Book Review: A Year In The Scheisse, Getting To Know The Germans by Roger Boyes

Capt. Canada received this as a birthday gift a few months ago and I of course I tore through it before he even finished the first chapter.  It’s not that Capt. Canada has anything against reading, it’s just that reading typically takes a back seat to such activities as, programming computers to take over the world, BIM the Bastard BMW repair, yard maintenance (or in our case moss & weed trimming), sleeping and of course hanging out with the girl in the glasses.

I had originally intended on reading this once Capt. Canada finished it but then I maxed out my Amazon gift card, and well, he just doesn’t devour books quite as voraciously as I do.  Since I needed something to read immediately and this was just sitting there, I snatched it up and got reading.

A Year in the Scheisse: Getting to Know the Germans was written by an English journalist living and working in Berlin and was originally published in German under the title of My Dear Krauts and quickly became a best seller.  For those of you unfamiliar with the German language who were in fact wondering, scheisse or scheiße, basically translates to “shit.”  In this book Mr. Boyes shares with us a time in his life where he had found himself confronted with potential bankruptcy while also also dealing with the potential of having to take on caring for his even more of a financial train wreck father .  Luckily though, Roger’s crafty friend and accountant informs him of an interesting little loop hole in the German tax system which allows married couples to cut their tax bills in half.  So naturally, the search for a financially suitable German wifey begins.

Upon realizing how shallow his dating pool is, Roger tries speed dating at a friends urging.  It is here where he finds the first suitable candidate for “Mrs. Cut My Tax Bill,”  the lovely Renata, whom he is immediately attracted to.    Feeling the need to up his bachelor eligibility he decides to opt for a gym membership in hopes that getting in shape will help him land a native female.  During his first visit while running on a treadmill Roger encounters bachelorette number two, the very outspoken Claudia.  Roger then begins dating them both in order to hedge his bets.

Roger finds himself in some rather interesting predicaments throughout the book and it seems that he learns that all to valuable lesson that honesty really is best.  In the end I think you will be quite surprised at just who finds love in the book as well as the solution to Roger’s financial problems.

A Year In The Scheisse was a good enough read, however I would not exactly say it was great.  I enjoyed some of the more amusing and light hearted parts, not to mention some of the observations the author makes about life as a foreigner living in Germany.  Yet I found myself really annoyed with Roger’s outlook on things, his deception and the way he treated women.  I was also a little surprised by how often a certain infamous mustached Austrian was referenced.  I understand that Roger’s occupation as a journalist is a big part of the story as it is what brought him to Germany in the first place but weren’t there any other assignments he had worth mentioning?  I don’t mean to sound as though I’m making light of or trying to sweep anything under the rug but I guess that after living here and falling in love with the country myself that I just feel that there are so many other interesting people and contributions in German history.

Would I recommend this book?  Maybe.

Was this book a must read?  No.

How would I rate this book?  2.5 out of 5

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