Reviews - What do customers think about The Xenophobe's Guide to the Germans?
Short but accurate Aug 22, 2008
I bought this book for a laugh, and while I did laugh - quite a lot - I also finally had a confirmation from others of what I have experienced as an American living in Germany. Indeed, dogs are allowed most places in Germany -- restaurants, bars, shops, buses, trains, etc. (probably because they are quiet and far less smelly than children). Walking my dogs every day and taking them with me most places has helped me be accepted into this tiny German village quickly. This book also helped me illustrate for my German husband exactly why people from the USA and people from some other more "open" countries struggle here socially; he now does, at last, introduce me when we encounter a group of people he knows, specifically because the book said Germans don't do this and he finally realized how hard that makes it for an outsider. This is a must read if you are going to live in Germany for a while or do business with Germans. It's a book written with much humor, genuine affection, and great accuracy.
so true and funny to read, not only for other countries but also for yours as well Dec 30, 2007
I am a huge fan of the "Xenophobe's" series and I just read the German one, since I am German. I found it to be very true and yet there was one mistake: the part about animals I find to be untrue .. At least in my region of Germany, no one has a dog and dogs are not liked in public places like restaurants either. Many have small pets like rabbits, guinea pig etc but not dogs. They are too loud and smell ..
Great book but too short! Apr 16, 2007
If only this book were longer. When it arrived I was rather taken aback - just 60 pages? Surely not! What can I learn about the Germans in 60 pages?
Quite a lot, as it turns out. This book launches straight in with a very amusing look at the Germans, giving a brief discussion of their history and how the German nation came to be and then detailing many of the quirks and habits of this fascinating nation. The authors give a few ideas how the Germans have been so successful, particularly in terms of literature and music (Goethe, Bach, Kant) but also show some of the angst and problems that the German nature can cause for the people.
The authors are both German although I wouldn't know that from their writing which is excellent, funny and seems to understand the Brits very well. They are also very able to poke fun at their own country (although they say this isn't something at which Germans are very adept).
With such a short book you can only really get a very brief introduction to German people but it's a very amusing overview and certainly made me think a number of times. We tend to think of the Germans as probably the closest to Brits in terms of personality and nature than other Europeans - this book shows that we might well be wrong in that opinion and it might just help us to understand them more when we visit.
Oh, and if you want a view of the Brits (and a much larger book) I can heartily recommend Kate Fox's "Watching the English".
Excellent, funny and on the ball (almost) Mar 7, 2002
I have read a few of the Xenophobe's Guides, and this so far is the best and the funniest. Maybe because I have lived here for the last two years, and experienced all the wonderful quirks and traits of the locals that I could relate to this book, but really, it is for everyone who plans to visit or live here, and of cause for the Germans themselves.
Natually, I didn't agree with all of it, especially the working atmosphere... It's really not as formal as written in the book, at least not these days, but much of the rest runs true.
A bit expensive for only 64 pages, but worth it for the laugh.
Informative and interesting Mar 4, 2001
The Xenophobe's Guide to the Germans is a small and concise paperback that I've read more than once. It talks about many aspects of German society. It's been written by two authors: Stefan Zeidenitz and Ben Barkow. This useful, gratifying guide is 64 pages long and covers a total of 17 topics--examples of some of these are beliefs and values, leisure and pleasure, culture, conversation and gestures, custom and tradition, health and hygiene, government and bureaucracy, and business. Subjects discussed that I especially find to be engaging are the ones dealing with Christmas, television, and eating. Anyone who's interested in learning about Germany, or planning a trip, should find this book to be worthwhile and helpful. The Xenophobe's Guide to the Germans is a good reference publication that I'm glad to have; it's one that I plan on reading again.