New in Translation: February 2015


According to the Visual Guide to Translated Fiction there are 41 new works being published in February. If you want to check out the full list go here, and then click on February. I can’t possibly talk about all 41 in one sitting, but as always I’ll spend a bit of time below taking a closer look at the titles that I’m most looking forward to getting lost in over the next 28 days.

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ParaNorman by Chris Butler


Don’t make me throw this hummus. It’s spicy!

Chris Butler’s ParaNorman is ParaBoring.  You know your animated feature is in trouble when the funniest lines uttered in the entire film are: “Don’t make me throw this hummus.  It’s spicy!” They occur roughly fifteen minutes into the film.

Young Norman Babcock (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee of the horrible American remake of Let Me In, which was based on the remarkable John Ajvide Lindqvist novel Let the Right One In) has the ability to see dead people.  How did this come about?  No explanation needed apparently.  He didn’t drink spider piss on a dare or eat just enough rat poison to alter his senses.  He didn’t hang upside-down naked from the steeple of a nunnery for fifteen minutes or lick a skunk’s tail.  He didn’t get sick with Cotard’s Syndrome (which would actually make sense and be kind of interesting) or tongue kiss a corpse.  Or maybe he did do all these things.  We just don’t know.  All we do know for certain, is that he can see, hear, and communicate with the dead for some reason.

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