Working my way through the novels of Hans Fallada, I decided to read Wolf Among Wolves, mostly because it was available at the library. I’d read about this new translation as being much better than the original, partly for it not being censored, but also for a refresh of the language. However, it was not as great as the publisher or reviewers made it sound.
I initially struggled with the book, just due to the sheer number of characters Fallada introduces, from the manager of a farm to ex-soldiers living in Berlin. I eventually got into it a bit, but with mixed feelings, as the story was slow to progress.
However, what made it a really unpleasant read was the translation and poor editing (if there was any done) throughout the book. There were many typos scattered throughout, but even worse were the awkward translations that made it feel like someone used Babelfish and a very old German-English dictionary to directly translate. Some of the language used was very outdated and I had to look up some words; the larger issues were literal translations that I recognized from having learned German. It was like they’d taken the German text and just translated bits in place, rather than restructuring the language to make sense (and not sound awkward!) for native English readers.
So, the story itself was all right, but this new edition of the book was greatly disappointing and took away from the experience.