Question for Germans about Karl May

May 12th, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Question for Germans about Karl May

I have heard of Karl May's books about the American west, and I'm curious about whether his books are read nowadays. If any of his books are available, I'd like to read one, Any information on this?

I see that there is a Karl May museum in Radebeul. I thought it would be fun to visit it when I next go to east Germany, and I want to have read one of his books when I go.
Pegontheroad is online now  
May 12th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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A big fan of Karl May's books here Yes, there is a museum in Radebeul, it is the house where he lived.

Radebeul also has a Karl May Festival: (next weekend!) which is big fun.

The open-air theatre in the National Park Saxon Switzerland has plays after Karl-May's books scheduled every year.

His books are available in almost every bookstore in Germany. Or order online, Amazon for sure has them. Available in about 40 languages. Might be he's not as popular as before, but I think most kids know him and his books or the movies.
Ingo is offline  
May 12th, 2012, 12:31 PM
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I read them as a kid growing up in Germany.
Alec is offline  
May 12th, 2012, 12:45 PM
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I read them as a kid growing up in the UK!
hetismij2 is offline  
May 12th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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There was a fascinating article about Karl May in The New Yorker magazine recently.

I'm not sure if non-subscribers can read this, but here is the link:
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 12th, 2012, 02:19 PM
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And it also explains to some extent why not even the most remote ghost town of the American West is safe from tourists from Germany.
The movies made from the books (in the 1960s or so) were box office hits, comparable only to blockbusters like Harry Potter nowadays.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
May 12th, 2012, 05:34 PM
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Cowboy, I wonder if those German tourists have discovered Calico, a ghost town in San Bernadino County in California. It has been pretty much restored and is fun to visit.

When I next visit Germany I will buy a Karl May book. I looked at but my past experience trying to buy a book from them was not successful, so I'll just wait.

ekscrunchy, thanks for the link. I was able to read it.
Pegontheroad is online now  
May 13th, 2012, 01:01 AM
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Calico should be almost a household name, given its proximity to Yosemite.
First time I was there was 20 years ago, on my way down from Tahoe to Yosemite via Mono Lake and Calico.
I was thinking more of places like on top of Mt Evans in Colorado, or at Hovenweep National Monument in SE Utah.
Or take a look at this tipi village Northern Montana near Glacier - and the only other language of the Blackfeet's website
Cowboy1968 is offline  
May 13th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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You can get several of Karl May's books for the US Amazon-kindle,in German, some for 90 US cents. There, I have read Winnetou I,II, III and the claasic "Der Schatz im Silbersee". I grew up with Karl May, as did many of my generation. Among today's German youth , Karl May is no longer very popular. There is a Karl May themed resort, owned and populated by Karl May devotees, near Tombstone ,AZ.
treplow is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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Cowboy, have you seen a powwow? We have a powwow of all the Native Americans of the area almost every summer in Riverfront Park here in Spokane. It's near the river falls, where traditionally the native people gathered annually before the white people came.

I always enjoy seeing the differences in dancing between genders and ages--from the young, energetic men to the older, very dignified women to the sweet little children, all in different types of powwow dress. It's held at the end of August.

There's another powwow at the beginning of July, but I always think it's too hot to go to that one. Maybe I should give it a try.
Pegontheroad is online now  
May 20th, 2012, 02:14 PM
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Karl May is still well known and the around 100 volumes of his works are still available, even if they may not be present on the shelves of many bookstores, but they can be ordered within 24 hours.

You'll best start with Winnetou I, that's the first story where "Old Shatterhand" (i.e. the author himself, in his imagination) starts his adventures in the Wild West. Apart from the rest of the trilogy, the characters introduced there appear in many more Wild West tales and there isn't really a chronological order. The later in his life May wrote the stories, the weirder they become. (There is a really funny one, I don't remember the title, when Winnetou comes to Radebeul to visit his friend and blood brother Old Shatterhand alias Karl May and even joins the rehearsal of the local men's choir...)

Another series is set in Arabia, Turkey and the Balcans and involves a certain Kara ben Nemsi (again, alias Karl May from Radebeul) and his Arab friend and companion Hadschi Halef Omar Ben Hadschi Abul Abbas Ibn Hadschi Dawuhd al Gossarah (there were times when every German kid knew his complete name by heart).
quokka is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 07:47 PM
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Karl May books are available at Amazon (both English and German versions) and in the city library here. Some are available for free download in the Kindle format on Amazon. The digital versions of a few can be had free from the Project Gutenberg:

Regards, Gary
Gary_Mc is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 05:33 AM
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there also is a Karl-May-Gesellschaft doing research on MAY´s life and work. here you find also his collected works.
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