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I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago Paperback – June 16, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
So I was very pleasantly surprised when I couldn't put it down. It's a page turner - mostly due to the humble, self-effacing style of Hape Kerkeling, but also due to his unfailing ability to describe with truth and pathos what his eyes see.
A refreshing aspect of the book is that Kerkeling does include details about the camino itself. He clearly walked most of it (unlike our dear Paulo C) and endured the hardships (though he skipped all but a few albergues). His Camino starts in solitude, but as he walks he opens himself to the scenery and the people and you can feel his soul expand.
I've recommended the book to all my Camino friends and would recommend it to anyone who's considering walking the Way of St. James. A thanks to the translator (though I'm still not sure what she means by a "Spanish biscuit." Hopefully she's not referring to the omnipresent Spanish tortilla - hardly a biscuit).
For good measure I'm off to read this great book a second time. Thank you, Hape, and buen camino.
I was wrong. As we traveled the pages across the snowcapped Pyrenees, through Basque country, Navarra, Rioja and all the way to Galicia, I discovered that this journey was really about self-reflection and self-discovery. The more I read, the more it reinforced my strong belief that when we travel with an open mind and an open heart, we quickly learn that different cultures, beliefs and traditions are not wrong...simply different...and we embrace the differences. We also discover that as human beings we are much more like our fellow pilgrims than we are different. And, as Hape point out: "Sometimes even the most annoying people mean well."
I particularly enjoyed Hape's self-deprecating humor, his keen perceptions about the people he met and traveled with along the way and his pithy insights (some profound, some playful) the end of each chapter. My personal favorite; "Open your heart and canoodle with the day.Read more ›
In that context, I also recommend the book from Ariel and Shya Kane: "Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work." They describe how to access the Here and Now, by being and not doing. The ability to approach your life and actions like an anthropologist, thru observation and without judgment help to access wellbeing and to live in the moment! The Kanes way of writing is entertaining and humerous. Both books are great reads for all people who would like to discover who they really are.
Each year tens of thousands of people make the pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port to the Santiago de Compestela (or The Way of St James) in Northern Spain; this is one mans story. Never preachy or sanctimonious, "I'm off Then" is immediately engaging and compelling throughout. Hape Kerkeling is an internationally known German comedian, and he relates the experiences of his spiritual trek in a brisk and congenial manner. The whole is nothing more than a series of vignettes, each relating the day's events, the places and people encountered along the road. The author communicates no great epiphany, and yet the reader is moved to accept that the journey did have a profound and lasting effect on him.
I suppose the highest praise I could give this volume is to say I enjoyed travelling along vicariously with Hape and his friends; I felt a part of, and would have been more than content to continue along with them a while longer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just completed the Camino in June of 2016. The Camino is much different from when the author walked it over 10 years ago. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
It didn't really shed much light on the actual journey. It was more of a self absorbed diary that really wasn't all that interesting or funny. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Johnny
Wonderful book. The author Hape Kerkeling is a German comedian which was the main reason I started reading this book. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Sandra