Review: Counter Camouflage : Serbian urban story by Bojan Miladinovic

  Counter Camouflage : Serbian urban story
Bojan Miladinovic; Kindle Edition
Published May 24th 2011
Incapacitating a home alarm makes you a skillful thief. Creating an alarm which can be incapacitated by special remote and installing it- makes you skillful and a very impudent thief. Branko’s team for alarm installment becomes greedy, so, to avoid the jaws of the law, Branko takes the advice his old professor once gave him:” Sometimes when you don’t know how to avoid danger camouflage yourself, perhaps the danger will avoid you.” A few years later, he meets a girl who is crazy about medieval jewelry. Wishing to fascinate her, he tries to buy her a copy of medieval ring. However, he figures out pretty quickly that the only convincing copy is – the original. Once a thief – always a thief. Branko steals the ring from the museum, presenting it as a prefect copy. Once again, he tries to use the old trick the professor taught him, but this time he is forced to – counter camouflage.
Goodreads on Counter Camouflage

This is going to sound sort of psycho, but bare with me.

The English version I’ve read is a translation. A sort of bad translation; translating is an art, even when you’re translating a user manual, not to mention something as delicate and beautiful as fiction. One has to feel the story so deeply, so keenly, that they’re able to retell it in that other language, and somehow keep as much of the original charm as possible. Chances are, you won’t nail it. I’ve read translated books, and where they were ok, the originals often were beautiful. See what I’m getting at? That’s why I never really read translations, as long as I can read the original. It can never really measure up and still hold the same artistic meaning, you know?

So, from reading this rather rushed translation (or so it seemed to me, in places) I got the picture, I got the main ideas, and I sort of got the characters. They seemed interesting, and I found myself wishing really really hard that I could somehow read this work in its original language. Because I’m almost sure it would be a really good read.

The plot was was really interesting, but again, how much can it hold its own, when its main tools, words, are working against it?

But unfortunately, I can’t rate an imaginary read, I have to stick to this one. And this one is unpolished, at times confusing, and frankly in need of attention and loving care, because it feels to me like the translation does the original work a lot of injustice. It may sound mean of me to say so, but it’s just how I feel.

So, my advice is, seek a way to read the book in the writer’s native language, because I think this not-so-charming translation shows that the original writing had a lot of potential.

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-ebook: $5.74 (with VAT&iwd)



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