Emil and the Detectives (Red Fox middle fiction) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1994/12/21
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Erich Kaestner's classic story featuring Eric Tischbein, whose money is stolen on a train when he goes to visit his Grandma in Berlin. He's sure he knows the thief's identity, and with the help of the boys he meets in Berlin he devises an ingenious plan to retrieve the money.
“This effervescent little story is all about boy power…Enjoyable? You betcha.”—The Denver Post
“There is something sweet and pure about Kästner’s writing.”—Los Angeles Times
“Kästner makes the concerns of the book child-sized but enormous…The main pleasure is in the way in which it plays to the fantasy of omnipotence in a child.”—The Guardian --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。
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However, I can't recommend this edition, for two reasons, both having to do with the text of the new translation. First, some of the proper names are "translated" into English, e.g., Emil Tischbein becomes Emil Tabletoe, the town of Neustadt becomes New Town, and so on, although most geographical locations and some characters' names remain in German. According to the translator, these lighthearted and absurdist names (Truegut, Groundsnow, Crumbagel) are true to the spirit of Kastner's original text. However, the effect -- particularly when mixed with proper German names -- is jarring. This misstep would have been forgivable, however, were it not for a worse problem: all of the children in the story speak in a jumble of late 20th/early 21st Century slang. The setting of the book, the illustrations, and the storyline all clearly belong to an earlier time, and the rest of the text is clean and straightforward, so having characters regularly spout lines like "Get outa here!", "You dork!", "Berlin parents are so cool!" is gratingly anachronistic. This may pose no problem for children who have grown up on modern animated films, where characters who are ostensibly Vikings may talk like California surfers, but for an adult reader with a sense of history it just doesn't work. The text doesn't benefit from this "modernization" any more than Little Women would be improved by having characters greet one another with "What's hanging, Dude?".
I read this book to my 7-year old grandson, who enjoyed it immensely.
I also found that the price charged for thos short book, written some sixty or more years ago to be unreasonably high.