April 14th, 2009
February 5th, 2009
While trying to catch up to Old Surehand, Old Shatterhand and his friends make the acquaintance of yet another mysterious Indian, the fabled and elusive Kolma Putshi. Is he somehow connected to Old Surehand, the ‘General,’ Apanatshka, and the insane woman from the Valley of the Rabbits? We find out as all of these characters meet and interact several times along the storyline. After failed assassination attempts, several rescues from certain death, a ‘Cyclops fight’, bear hunts, and lots of ‘sneaking up on people,’ the story culminates at the Lake of Green Water and the Devil’s Head, where the ‘General’ is unmasked and the mystery surrounding Old Surehand is finally revealed.
February 1st, 2009
This is the third and final volume of the trilogy that many refer to as the “Satan and Iscariot” trilogy. Actually, Karl May called the third volume by that name, but others called it “The Swindler of the Millions”. In tune with the actual theme of the story, I will go with the original title “Satan and Iscariot”. In this conclusion of the story, that started in the mountains of the Northern Mexico territory, where the first of the three notorious Melton character appears in “The Rock Castle”, through the deserts of northern Africa, where the murderous betrayals continue, in the volume called “Kruger Bei”, the story concludes in this third book, “Satan and Ischariot”, with a fast moving tale that returns to the southern territories of the Unites States, Louisiana, New Mexico and Arizona, a tale that relates the pursuit of these “Swindler of the Millions”, until the final judgment is rendered to the purveyors of lawlessness and murder, culminating in the rendering of justice to all. The story tells of plots to murder and cheat, fratricide within a family, similar to the story of Cain and Abel of the Bible, and takes you through the wilderness of the deserts and red rocks of the southwest. Various new characters appear in this story and all of the plots of the scheming criminals are defeated by the courageous frontiersmen, Winnetou, the Apache Chief, and Old Shatterhand, the German adventurer who calls the Wild West his second home. We know you will enjoy this final story, and cling to every act of justice brought by to you by our heroes.
November 16th, 2008
Pacific Shores is a wide-ranging adventure series centered on the Pacific and Indian Oceans with side trips to Germany, Russia and Mongolia. The reader will find in this adventure novel May’s sidekicks, the Yankee captain Frick Turnerstick, and the English lord Sir John Raffley, both quite funny at times. May’s highly detailed description of Ceylon’s / Sri Lanka’s and Sumatra’s flora is likely based on his personal experience when he traveled as far as Sumatra. His extremely vivid account of a typhoon on a sailing ship in the Pacific must be based on reports of others. And, again and again, it is amazing how this prolific writer, Karl May, weaved fact and fiction together to an exciting narrative.
November 5th, 2008
Some of the stories contained in this collection have their origins in oral folklore, ancient myths and legends of the various nations who first populated North America. There is a long list of people who have heard and collected and recorded these stories, all the way from Lewis and Clark, to David Thompson to Ella Elizabeth Clark, and many in between whose diligent and dedicated work has served to preserve small snippets and smatterings of the remarkable richness these complex and sophisticated cultures offered up. We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who had the foresight and took the time to pluck these stories from the realm of oral traditions so that they would not be lost to future generations who might not otherwise have the means to hear the fundamental wisdom embedded in them. These stories are presented to pay homage to the ancient ones whose understanding of the world around them often far exceeded that of our sophisticated modern day civilizations. With deep respect to the tribes and nations whose ancestors these ancient ones were, I have tried to present them in a language universally understood in today’s world while staying true to the meaning behind the stories, to the best of my own understanding.
November 5th, 2008
Corrida de toros? Yes, Corrida de toros! For how long now had there been no bullfights in Buenos Aires; when was the last time the Porteños had heard the whinnying of horses, the bawling of bulls, the shouting of the fighters and the cheering of the spectators! It was a long row of years ago since the last bullfights had taken place. And the pitiable political circumstances of the country had been to blame. The war into which Lopez, the Dictator of Paraguay, had dragged the Argentinian Confederation, had so far cost the latter forty million dollars and fifty thousand lives, not counting the twice one hundred thousand human lives lost to the cholera that had followed in the wake of the war. It had been impossible to think of entertainment at that time. The Argentinian army always found itself at a disadvantage against Lopez; but it had achieved significant success last week, which had been celebrated in Buenos Aires with decorative lighting and festive parades. To ingratiate himself with the population, newly elected President Sarmiento had taken advantage of the opportunity to grant permission for bullfights.
