Karl May – Winnetou

Hi all 🙂

As promised, I’m back with Karl May’s “Winnetou”, a book I did not choose to read at a good time 😀

Actually, my mom recommended it, said it was good because all western adventures are good 😀 And despite my initial hesitation (I don’t usually like this kind of adventure), I enjoyed the book.

But as I said, the timing wasn’t the best one, because I had a lot on my shoulders with the exams at school and some difficulties at work, not to mention some personal problems, and so I often found myself not knowing what was going on in the book or not paying attention and had to start over again. But, I guess, in the end, I liked it.

The story follows the adventures of Old Shatterhand (told from his point of view), a name he had earned fairly quickly during his first visit to the wild west. He befriends Winnetou, the young chief of the Apache Indians and together, they encounter and withstand many dangers the west has to offer.

The plotline is rather complex, one adventure leading to the other, with many colorful characters and places. The book provides an opportunity to take a peek into the lives of a few indian tribes and I found this rather interesting, because although I’m not really into westerns, I enjoy reading about these kind of things.

What I really liked about the story was the freedom of the characters to just go and take their chance in the world. I know I would give a lot to have that kind of independence, but I can’t really see that happening in today’s world. And another thing I found fascinating was Winnetou’s link with nature. But I guess this all is no more today than a memory from the simpler times.

When I finished the book, I started to think about its message, and even though that at first glace it only appears to be just an adventure novel, I think it does make some good points. For instance, it talks about the gold rush and the way people just murdered and robbed each other to get their hands on more gold. And if you think about it, it sounds crazy. But that doesn’t change the fact that this is a fact. And I really liked how the characters realize in the end that they don’t want to kill anymore.

As for the closing death scene, I’m still trying to figure out what that means and why did it happen. My roommate says it doesn’t really have to have a reason or explanation, but I think it does. And I have an idea, but I’m not sure it’s what the writer intended.

Anyway, I have to say that it was a good book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes western adventures.

I didn’t find the book online, or at least not the version I read, but here you can find four writings of Karl May: The Online Books Page/Karl May.I took a look at them, and it seems the second two contain what I read, which made me think that maybe my version is a reedited version. But it doesn’t really matter.

So that’s all for now, next time I’ll be back with another book by Karl May: “The Oil Prince”. Until then, have a nice day and a nice read 🙂

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4 responses to “Karl May – Winnetou

  1. Gabriela

    yes, if you the version that you read of Winnetou was like the last 2 on the the link, it was heavily revised. I believe that that is the simplified version. The translation I have is by Michael Shaw, and I have not been able to find another by him hardly anywhere. However I found be even just skimming the other version, that it skips a lot of the thinking and richness of the book, as mine probably does from the german version too, I’d most likely find. but that’s translations. I just recently ordered the Oil Prince and am excited to recieve it. Hopefully it will be a good translation. It is very hard to find any of his books a) translated into English and B) available in Canada.

    P.S. excuse me for rambling, I really liked your review of the Oil Prince and hope to have the same experience as you seem to have had.

    • I’ve read an older copy that was my mom’s, but you could totally tell from just the size that it is revised. Anyway, I couldn’t find a decent copy anywhere, so I just settled for that. And if you think finding a good translation in English is hard, try Hungarian 😀
      Anyway, have fun with the Oil Prince 🙂
      If you liked Winnetou, I’m sure you’ll like this one too 🙂

  2. Gabriela

    In fact I found one last copy of Winnetou on Amazon that seemed the same that I was going to get, as my copy is quite old and held together by tape, but was told I couldn’t get it shipped. oh, well,… and yet again, more rambling. sorry 😉

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