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Reviews in Project: Translation (233)

Life is Such a Chore

Terminal Boredom: Stories

By Izumi Suzuki  (Translated by Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi & Helen O’Horan)

18 Nov, 2020



2021’s Terminal Boredom: Stories is a collection of short stories by Izumi Suzuki (19491985).Translations are by Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi, and Helen O’Horan. This is the first English-language publication of Izumi Suzuki’s work.

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What a Wonderful Feeling


By Ahmed Khaled Towfik  

11 Nov, 2020



Ahmed Khaled Towfik’s 2012 Utopia is a standalone dystopic novel. The English translation is by Chip Rossetti.

When synthetics replaced oil, Egypt’s wealthy took their riches and retreated to the walled city of Utopia. The vast majority of Egyptians — the Others — were consigned to short, unpleasant lives of poverty. They lived outside the walls, where no Utopian need ever think of them.

The young unnamed Utopian protagonist, bored to tears, thinks of the Others all the time. 

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Choose Your Masks

The Inugami Curse  (Detective Kosuke Kindaichi, book 6)

By Seishi Yokomizo  

31 Oct, 2020



The Inugami Curse is the sixth volume in Seishi Yokomizo’s Detective Kosuke Kindaichi series. First published in 19511, the 2020 translation is by Yumiko Yamazaki.

Lawyer Toyoichiro Wakabayashi summons detective Kosuke Kindaichi to the town of Nasu. The lawyer needs the detective’s help to prevent a wave of horrific murders. Alas for Wakabayashi, the detective is momentarily distracted while saving a beautiful woman from drowning in a nearby lake. When the detective returns to his client, the lawyer is dead. Someone poisoned one of the lawyer’s cigarettes. 

Losing one’s client before the case has begun is embarrassing. Kindaichi decides stick around the town to wait for more murders and then solve them after the fact. He won’t have to wait long, thanks to some very bad choices by the late Sahei Inugami.

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Big Bad Wolf

The Route of Ice and Salt

By José Luis Zárate  

24 Oct, 2020


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José Luis Zárate’s 1998 The Route of Ice and Salt is a nautical horror novel. The 2020 English translation is by David Bowles.

The captain of the Demeter is a skilful, experienced mariner, known for his attention to his crew. Not all captains are as humane.

His latest commission seems straightforward enough. The route from Varna to Whitby is well charted. Nothing could be more harmless than a few crates of Transylvanian soil.

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You Leave Me Speechless

Komi Can’t Communicate, book 1

By Tomohito Oda  

17 Oct, 2020



Tomohito Oda’s manga Komi Can’t Communicate (Japanese: 古見さんは、コミュ症です。, Hepburn: Komi-san wa, Komyushou desu.) has been serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday since May 2016. The English translation of volume one was published in 2019

Shouko Komi is revered by her fellow students at elite Itan Private High School. The beautiful student never responds to attempts to converse with her, which her classmate take as an indication that they are but worms beneath Komi’s feet, a status with which the teens are surprisingly comfortable. 

Komi is not aloof. She is too terrified to speak.

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With a Moo-Moo Here

Silver Spoon, book 1

By Hiromu Arakawa  

10 Oct, 2020



And what has Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist, The Heroic Legend of Arslan) been doing? Writing another manga, of course.

Hiromu Arakawa’s Silver Spoon (Japanese: 銀の匙, Hepburn: Gin no Saji) is a Japanese coming-of-age manga series, serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 2011 to 2019

Yuugo Hachiken is a disappointment to his demanding father. He has studied hard and tried to live up to his father’s dreams, but he never seems to please. He’s given up; he has no long-term goals and no hope for the future. He decides to effectively run away. He’ll enroll in a vocational agricultural high school in rural Hokkaido, far from his bustling native Sapporo. 

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Til I’m Gathered Safely In

Mystic Pop-up Bar

By Ha Yoon-Ah & Jeon Chang-Geun  

23 Sep, 2020



Written by Ha Yoon-ah and directed by Jeon Chang-geun, 2020’s Mystic Pop-up Bar (Ssanggabpocha) is the South Korean television adaption of Bae Hye-soo’s webtoon Twin Tops Bar. It stars Hwang Jung-eum, Yook Sung-jae, and Choi Won-young.

Han Kang-bae (Yook Sung-jae) is, through no fault of his own, an outcast. Left in an orphanage as a child and rejected by every potential foster parent, he is a hard-working young man with few friends. His troubles are thanks to an unwanted gift: anyone who touches Kang-bae becomes embarrassingly frank about their inner thoughts. Unable to control this ability, Kang-bae assiduously avoids contact with other people. They in turn dismiss him as creepy. 

Weol-ju (Hwang Jung-eum) does not see Kang-bae as creepy. She sees him as a potentially valuable asset in her quest to settle 100,000 grudges lest she be consigned to the Hell of Extinction. 

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And My Eyes Won’t Close

A Primer to Han Song  (Exploring Dark Short Fiction, book 5)

By Han Song Edited by Eric J. Guignard (Translated by Michael A. Arnzen & Nathaniel Isaacson)

9 Sep, 2020



2020’s A Primer to Han Song, illustrations by Michelle Prebich, is a collection edited by Eric J. Guignard. The short collection is the fifth in the Exploring Dark Short Fiction series. In addition to the stories written by Han Song, there is a commentary by Michael Arnzen, Ph.D.

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