Author: Arnab Chakraborty
Publisher: Wordizen Books
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Der Deutsche Sommer is a memoir of a young Indian student of DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst or German Academic Exchange Service) who travels to Germany under a student exchange program. The author, an ardent soccer fan, is fortunate to experience the excitement of the FIFA Soccer World Cup 2010 held in Germany during his stay there. At a personal level, he is enamoured by the fair and beautiful German women, which entices him to visit the famous Amsterdam red light district where he and his friends exhibit their masculinity. The memoir captures his experience as a student who is travelling abroad on his own for the first time — the excitement, the anticipation and the enthusiasm to make the best of his three-month stay at Aachen, Germany.This opportunity makes the author determined to not only succeed in academics, but also to learn about the history of Germany and especially, delve deep into the background and characteristics of the iron man, Adolf Hitler.
Living abroad, even if it is for a short duration can be a life altering experience. It can make up for some riveting read as i mentioned before in the case of Neeraj Chibba's Zero Percentile. This book, however, is written more in the travelogue form describing the excitement, the anxieties and the various experiences of the visit to Germany. The author has an eye for detail and each of the initial incidents of taking the first international journey has been written competently. The immigration long queues, the culinary experiences specially if you are a vegetarian, the bouts of patriotism and the home-sickness are dealt with honesty. Most people, like me, who have lived abroad for some duration should be able to relate to it. It would have made a much more enriching reading pleasure if the author would have sticked to these experiences. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite happen.