Problems of Translation, or Charlie's Comic, Terrifying, Romantic, Loopy Round-the-World Journey in Search of Linguistic Happiness
By Jim Story
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"...A MERRY, YEARLONG CHASE AROUND THE GLOBE...."—Kirkus Reviews"A comic masterpiece" "Poignant" "Pretty much perfectly done"and A Shelf Unbound 2015 Notable BookCharles Abel Baker—short story writer and a "most unlikely middle-aged hero"—sets off around the world on a quest to see one of his short stories translated into ten different languages and back again into English, a sort of literary version of the old party game "telephone. In Moscow, St. Petersburg, Siberia, China, India, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, and more, Charlie's round-the-world peregrinations are comical, romantic and, at times, hair-raising.Problems of Translation is a cloak-and-dagger adventure, a love story, and a bracing ride for the language buff. Its naïve hero's quixotic mission will ultimately transform Charlie and those around him. And along the way, Charlie—lonely, divorced—comes to love and be loved by a generous, complicated woman, and at last to understand what drove him to undertake this journey.Who knew that literary translation could be so perilous? So romantic? So downright funny? A rousing hybrid and a great read, Problems of Translation is as stimulating as it is entertaining."An insanely amusing adventure that has a deep love of language at its belly-shaking core."-Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure and A Super Sad True Love StoryFrom Portland Book Review, Four Stars:"...a zany and surprisingly philosophical adventure....This is a complex book that touches on language, culture, and the human desire to search for connection and meaning in life. One part midlife crisis, one part old-timey spy film, and one part romance, Problems in Translation is a multilayered story that readers - particularly those who love book related humor - will enjoy.""Jim Story's name says it all: he was meant to be a writer...I hope everyone reads this book!"-Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief and The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley"In this comic masterpiece...we take a wild ride...through the underside of the literary world...as [Charlie] stumbles and careens into all kinds of trouble in and obsessive pursuit of hid Dream."-Robert Roth, author of Health Proxy; editor, co-creator of And Then"A fascinating look at the issues of translation, publishing, and an unglamorous middle-age."-Edith Grossman, author of Why Translation Matters; award-winning translator of Cervantes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and others"...Marvelous touches of...poignancy that don't...delay the progress of the story toward it's delectable conclusion...pretty much perfectly done."-Ron Story (no relation), Emeritus Professor, UMass Amherst; author of Jonathan Edwards and the Gospel of Love