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Schlepping Through the Alps: My Search for…

Schlepping Through the Alps: My Search for Austria's Jewish Past with Its… (2005)

by Sam Apple

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
it's supposed to be about a Jewish shepherd in Austria and Jewish Texan who travels with him to research Austrian anti-Semitism. It's a confusing mishmash, the sheep on the cover, the reason I picked it up was the best thing.

It's a shame, a free range shepherd in Austria had potential. ( )
  Janientrelac | Mar 23, 2015 |
A young man tries out his self-imposed neurotics and dares to step into what must feel like a jungle to him, but hey, it's only not New York City and strange as it may seem, not all Austrians are nazis - although as he reminds us correctly, quite a lot of them were and a good few still are. But we learn regretfully little else.
  allsun | Apr 14, 2011 |
Locating and traveling with Hans Breuer, last Jewish Austrian wandering shepherd and Yiddish folksinger
  Folkshul | Jan 15, 2011 |
I really wanted to enjoy this book, but I felt like Sam Apple simply wasted a great chance to write something worthwhile. Apple focuses way too much on the "MY" part of his "search for Austria's Jewish past" and squanders a really great idea. Disappointing. ( )
1 vote rutabega | Dec 1, 2009 |
A young journalist joins a middle-aged Austrian who sings Yiddish folk songs and herds sheep through the Alps. Quirky travel memoir. ( )
  marywhisner | Jul 24, 2008 |
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If you're traveling the Alps with a Yiddish folksinger who also happens to be the last wandering shepherd in Austria and he assigns you the task of walking behind his flock of 625 sheep, you'll discover that the little lambs sometimes tire out and plop down for naps. Since your job is to make sure no sheep is left behind, you'll approach the sleeping lambs, your shepherd's stick firm in your right fist, and shout, "Hop! Hop!"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345477731, Paperback)

Hans Breuer, Austria’s only wandering shepherd, is also a Yiddish folksinger. He walks the Alps, shepherd’s stick in hand, singing lullabies to his 625 sheep. Sometimes he even gives concerts in historically anti-Semitic towns, showing slides of the flock as he belts out Yiddish ditties.

When New York-based writer Sam Apple hears about this one-of-a-kind eccentric, he flies overseas and signs on as a shepherd’s apprentice. For thoroughly urban, slightly neurotic Sam, stumbling along in borrowed boots and burdened with a lot more baggage than his backpack, the task is far from a walk in Central Park. Demonstrating no immediate natural talent for shepherding, he tries to earn the respect of Breuer’s sheep, while keeping a safe distance from the shepherd’s fierce herding dogs.

As this strange and hilarious adventure unfolds, the unlikely duo of Sam and Hans meander through a paradise of woods and high meadows toward awkward encounters with Austrians of many stripes. Apple is determined to find out if there are really as many anti-Semites in Austria as he fears and to understand how Hans, who grew up fighting the lingering Nazism in Vienna, became a wandering shepherd. What Apple discovers turns out to be far more fascinating than he had imagined.

With this odd and wonderful book, Sam Apple joins the august tradition of Tony Horwitz and Bill Bryson. Schlepping Through the Alps is as funny as it is moving.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:29 -0400)

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