Monday, 17 June 2013

Lost in Translation

 Everything automatically becomes ten times more entertaining when read in bad translation, even reviews of your own books.  I know this to be true because I spent an hour on the train yesterday reading what German readers made of Giant Thief - or rather Im Schatten der Giganten - as filtered through the distorting lens of Google Translate.  

The good news is that German readers seem to have mostly taken to Giant Thief.  The bad news is that it's hard to be entirely, one hundred percent sure.  Take for instance this, from Whisperleaf's Fantasy Blog: "However, I must say that the book is written with so much sarcasm and irony of easie that you have to like him easy.   I think I've never been convinced already on the very first page of the book and the character had to read with a smile on his lips, already here!"  

That sounds like praise, right?  And the same goes for a review at Readme: "Easie Damasco is the "most compelling hero since Captain Jack Sparrow," as the back cover claims? Yes, he is. At least. Because, the reader set of the images supplied by the pirate movie sight "In the Shadow of the Giants" all by himself in the head. Even more colorful and devious than anything that could have come from the Caribbean."  

If it makes a second edition, that last line should totally be the cover blurb!  

Sadly, not everyone was quite so taken with Damasco and his first adventure.  Captain Fantastic, for example, gave Giant Thief a scowly pirate face and seemed to feel particularly let down but the action scenes: "Remain always the possibility that our fast-paced action is offered here, the Sword & Sorcery friends would satisfy at least. But easie is just not a fighter (even if the cover suggests the German). His biggest fight of action is to occur on someone's foot, otherwise he hides or runs away."  And Horror Bee, reviewing at Armarium Nostrum, also has his reservations: "The book has scary potential, but is it for me for a book too superficial.  Maybe draws Tallerman this potential in subsequent volumes of yes."

Well, it's hard to argue with that.  Still, let's end on a high note; most positive of all the reviews I found - if, thanks to Google Translate, also the least comprehensible - is this, from Fantasybuch: "Wants all in all, the reader gets from David Tallermans "In the Shadow of the Giants" an exciting Verfolgungsjad throughout the Castovall offered with its own distinct hierarchy and nature of the giants, a cruel generals, the world as it was, change and a shrewd thief comes with a lot of skill and flair from bad to worse and must draw its own lessons from the events. A book, perfectly suited to brighten the day."

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