Top critical review
29 people found this helpful
Just not a good book.
on September 24, 2012
I really don't know why this book is getting good reviews from so many other people, besides maybe the fact that it's cheap. I like that the price is low, but that doesn't make it a good product. Let's start with the description on the back: "Void of all nonessentials." Well, by the end of this book, you still won't know how to make small talk or book a room at a hotel, but you WILL know the words for "sailboat" and "industrious." When was the last time you used "industrious" in English?
Then there's the teaching method. Every section contains a long description of a series of events, followed by a selection of vocabulary and a grammar unit. Sounds fine in theory, except that the vocab seems chosen at random and the descriptive passages are almost entirely useless for getting by in a German-speaking country. For example, there is a description of a scene where someone's car breaks down. The passage simply lists the fact that someone stopped to help and fixed the tire, rather than making any attempt to train the reader as to what to say if their car breaks down in Germany. Another reading piece has the characters going to a restaurant, and then just says "Alle bestellten irhe Lieblingsgerichte/everyone ordered their favorite dishes" with no dialog whatsoever. Great, very helpful.
I guess if your ultimate aim in learning German is to read a lot of novels in the language, this is the book for you. If you want to use it to actually speak to a normal person, look elsewhere.