Naw much of a Talker by Pedro Lenz


Naw much of a talker by Pedro Lenz

Translator – Donal McLaughlin

Swiss fiction

Original title – Der Goalie bin ig

Source – Review copy


Well when I was contact by the publisher about this book it sound really fun take on a translation Pedro Lenz has spent time in Glasgow the lead character in this book is from Glasgow ,so the choice of Donal McLaughlin a Scottish translator meant that he could translate the book into a Scottish vernacular .Pedro Lenz was born in Langenthral in Switzerland studied spanish literature at Bern university ,since then has spent time as a freelance writer for papers ,magazines and is also a member of a spoken word group .This is his debut novel and was nominated for the swiss book prize and won the Berne prize .This book is also to be made into a film .

Tell me summit ,Goalie .Whit like wise it in jail ? Ah don’t kow anyone else who’s been .

Is thart how ye came ?

Naw , naw at aw .Ah telt ye , didnt ah ,someone said it wis yir birthday .Ahm jjust intrtisit ,that ‘s aw

It’s nowt special

Just after he gets let out Goalie ask how it was locked up .

Now the title has change from German to English but the German title gives a clue tot the books main character he is called Goalie ,and is like a character out of an Irvine Welsh novel he has just been released from prison after serving time for drugs  and he  has decide to get away with his friend Regi and his new girlfriend to spain for a break .Now how do you describe Goalie well he is one of these guys that is destined to be a no hoper a loveable rogue ,but his greatest flaw is that he trust those around he maybe a little too much and this can lead him into trouble .It seems this isn’t the first time this level of trust and belief has led goalie astray .He is also a great spinner of yarns and likes to twists his own truths .As they are away he tells his yarns and slowly his friend ,tells him he should be doing more with his story telling ability .In the end we see him trying to forge a new life away from his old life .

Well this is a book of the voice ,I can see why some that does spoken word performance ,would fall in love with the loveable rogues and tall tales of Glasgow .Goalie is the embodiment of type of man not even from Glasgow but a man who lives his life large on tall tales and what he has done ,there is many of them in every big city in the corner of a pub or club holding court and telling his Yarn .As I said in the start Goalie could walk of the pages of Irvine Welsh or even Roddy Doyle Novel ,he would be a side character in their books maybe a man in the pub as the commitments played telling tales or a fellow drug taker from train spotting telling a story as the buy There drugs .Now this isn’t the easiest book to follow at times it is in a thick Scottish dialect ,but when I tend to speak the lines to myself I got the real feel of the book .This is a book that would do well as an Audiobook or to be read out loud a clever take on modern Glasgow and its colourful characters .

would you like more books in Dialect or given a more regional feel if set in the uk in translation ?

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. naomifrisby
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 17:49:10

    I love books that are written phonetically. I like that they highlight local accent/dialect/culture and think they’re important in a world that’s becoming homogenised. I’m going to add this to my ‘to buy’ list. Thanks Stu!


  2. Guy Savage
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 20:54:36

    No, I wouldn’t be able to handle this. The language would annoy me.


  3. heatherdpear
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 22:05:34

    I rather enjoy books written in local dialects. It usually doesn’t take me long to get a feel for the lingo though sometimes it does help if there is a bit of a guide to help with the slang. For me, it makes me feel more as though I am part of the story


  4. Tony
    Nov 12, 2013 @ 08:32:55

    Hmm. I suspect I’m with Guy here. It’s a great idea in theory, but in reality it’d probably do my head in 😉


  5. Brian Joseph
    Nov 12, 2013 @ 10:27:26

    I always like to listen to storytellers, be the stories tall or not. Thus the main character here sounds appealing.

    On the other hand I often have trouble reading accents, even when I try to read them out loud.


  6. Caroline
    Nov 13, 2013 @ 08:34:54

    I wouldn’t even read it in German to be honest. I hate it when Swiss dialect is blended in. As a matter of fact, I’d even much rather read this in an English translation.


  7. 1streading
    Nov 13, 2013 @ 23:08:55

    This sounds interesting. I think you have to judge books not written in standard English (of which dialect is only one possibility) individually. I’m sure I read that Arturo Perez Reverte’s Trafalgar novel couldn’t be translated because it was written in dialect – but obviously it could be translated into another dialect!


  8. Trackback: German Literature Month III – Author Index | Lizzy's Literary Life

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November 2013


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