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The Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss (Xenophobe's Guides - Oval Books) [Paperback]

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Item description for The Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss (Xenophobe's Guides - Oval Books) by Paul Bilton...

Highlights the unique character and behavior of the nation. Frank, irreverent, funny--almost guaranteed to cure Xenophobia.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   64
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.61" Width: 4.09" Height: 0.39"
Weight:   0.13 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 1999
Publisher   Oval Books
ISBN  1902825454  
ISBN13  9781902825458  

Availability  0 units.

More About Paul Bilton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Born in Southport, Lancashire, Paul Bilton recently became what is known somewhat unaffectionately as a paper Swiss. (First marry a Swiss, then live in the country for five years, fill in forms, wait another 18 months, and finally hand over several hundred Swiss francs in cash for the paper which grants you Swiss nationality to the local postman when he delivers your mail.)
A short career in magazine publishing was preceded by an even shorter career in advertising (Fergusons Fertilizers Fertilize Faster). In the 1980s he launched a business to manufacture plastic products under his own patent, and later left both the business and Britain to become an Auslander in Switzerland.
His book The Perpetual Tourist - in search of a Swiss role is published by Bergli Books of Basel, and between writing, broadcasting and giving talks about Swiss life, he gives odd English lessons. He tries hard to worry more, but still cannot understand why it is frowned upon to redecorate his nuclear shelter himself.
He and his Swiss wife live an idyllic life by the Zurich lake-shore where he collects coffee creamer tops while she embroiders car cushions. They enjoy a near perfect diet of muesli and Rosti, but never on the same plate.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Humor > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > General
3Books > Subjects > Travel > Europe > Switzerland
4Books > Subjects > Travel > General > Guidebooks

Reviews - What do customers think about The Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss (Xenophobe's Guides - Oval Books)?

Funny and insulting at the same time...  Jul 13, 2007
I bought this book because my husband is Swiss and I thought it would be fun to read together. While reading it, I laughed out loud because some of the cultural differences are pretty accurate and also funny... especially if you are married to someone with a difference of opinion about saving versus spending money. Well, my husband was not so amused and found it all very insulting. I guess this book is good for those who just need to know there are other people out there who notice the peculiarities of the Swiss and need to commiserate. :-)
I am Swiss and I think this is a great book for a good laugh, XENO  Jan 19, 2006
This is a short simple to read book about the Swiss. I am Swiss, born there, but did not grow up in this very clean state. My wife who is a U.S. citizen bought me the book for my birthday. Because of my rowing career we traveled to Switzerland a fair bit and I observed the Swiss way through the eyes of my wife. I think this book is great for Swiss who live abroad because it reminds them why they miss Switzerland and why they don't. This book is great for Swiss who live in Switzerland and need motivation to go see other corners of the world. Since we have friends of different nationalities, Swede, Dutch, and German, we offered them their respective Xenophobe's Guide. They all loved their new booklet.
Happy reading, XENO www gorow com
A funny tongue "firmly" in cheek little gem...  May 16, 2005
This book is laugh out loud funny and has many truths, though the Swiss may not want to admit it. All countries have their quirks and Switzerland is not immune either. A a Swiss dual national married to a Swiss, I heard about all these little quirks that all cultures and countries have and always teased my spouse that he was exaggerating regarding Switzerland. Then I spent time in the country and just recently I experienced the "self sustaining bureacracy" at work when the Swiss Govt. charged me $50 for a very fancy piece of paper to tell me what my address is, the state in the US I was born, the date when I got married and who my parents are-that's it, no really that's all it says-nothing more. I am convinced that the $50 was to pay for the fancy paper-that's how fancy it really is. So as the author himself notes on this very subject of family papers...I guess it's in case I forget these facts about myself. Needless to say I howled over this.

Read this book with humor and take into account that it isn't a traditional travel book nor an ultra accurate account on Swiss manufacturing and tourism or the countries stats. But there are some real truths here relayed with great wit. The author himself is Brit married to a Swiss and has made some genuinely funny observations on Swiss culture. I finished reading this book thinking the author genuinely loves and respects his adopted country, but gosh they do some funny things sometimes. A little joshing and humor never hurt anyone-even the staunch Swiss. We should always be able to laugh at ourselves and that's what this book sets out to do, and to my thinking, it succeeded.
Spot on!  Sep 17, 2004
I have lived in Switzerland for the past 9 years and this little tongue-in-cheek booklet is spot on - note that it was first published in 1995 and preciously little has changed since then.
A well travelled, part-timer.  Feb 29, 2004
I am just finishing up my third year of living in Switzerland part-time (6 mos./yr). This little book is a nice easy read and is not only enjoyable but seems to be pretty accurate in terms of encompassing the 'Swiss Mentality'. Possibly some statistics and technicalities are not 'dead-on' but most of them match what I have already heard. The humour in the book is great and is probably most appreciated by those who are non-Swiss and who live amongst them or know them well. (I'm sure most Swiss would struggle to find any humour in it.) Being able to read about things writen by someone else, that you see and experience in daily life yourself adds to the humour. I'd say a good read for someone who is going to be in Switzerland for any length of time.

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