The Night Watch

I’ve just started reading the first of Sergei Lukyanenko’s trilogy The Night Watch and it is a rip-roaring ride. Brilliant imagination has been melded into the gritty Moscow night-time like it was written at Kurskiy Vokzal at 3 a.m. Readers fond of foreign movies might remember the film ‘Nochnoy Dozor’ (literal translation) based on this book bursting out of Russian cinema in 2004. This is a great bit of mythology worked around a core of realism that is very gripping.

I will definitely buy this in the original Russian (still looking for where to buy it from), as there’s clearly been some loss in translation. And seeing shoddy English such as “…the train was already breaking as it pulled into a station” when I’m only 14 pages in doesn’t build confidence in the rest of the work. I’ve heard said, and agree with the fact that the language a translator is translating into should be their strongest. And with a name like Andrew Bromfield you’d expect the translator to know better. But maybe I should give him a brake (pun intended).

As an aside, I will point out that I rented this book from the library a while ago, and was in no way influenced by the recent spate of teen-vampire mush spewing out of all of Hollywood’s orifices.

Note: in today’s news, Dubai World’s failure to repay its debt has resulted in further loss of confidence in the whole Dubai rollercoaster. To quote: “Dubai could not undermine itself any further as a place not to do business in at the moment,” said Manus Cranny at MF Global. From BBC News, link

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