November 5th, 2008
“You don’t believe it? Well, then just think of the current example! The Sendador is guiding a large company of white people over the Paraná. These people want to go to Río Salado, which belongs to us. They want to live on our territory to look for the same yerba and fell the forests that belong to us and without which we can’t live. Isn’t that an attack? Did they ask us for our permission? Will they pay us for what they take, the river, the forests, the yerba, the trees? No! And if we resist being robbed, they reach for their weapons and use force. How many of us have died in this way? They don’t talk about that. And when they do talk about it, they do so boastfully. Am I right, Señor?” I hesitated to reply, for I couldn’t say that he was wrong. Then he continued: “If you talk about robbery and murder, then complain to the Whites, not to us. They are the attackers, whereas we are merely defending ourselves.” “But does one defend oneself by kidnapping women and girls?” “Yes, if there’s no other way to do so.” “You have other means – your weapons.” “You can say that because you’re a stranger in the land. Whites have rifles, powder and cartridges. We, on the other hand, possess spears and arrows by means of which we can do nothing against them. Must we not also strive to obtain rifles?”
September 3rd, 2008
I have received your last letter and fully agree with your proposals. The deal is risky but should it succeed it would bring so much profit that we can risk an eventual loss.
The powder is coming on the Seagull. We have mixed thirty percent charcoal into it. I hope you will succeed in smuggling it into the country and thus save customs duties. In this way we’ll make a very advantageous deal.
I hereby empower you to draw up the contract and to send it to Lopez Jordan for signature. The last is a very dangerous affair for, should the Nationals discover the messenger and find the contracts on him, then it’s all over with him. Fortunately, I am able quite coincidentally to indicate to you a man who is very well suited for this mission.
The bearer of this letter has associated with Indians for a number of years. He is a foolhardy fellow, but at the same time completely stupid and yet dependable – one would hardly expect otherwise from a Dutchman. As I understand, he wishes to go to Santiago and Tucumán and will thus be passing through the Province of Entre-Rios. Pretend you’re giving him a letter of recommendation, but containing the two contracts, to Jordan. Should he be found and be shot, then the world would lose a dunderhead whose loss is no great shame. Of course the documents mustn’t bear your signature. You will only sign when you get them back from Jordan’s messenger.
For the rest, the Dutchman won’t be much trouble to you. He is of a foolish undemanding nature. A glass of sour wine and a few kind words are enough to make him happy.
August 30th, 2008
Karl May is best known for his novels, wherein his greatest heroes, Winnetou and Hajji Halef Omar, are prominently featured. In “Imaginary Journeys I” and II, fifteen each of Karl May’s short stories are presented. This volume now offers the reader seven of May’s novellas, writings in length between novels and short stories.
As in his short stories and these novellas, Winnetou and Hajji Halef Omar make their appearances in numerous adventures. These take place in the Wild West, Egypt, Iraq and at the Turkish-Persian border. Captain Frick Turnerstick, another of May’s sidekicks, makes his appearance in an adventure playing in China.
As in many of the aforementioned short stories, here too, in Layla/Leilet and Old Firehand, this prolific author did not use his well-known noms de guerre, Kara ben Nemsi and Old Shatterhand, nevertheless, all characteristics ascribed to these protagonist match those of his heroes and are told in the personal form.
May 15th, 2008
Fat Jemmy and Long Davy come across the young Indian Wohkadeh. He is on a mission to report to Martin, the Son of the Bear Hunter, that his father has been captured by a Sioux band. He and his are to be sacrificed at the stake in a valley at Yellowstone, where Old Shatterhand once killed three Sioux in duels. Jemmy and Davy, together with Martin, Hobble-Frank, the Bear Hunters assistant, and his servant Bob set out to liberate the Bear Hunter. On route they meet Old Shatterhand and Winnetou who join in their venture. Subsequently, the group fights a band of Shoshone and Upsaroca, but turns them into friends and allies. After much strife, the capture of the five original friends, and a vivid description of the wonders of Yellowstone, everyone is freed at Yellowstone and even the defeated Sioux are turned into friends.
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…