I always wondered how J. R. Ward’s Black-Dagger-Brotherhood novels would translate into other languages, mostly because of its use of slang. But my curiosity wasn’t enough to make me pay for a novel I already had, much less buy two books to get it complete.
You read that right. Each of Ward’s BDB books is published in two parts in Germany, meaning you have to buy two books to get one complete novel (it’s published by Heyne). In terms of money: paying nearly 16 Euro for two German books compared to around or even less than 5 Euro (online shops) for one English book.
(rant on -/-
This is nothing new. They do this rip-off for quite some time now, mostly with fantasy novels. I think Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series has more than 30 books in German. Also: series on DVD. We need to buy two boxes to get one season complete. And: the first season is always sold in one box (~ 50 Euro), while all the subsequent seasons come out in two boxes, season 2.1 and season 2.2 (~ 40 Euro each) and so on. But the best give-away: series that don’t do well on TV here mostly come out in one box, regardless of the season number.
I don’t like; I don’t buy.
rant off -/- Is it the same in other countries?)
But when I saw the first part of the German edition of Lover Eternal on sale for 3,50 Euro (as opposed to 7,95 Euro) I couldn’t resist: Lover Eternal is my favorite (I wouldn’t have bought one of the others, I think).
Here’s the German cover for the first part of Lover Eternal:
Its title, “Ewige Liebe,” translates to “eternal love.” The book ends with chapter 24 at 267 pages. It’s when Mary phones Bella to ask her if she is also a vampire and to let Bella know where Mary is staying. The chapter ends with the sentence: “Maybe your home is now with Rhage” (Bella is thinking that). This is a new sentence; it’s not there in my English copy of Lover Eternal. But it gives the German version the needed sense of closure, I think.
Overall, it was a interesting experience to read Lover Eternal in German. The translation didn’t use what I see as the German equivalent of all the slang in the English BDB books (thank you), making it a very smooth read. But how embarrassing is it that I sometimes thought the translation isn’t what I remembered from reading it in English and when I checked, it turned out I was right? That’s not to say it was a wrong translation just that the German translation carried connotations not there in the English version which made me check the English version. These connotations also made me look at some things differently in the German version. Or maybe I just didn’t pick up on them in English.
Rhage phones Bella to ask after Mary’s address. At one point during their phone talk Bella thinks, “He was coming after her [Mary] for one and only one reason: to release all that sex in his body. Release it into her” (75). This didn’t struck me as especially crude; I thought it mostly showed how much Rhage wanted Mary (as I said, I probably don’t pick up on all the connotations). The German translation of that sentence suggests a more indiscriminate intend on Rhages side and uses a rather crude word for that. Translated back it would be something like: “He was coming after her for one reason only: to get rid of his glaringly obvious ‘sperm jam’ from which he suffered” (105). “Sperm jam” is a literal translation of the word that makes this sentence in the German translation rather crude. It means “too much sperm accumulated” and is (mostly) used for someone who is very horny and just wants to relieve himself. Also: the last sentence, “release it into her” is not really there in the German translation.
So that’s my lengthy explanation of why I thought it interesting to read Lover Eternal in German and why it put a slightly different slant on some things. It might even be that I wouldn’t like this novel in the German version as much as in the English version. The power of words! And if it’s just because I didn’t pick up on these connotations while reading Lover Eternal in English, then I’m glad about that.
Here’s the cover for the second part of the German edition of Lover Eternal to give you a complete picture:
The title, “Bruderkrieg,” means “war of brothers.”
The covers for the whole series are done in this way and (as far as I know) they all get the same back blurb which emphasizes the war of the vampires (bats on the cover for that) against the Lessers. (A more specific blurb is inside each book).
But I’m not going to get this second part – Lover Eternal being my favorite or not.