Hans Holzer's Travel Guide to Haunted Houses

by Hans Holzer | Travel |
ISBN: 1579120164 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winglinguistkriswing of Remscheid, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on 3/26/2014
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winglinguistkriswing from Remscheid, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I treated myself to a parcel of better world books, and this was one that I found when I raided their bargain bin for ghosts. :)

Journal Entry 2 by winglinguistkriswing at Solingen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Monday, March 31, 2014
I was really looking forward to this book and am sorry it has turned out to be such a disappointment. While it is fairly readable due to the short episodes and simple prose, it is entirely useless as a travel guide, and the ghost stories fail to be satisfying because they are so very briefly sketched out.
As far as the travel guide aspect goes: I assume that hauntings may not be evenly distributed the world over, and being geared towards a US audience, it is understandable this book should have a strong bias towards the US, and then English-speaking places, but the selection of places to visit is just a joke. The fact that of the three sites listed for Germany, the first simply doesn't exist any more (and while it is true that that is about to change, in a fashion, it most certainly didn't exist at the time that this book was published!) is just an utter disgrace. For the second site in Germany, they messed up again and have the map show a place in Austria instead. Does this remind anybody else of the infamous "Switzerland in place of Czech Republic" CNN map?
But then, the maps in this book are all generally useless: there never are scale bars to give you any idea of distances, and -especially for destinations "abroad"- only show the location of a city within the country, not the building you're looking for. Combined with the fact that only very rarely are there street addresses given, this means the maps won't help you to find the destinations mentioned.
Even more embarrassing are the frequent typos that mangle the texts, and, worse still, the maps: apparently, some text recognition software was used on the place names, and it didn't make a good job of it. I could probably live with Sankt Polten and Modling (for St. Pölten and Mödling), but they are still a disgrace when they appear in a book written by an Austrian, and prove to my mind that Holzer has probably never even seen the finished product. More "fun" examples include Bruck ad Leitha, Poclilarn or Gobi, and I don't even think I want to know if the information on places that I know less well and where I have less of an idea of the local language is any more trustworthy.
So, utterly failing as a travel guide, I can at least give the book three stars for its collection of short ghost stories; as I said, they are usually too abbreviated to be much fun, and a lot of them seem rather badly researched, as well. Still, this book may help you to while away a few minutes, and can be moderately entertaining when not taken seriously.

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