Review: Notes On A Scavenger Hunter’s Journal

 

Categories: Anne Dahse Bernhard Hoecker GeoMedia Germany Reviews

 

BOOK REVIEW

As Cumbyrocks and kjwx can read only three words on this book cover – and two of them name its author, Bernhard Hoëcker – Wellington’s Anne Dahse volunteered to review the German comedian’s first geotitle.

Aufzeichnungen eines Schnitzeljägers: Mit Gëocaching zurück zur Natur by Bernhard Hoëcker
Rowohlt, from US$14.07 on Amazon
Reviewed by Anne Dahse (GC handle: whipped_cookie)

Notes Of A Scavenger Hunter is (obviously) about geocaching; It’s one of Bernhard Hoëcker’s hobbies. He is a well-known German comedian and has won several German awards.

Anne Dahse

To understand this book, you first must know that Hoëcker is 1.59-metres tall, balding and makes the German language even more complicated – by putting more and more words into a single sentence and using colourful phrases.

As you read, imagine the lanky, 32-year-old funnyman running around with his GPS unit, searching out Tupperware like a blithering idiot (his own words).

Hoëcker is also known for his good general knowledge, and almost every page in Notes Of A Scavenger Hunter contains a footnote with unusual facts – some are not interesting, though their author is nice enough to warn you before you start perusing a footnote that runs over two pages.

Chapter 1 details his introduction to geocaching by a friend. Over the next 300 pages, Hoëcker covers everything from how GPS works and the different geocache types, to the emotions of geocaching – the more finds the better; that indescribable high upon earning another smiley (and the lows of failing to solve a puzzle or when you just can’t find the damn final); our sense of belonging to a special species; and that feeling of knowledge and power while explaining the sport to a layperson.

Many of us “blithering idiots” will identify with his words, and on several occasions I laughed out loud.

You can also learn a thing or two, thanks to Hoëcker’s wealth of facts about geocaching (world records, statistics etc), and he will further teach you how to keep your geocaching-hating wife or other people around you happy. I particularly enjoyed the photos scattered throughout this book and, after reading it, I took some of his stories to heart and expanded my own geocaching equipment.

Despite the book’s high entertainment factor, you shouldn’t take everything at face value. Little lies have been implemented to make the text more entertaining and to portray those geo-feelings of success, frustration and greed. I do hope this title will eventually be available in English as it is a must-read for any frantic geocacher.

It is also a good guide if you have just started geocaching or are thinking about trying it out. For the latter, however, learning is best by doing … and then read the book!

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