Reviews - What do customers think about The Xenophobe's Guide to the Belgians?
Half-baked and dull read Mar 17, 2006
Whatever I read in this book I could have found it on Wikipedia. This book is a waste of money, it isn't even funny as other guides in the the same collection. The book doesn't reflect rality. It doesn't say, for instance, that French-speaking Belgians are Anglophobes even though the radio is loaded with American pop music, stores have English names and some of the government websites have names in English. The book doesn't explain or mention the fact that the Bruxellois always seem to be on the verge of suicide, or at least constipated, or why they are so unfriendly and rude. The book doesn't mention the subtle racism against anything that looks Middle Eastern or doesn't look White European.It doesn't mention that in spite of the wide web of laws for everything, Belgians will always find a way to get around them and ignore them...should I say more?
A Quick Read May 31, 2002
Worth the time for a quick start; I knew nothing about Belgium when I started reading. The strength of the Xenophobe guides is their short coverage, rather than the insights of the Culture Shock! series. I read this one in about 40 minutes, and it helped me understand some of the key issues among the Belgians. It covered current issues, with very little history, and provided enough background to appreciate some basic aspects of Belgian culture. Although a little light-hearted in its discussion, I feel comfortable passing it on to a Belgian friend.