Stefan Zeidenitz & Ben Barkow

Overall Rating: 5
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Author: Stefan Zeidenitz & Ben Barkow
Title: Xenophobe's Guide To the Germans
Time: 2000s
Destination: Germany
Length: undefined
Type: guide book

know everything better

The story: SZ and BB 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 is about Germany, and interestingly enough, SZ and BB are German. The book is a collection of short episodes that are supposed to highlight some of the things that might give the reader a better understanding of Germans: Character, Manners, Culture, Government, etc.

Stefan Zeidenitz & Ben Barkow’s task of being funny

It doesn’t always work. Unfortunately, SZ and BB take most of their humor from truisms and clichés, so a good part of the jokes feels a bit stale. For instance, they tell you:

“No matter how early you struggle to get to the beach, the Germans will be there before you.”

Yeah. Yawn.

But then not all of the book is that bad. Some of the jokes actually do work, and the information you get is never totally wrong (just a bit off in some cases).

for entertainment purposes

Get this if you are looking for a light (and short) read about Germany. Don’t expect to actually learn too much about the place or the people, and try not to take it all for real. Read it rather as a piece of entertainment that might familiarize you with some of the clichés about Deutschland.


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