It doesn't happen very often, because I hate the idea, but sometimes I drop whatever book I happen to have started reading. Surprisingly, the latest was The Wandering Earth, a collection of stories by Liu Cixin, whose Three-Body trilogy I loved. Ball Lightning was pretty good, too.

It was the third story that stopped me. Immediately a slog, it erased whatever motivation I had left. The title story was good, if entirely and completely different from the adaptation on Netflix, while the second story was no more than okay.

His books, I've found, can be very different depending on who produces the translations.

The first and third books in the Three-Body trilogy (technically the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy) were translated by Ken Liu and they really sing. The middle book—the one which gave me existential dread—was a more workmanlike but perfectly fine translation by Joel Martinsen.

The Wandering Earth collection is an even more dry, even clunky, translation by Holger Nahm.

It's possible the wall I hit was one of translation and not one of authorship, but unless a more adept translator tackles some sort of re-issue of this collection so I can try again, I go no further.

#Books #Reading #Translation #June2019