Karl May Friends

"Holy Night!" is Karl May's last travel fiction novel with Winnetou. It was written around the same time as his last boys' adventure (adventure novel) with Winnetou, titled Black Mustang. His travel fiction novels are written in the first person voice, his adventure novels in the third person narrator's voice. They are fundamentally different in structure.

A Christmas in Bohemia, and a Christmas in the Wild West

My English version of "Holy Night!" (Karl May's "Weihnacht!"), for which I started translation in 2004, has seen two incarnations; the first with BookSurge a publisher who was later bought by Amazon, and is now known as CreateSpace; however, I wasn't entirely happy with both the formatting and quality of presentation by BookSurge, as well as the illustrations. The second edition for which I re-edited, and re-formatted the text, as well as re-designed the cover, and removed the illustrations, is now independently published, like all my creations, by Lulu.com. The working title for Karl May's "Weihnacht!" was "Christmas!"; however, he changed his mind and ultimately used the German term "Weihnacht!".

Weihnacht translates not to 'Christ's Mass', but to 'Holy, or Sacred, or Divine, Night', which is a much more poignent description for the two major scenes in this book, which both take place in the middle of winter, in deep snow, half a world, and half a life-time apart. I chose 'Holy Night', as that phrase most readily conjures up the notion of 'Christmas'. The double quotes, as well as the exclamation mark are a part of Karl May's original title. "Holy Night!" is a tale about a Christmas past, and a Christmas in the Rockies, and some not-so-holy intentions of a handful of villains. Actually, it's a story about a gold treasure, and about the damage grown-ups can do to children in the name of 'education'. Like I always say: Karl May's novels have many different purport layers.

A Winnetou story, and a Karl May novel with a difference.

Old Shatterhand and his blood brother Winnetou, the Apache chief, are on the trail of robbers who have stolen an entire trunk full of gold nuggets. After rescuing Carpio, Shatterhand’s old school friend in the wintry Rocky Mountains, they find shelter in a Pa-Ware, the extraordinary geological feature that becomes the stage for a life-changing experience with a grizzly bear.


"Holy Night!" (A Winnetou Story)


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