1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
So much potential...,
This review is from: Springtime For Germany: or How I Learned to Love Lederhosen (Paperback)
Looking at the reviews, this book has polarised opinion somewhat and I can understand why.
What frustrates me about it, is that it could have been a great book. Clearly the author does like Germany. Clearly he researched and learnt a lot about the country. Clearly he can even write.
I even liked the premise of rediscovering travel through seeing the beauty of a place that would normally be dismissed as boring. This in fact affected me somewhat and made me think about my travelling in general.
So WHY OH WHY did he have to pepper the book with the puerile stereotypes and ridiculuous "v instead of w" jokes which led me to roll my eyes every five minutes. Was this honestly how Ben Donald wanted to write the book, or was he told to dumb it down to make the book more accessible? These jokes also made him appear quite negative about Germany at times which I suspect wasn't even really intended. This may be a symptom of the British cultural cringe which requires "as much as I hate to admit it" or something similar to preface any positive comment about Germany. The book unashamedly shouts "I quite like Germany even though I feel like I shouldn't" which is, of course, part of the premise but gets rather tiring.
So after all this, why have I still given Springtime for Germany three stars? Unlike many who have reviewed it here, I managed to enjoy reading it despite all that and think that it has a lot to offer not only in terms of knowledge about Germany but also with regard to philosophy of travel. It's a shame that I could not really recommend it without a massive set of disclaimers attached.