different places in the world, he decides to walk from his home..

Heinz Helfgen

Heinz Helfgen

What were German readers looking for in a travel book after World War II?

Heinz Helfgen is a former journalist turned POW who returns to Germany in 1946, only to find that things aren’t exactly easy work-wise. Thus, after struggling for a few years, he decides to support his family by..

Johann Schiltberger

Johann Schiltberger

Is this guy our average Joe from the Middle Ages?

This is an interesting book, but there is something to consider before reading it: Johann Schiltberger, much like Marco Polo or Jehan de Mandeville, whom I will be reviewing later, is a writer of..

Gunther Plüschow

Gunther Plüschow

Can we read about warfare as if it was just an adventure?

At the outbreak of WW1, Gunther Plüschow, a young pilot in the German air force, gets dispatched to the German colony of Qingdao (they called it „Tsingtau“ back then). He is supposed to be one of only two pilots on guard against the..

Ben Donald

Ben Donald

Who came up with the idea to spoil an otherwise fine travel book with a bunch of nonsense?

Ben Donald is a British journalist who formerly used to love traveling but has somehow grown sick of it. He then runs into a guy who claims to be a sort of „travel coach“ and gets sent to Germany by said guy. Well, Germany doesn’t..

Cem Gülay

Cem Gülay

If migration basically means people moving from one place to another, can it really be a bad thing per se?

Cem Gülay is a German of Turkish descent who has published an autobiography about his abortive attempt at a „career“ as a criminal. While promoting his book, he travels all over Germany, reading mostly at schools and

Wolfgang Büscher

Wolfgang Büscher

Will the search for the „Russian soul“ ruin what is otherwise a good book?

Wolfgang Büscher is a journalist who has a thing for walking, so it seems rather natural that he would decide to venture into Eastern Europe on foot. He starts in..

Heinrich Heine

Heinrich Heine

These travel stories from 19th century Germany remain recommendable, but why?

Heinrich Heine is already a pretty successful German poet/journalist when he embarks on several journeys to Berlin, Poland, the Harz, the North Sea, Italy and England. He travels mostly on foot, and he..

Ji Xianlin

Ji Xianlin

Are these travel memoirs worth reading, or have they been flawed by political circumstances?

This book is a collection of essays and stories from Ji Xianlin’s years in Germany, his visits in India, Japan and Taiwan, and his life in China. I found his style of writing a bit weird at first: here was an outstanding scientist, an intellectual, who seemed to be continuously talking about..

Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins

Is this book going to be any good for you even if you’re not a fan of hardcore punk?

We’re in Washington, D.C. around the year 1980, and young punk enthusiast Henry Lawrence Garfield gives himself a new last name, thus becoming Henry Rollins. His favorite band Black Flag asks him to become their new lead singer, which he accepts. They record the album „Damaged“, and it goes on to become a milestone in the world of hardcore punk. Over the next half decade, the band makes a few more records, they go through several line-up changes, grow their hair long, change their musical style and tour extensively. Their shows take them through..

Stefan Zeidenitz & Ben Barkow

Stefan Zeidenitz & Ben Barkow

Are clichés funny enough to write a whole book about them?

Stefan Zeidenitz & Ben Barkow are authoring this issue of the „Xenophobe’s Guide“. The Guide is a well-known book series that deals with countries or rather inhabitants one at a time, trying to be funny and informative in the process. This issue..

Theodor Fontane

Theodor Fontane

Is this a poet distancing himself from the reader?

Theodor Fontane was a German poet from the 1800s who, among other things, enjoyed taking walks in the area around Berlin and writing about them. This book isn’t about one continuous journey. Instead, it..

Michael Olbert

Michael Olbert

What happened to this otherwise decent book that caused it to be so annoying?

Michael Olbert is a big fan of Bruce Chatwin, who in turn is a fan (and a personal friend) of Patrick Leigh Fermor. He is looking for guidance, but since Bruce Chatwin is long dead, he decides to trace Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps..

Xiao Peng

Xiao Peng

If this guy writes so well and goes to so many cool places, then just why is this book he wrote so bad?

Xiao Peng is a young Chinese white-collar worker who decides that he wants to see the world. He first travels around China, then ends up as an exchange student in the Netherlands. From there, he sets out to..

Michael Wigge

Michael Wigge

Is this book trivial and fun, or is it just plain boring?

Michael Wigge, a young German TV-host, plans a trip covering some of Europe, the Americas and Antarctica – leaving his money at home. Thus, he has to come up with various ways to get free meals and places to stay, getting his hands on..

Huang Nubo

Huang Nubo

Can this be a new way to write travel literature, or will it always turn out terrible?

Huang Nubo is a Chinese billionaire who enjoys a challenge. He climbs mountains and writes poetry, he gives to charity, and his company supposedly tries to protect cultural relics in China. In 2013, he decides to embark on a mission that is supposed to last him ten years: a visit to each and every World Heritage Site on the face of the earth. He starts with Germany, spanning the 30+ sites that the country has to offer within..

Carol Kloeppel

Carol Kloeppel

Is this author trying to show us how to alienate ourselves from our surroundings?

Carol Kloeppel is an American journalist who gets a job working for a German news guy called Peter Kloeppel, only to eventually return home with him. Home to Germany. They settle down in Cologne, they marry and..

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog

Is this a joke, or is it just another candidate for the title of worst travel book ever?

In the fall of 1974, Werner Herzog hears about the French-German film critic Lotte Eisner being seriously ill in her home in Paris. He decides to walk from Munich all the way to Paris, thinking that this heroic act might..