Monday, May 28, 2007

The Pigeon by Patrick Suskind

I bought this book in German a while ago and it has sat on my shelf for a while, not because i don't think I could read it in German but because i haveseveral German books on my shelf and reading German feels like hard work. So when I found a very cheap second hand copy of the book in English, I bought it! It's a short, tautly written book about how an encounter with a pigeon causes a man to re-evaluate his life. Part psychological thriller, part philosophy, its well worth reading. I've registered the English language version with Bookcrossing and will leave it near the pigeon sculptures on Leith Walk. I look forward to reading the book again in German!

I sometimes find that when I read in a foreign language, that I miss vital pieces of information or plot twists if I misunderstand a phrase or stop paying full attention for a moment. If I read the book first in English then I can be sure when I read it in the original that I won't be missing anything. Of course the problem is that some books may turn out not to be worth reading twice! Sometimes the book may be less than elegantly translated and so reading it in English is a chore! Also some writers are just too much of a challenge - Umberto Eco is difficult enough in English, so I'll certainly not be reading his novels in Italian!

1 comment:

Clare said...

First off, I'm a big pigeon fan, so I should read this book -- in English. I think it's awesome that you leave books for other people to find, and in this case by the pigeon sculptures is brilliant.