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Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A curate's egg of a book., 23 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Detective Inspector Huss (Paperback)
I love Scandinavian cop books. I came across this book by total accident and began to read it. On the evidence of the portion I had read I ordered the other two books by the author.
The characters are good, solid. The hinterland of the novels owes much to Wahloo and Manning and the stories are interesting. I enjoy the forays into Huss' family life and the interaction of the cops. All good.
However, when I had read a little further, I regretted ordering the other books. Why? Because of the translation. It began really well. Later it became clumsy and contorted. It almost seems that the American translation had been farmed out to various translators and that the final product was a mongrel construct of several people. As such, it suffers badly. Sections flow, others clunk.
The later books show different translators but, having begun the second, find the same erratic nature of language.
It was illuminating to read on the back of my copy the comment from the New York Review of Books,(was it?), to the effect that reading a foreign novel was a mind expanding experience.
Scary.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 May 2012 18:09:46 BDT
MacQuo says:
I agree with "Methuselah" re the translation. It's very pulp fiction and US English. Scandinavians speak very good English, certainly far better than the average American. So why do we have to read such awful, limited vocabulary? I'm halfway through the second in the series. Although the translator has changed, there is little improvement in the Americanese, phrasing and slang used.

Posted on 17 Jun 2014 20:06:31 BDT
Hywel James says:
I think you're right to cite the translation as a major issue when it comes to reading a novel in a language one doesn't understand. "Clunky" translations are disastrous and publishers, and authors come to that, should make absolutely sure the work under consideration is given the very best translation so that the qualities of the original shine through in the way they should.
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Location: Mansfield UK

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