Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Planet Germany

I recently read Planet Germany by Cathy Dobson, having seen a post from her on Internations. I felt compelled to pass on that this book is a damn good read and certainly worth a visit to Amazon's website with your credit card at hand.

Cathy is a Brit who has been living in Germany for over 15 years with her husband, three children and feline friends. Her book, Planet Germany captures the chaos that is her life during the settling period in the Rhineland.

The tales span a year, covering daily events, minor tragedies, successes; amongst which the launch of her new consulting business. Setting up with her German business partner Brigit (the proverbial phrase like German chalk and British cheese comes to mind), complete with the creation of office space in a former pigsty provides a bombardment of funny events and amusing incidents.

Cathy also describes her encounters with the local law enforcement officer (Officer Gorgeous), her children's teachers, the local builder and her German neighbours. The result is a hilarious expatriate adventure where you feel like you have met the characters, the setting is a home you have visited and the Germans and their ways start to soften at the edges….

There are many ‘laugh out loud’ moments in this book and I could not put it down. A sequel would be more than welcome.

The icing on the cake and the reason why Cathy fits so well into a blog about life in the Netherlands is that she has an academic link to Amsterdam. Taken from her blog site;

“I once wrote an article in an academic journal on Dutch literature. It was about a medieval manuscript (currently in an archive in Amsterdam) telling the story of a young nun who fell in love and ran away from the monastery, became a prostitute, had seven children and then on returning to the monastery found the Virgin Mary had taken her place in her absence and nobody had noticed she’d been gone. It’s a cracking story. Shame they didn’t have the Booker Prize in those days….”

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