Die Wasserfälle der Schweiz
Schwick, Christian & Spichtig, Florian (author)
AT Verlag, 2007
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|Print Style||Full Color|
Reviewed by Bryan Swan
Die Wasserfälle der Schweiz, or The Waterfalls of Switzerland for those who don't speak German, is the first major effort to publish (on paper at least) a guide to the many, many waterfalls in that small alpine country, which is no small task. While this book isn't a complete reference, it represents a very admirable effort by the authors and is among the best Waterfall guidebooks yet produced.
Starting off, this is one of the few waterfall books produced as a hard cover product. This one features no dust jacket (which I applaud, because I feel the concept is outdated and only becomes cumbersome) and is one of the largest format waterfall guidebooks ever produced - printed at just shy of 9x13 inches in dimension (I believe C4 is the ISO size, not that it makes any difference). The paper is nice and thick and surprisingly not glossy, which is a breath of fresh air for a color book because you can actually see the pictures and not the glare from the lights where you happen to be reading.
But I have more important things to discuss. The content of this book is outstanding. While the authors by no means produced a definitive guide to the waterfalls of Switzerland (really the only factor preventing this book from achieving a perfect score), the 120 waterfalls they do identify are all major and worthy of note - the SMALLEST waterfall they discuss is 40 feet tall. Most of the 120 waterfalls discussed are accompanied by photographs, many of which adorn a full page and really illustrate well the power and size of some of the waterfalls Switzerland has to offer. I do wish there were more photos of certain falls, being that Switzerland isn't someplace I can easily get to, but that's where the internet comes in handy (on a semi-related note, you can see the book's accompanying website at http://www.waterfall.ch). Accompanying each chapter also are maps illustrating the locations of each waterfall and directions on how to reach them.
Now, there is a catch. Being that this book is produced in Europe, its hard to get outside of Europe. As of the time of writing, Amazon does not carry it thru its US entity HOWEVER it can be found in the Amazon marketplace. I got my copy just as easily through Abebooks and it can be ordered through the aforementioned website. Secondly, since Switzerland has four official languages (French, German, Italian and Romansh), you're at the mercy of the author's preferred dialect - in this case German. Fortunately the authors have provided some details in English on their website (again, see above link). If the language barrier doesn't bother you (and it really shouldn't when the book looks as good as it does) and you can find a copy, I highly recommend picking it up. It'll be expensive when you factor overseas shipping, but its definitely worth it.