Karl May wrote over 70 books, translated into over 30 languages. Among his best-known works is Winnetou, published in three volumes between 1876 and 1893.

The story depicts the friendship of Old Shatterhand, an American pioneer of German descent, and Winnetou, a noble Indian chief. Old Shatterhand goes very quickly from being a “greenhorn” to the most skilled among the grizzled white “westerners” in his surveying party.

The hero’s moral compass dictates the key aspects of this adventure and a deep sympathy with the Native American situation permeates the whole novel. May has created a classical story of unlikely friendship, when two worlds collide. The trilogy is a very enjoyable read full of lessons in decency, in honor, and in right and wrong.


  • Author: Robert Karl Friedrich May (1842-1912)
  • Original title: Winnetou der Rote Gentleman
  • Original language: German
  • Genre: Adventure novel
  • Publication year: 1893
  • Public: Adults, teenagers
Winnetou (The full trilogy in one volume)