Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ken Bruen and Jason Starr in German

The German blog Krimi-Couch, which bears the charmingly straightforward tag line "denn lesen ist spannender" ("Because reading is more exciting"), brings the news that Ken Bruen and Jason Starr's Bust, which may be the funniest crime novel ever, is scheduled for publication in German translation this month under the title Flop.

I recommend this hilarious tale of scamming, psychopaths, sex and kidnapping in any language (Read a chapter at the Hard Case Web sites in English or in German
), but the book's German title is especially interesting. Bust in the original partakes of several of that versatile word's English meanings, including the amplitude of the key female character's bosom. The German publisher appears to have homed in on one of those meanings. If anyone out there knows of any special meanings or resonances flop might have in German, please let us know here at the Detectives Beyond Borders foreign desk.

A short item about Bruen on the same blog says just two of his more than twenty novels had previously been translated for publication in Germany. That may surprise those of us who assume readers of English are uniquely deprived of translated crime fiction.

In a late-breaking news flash, it transpires that Bruen and Starr have signed an option deal for a film version of Bust and that a screenplay has been written. The only apprehension anyone should have about a movie is whether it could possibly be as good as the hilarious, violent, still somehow tender, etc. and altogther wonderful book. (Hat tip to new father Declan Burke at Crime Always Pays.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Flop" just means something gone wrong. One chapter of the German book is available on the net. I was surprised because the translation seems very good, fast paced and funny as the original - not an easy task in German.

Re Bruen: Two of his very early books have been translated, but no Taylor, no Brunt. Therefore in my eyes it is a pity that of all books "Bust" has been translated. It is good but not a typical Bruen.

It has been translated because it is a part of a series of three Hard Case Crime books which test the (German) water. The other two are Allan Guthries "Kiss Her Goodbye" and Lawrence Blocks "Grifter's Game".

March 27, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the comments. It's good to see that Richard Betzenbichler has done a good job with the translation. He appears to have translated a fair amount of English-language crime fiction into German, so he is perhaps especially comfortable with dark, fast-moving stories. Bust is not typical Ken Bruen, true, but it's actually my favorite of his books.

And good luck to the Hard Case Crime experiment. I've read Grifter's Game, and I recommend it. It's nice to see the German editions apparently retain those wonderfully lurid covers.

March 27, 2008  

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