Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Translations Conquer the Universe

Quick! Look at the top bestsellers on Amazon for Kindle now! Four of the top ten are translations! Well, OK, three of them are Stieg Larsson novels, and if you ever read other blogs concerned with translations you'll know there's a kind of tired lack of enthusiasm about his books in what we like to call "the community". I've never read any of them, sorry, so can't comment in any way.

But the other one is a German book! Oliver Pötzsch's "brilliantly detailed, fast-paced historical thriller, The Hangman’s Daughter" - translated by Lee Chedayne for AmazonCrossing. Very cleverly, Amazon has bought in a book by a guy with a totally unpronounceable name. Even I find it difficult, and I'm very good at German, if I do say so myself. And whereas that might be a hurdle in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore - "Oliver Po-Poe-Poet-Potsee-The Hangman's Daughter, you know?" - it doesn't matter at all online! No doubt the book has other qualities otherwise people wouldn't buy it in the first place, but I still think this is a stroke of utter genius.

I don't have a Kindle though, despite translating two titles for AmazonCrossing (that was the full disclosure, by the way). Sadly, although the team are lovely people and incredibly clever, they don't send out digital reading devices as corporate Christmas gifts.


Harvey Morrell said...

Thanks for the hinweis auf Pötzsch's book. Now, if only I could find current titles (in German) for the Kindle, I would be a very happy person.

kjd said...

Good luck Harvey!

Anonymous said...

Kindle gibt es auch als Software für Windows und Mac, man braucht also nicht unbedingt so ein Lesegerät.


kjd said...

Now where would be the fun in that, Joschi?