May 15th, 2008
May 15th, 2008
On the way to meet up with his mysterious friend Old Surehand, our narrator Old Shatterhand enters a boardinghouse while stopping in Jefferson City, and starts listening to the stories being told by the patrons there. The yarn these Men of the West spin brings to life evildoers like Canada Bill, the Black Captain, and the Count of Rodriganda, but at the same time also recounts the brave deeds of the likes of Old Shatterhand, Sam Firegun, Winnetou, and even Abraham Lincoln. These stories, which make up the major part of the book, tell us of cardsharps, a man risen from the dead, treacherous pirates, a “speaking” piece of leather, and a hidden treasure, while at the same time also introducing us to new characters like Inspector Treskow and the Inverted Toasts. At the end of the day Old Shatterhand realizes that a familiar foe, the ‘General,’ has once again crossed his path, and together with a new set of companions he sets out to hunt him down…
A solo-trip in 1889 took Karl May via the Near Orient and Ceylon all the way to Sumatra, Indonesia. Upon his return journey, he met his first wife and friends, another couple, in Egypt to travel there. Only towards the end of his life did he manage to visit the eastern part of the United States. But in his imagination, in his mind’s eye, this prolific writer roamed the globe!
Except for Greenland, Australia and Antarctica, his many novels and short stories took place on every continent. He researched the locations very well, where his heroes and characters, his alter egos, Old Shatterhand and Kara Ben Nemsi, and his friends, Winnetou and Hajji Halef Omar, as well as many others, some named, some unnamed, performed their various deeds. For this he relied on travelogues and research of people who had visited the respective areas.
Some of Karl May’s characters, Old Shatterhand, Winnetou and Sam Hawkens, and locales, like the Wild West, Southeast Asia, Arabia, North Africa, Egypt, the Caribbean, the Bering Sea, South Africa and the Indian Ocean, are featured in this collection of fifteen short stories.