Only 4 months after the release of Charlie Higson’s third Young Bond novel Double or Die, the German version of the book, re-titled GoldenBoy was published by Arena Verlag. A point of special interest (as in any translation of Double or Die) was certainly how the numerous puzzles in the book would be translated, especially Alex Fairburn’s letter containing the cryptic clues.
Those of you who have read the book certainly know that one of the clues is an anagram that consists of two names, Speccy Stevens and Luc Oliver in the English version, the solution of which is “Solve seven cryptic clues”. A clever move, as this allows to make translations simpler by just translating the solution and then – working backwards – create new names out of it.
In German, the solution is “Loese sieben geheime Raetsel”. Translator Petra Koob-Pawis originally came up up with the names “Tim E. Benessie” and “Helge A.E. Loeser” for the anagram, which Charlie Higson somehow found to be not “Eton-English” enough and thus demanded a last-minute change to the names “Tim Bloese” and “Ashe Seelie-Greene”.
And then, Murphy’s Law came into action: even though Arena made a special proofreading run to avoid that this happens, somehow – certainly very much to the confusion of the young reader – the two sets of names got mixed and appeared in the first edition: when Pritpal says that these names are the most glaring false notes, it’s suddenly “Tim Bloese” and “Tim E. Benessie”, but when they solve the anagram, it’s back to Ashe Seelie-Greene again.
The Benessie name also reappears when the boys start working to slove the rest of the clues after they got the prints. And again, when they present themselves at Charnage’s house, James says “We’re Tim Bloese and Tim E. Benessie” – and then turns around to Percy and says “You’re Ashe, I’m Tim.”
The second name, “Helge A.E. Loeser” does not appear in the first edition, but Arena was kind enough to give the information on CBn’s request.
Arena wishes to apologise to all German readers and says that the errors will certainly be corrected in the following editions.
Regarding the early release date for Young Bond 4, Arena – like all Bond fans – was also surprised by that news. As of now, there are no plans to release the German version of this book in 2007 – which nonetheless may be subject to change.
GoldenBoy can be ordered from Amazon.de.
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