>Peter Temple, The Broken Shore (2005)

>
This crime novel is the first in Temple´s new series about homicide detective Joe Cashin who recently moved from Melbourne to his hometown.

I haven’t read much Australian crime fiction so this was an excellent way for me to approach foreign territory. Temple has created a strong sense of environment, of a ´different´ English language, the countryside and the national character of the ´vegemite eaters´. (Absolutely no offence, just curiosity). Furthermore, the reader learns a lot about the strained relationship between Aboriginals and white Australians, plus the gap between rich and poor.

The protagonist, Joe Cashin, is a likeable cop who cares – maybe too much. Cashin has his own load of ghosts and guilt to see to, but as the story moves on he must also deal with the repeated accusations of police violence and corruption.

Senior Detective Rick Hopgood is thrown in for contrast, the colleague Cashin is forced to cooperate with, an unpleasant macho man with racist attitudes.

The plot does not exactly move at a fast pace in the beginning, but there is a quiet sense of petty crime while we are waiting for something to happen in the case of the old man who was knocked down, and when the story gathers speed, Peter Temple delivers a very satisfactory solution to the crime.

What more can I say? Peter Temple is a great April discovery, and fits in really well with my crime for all theme – just like the book I plan to review tomorrow.

A language comment: to some extent I agree with German and Danish readers who claim the novel does not translate well. By coincidence, I have both a Danish and an English version sitting next to me, and while the Danish translation is good workmanship, it is just not the same, exhilarating experience.

Peter Temple, Den knuste kyst (2008)
Denne krimi er den første i Temples nye serie om kriminalbetjent Joe Cashin, som for nylig er flyttet fra storbyen Melourne til sin fødeby.

Jeg har ikke læst mange australske krimier, så bogen her var en fantastisk vej ind på fremmed territorium. Peter Temple er rigtig god til at skildre miljøet, det anderledes, engelske sprog, livet på landet og Vegemite-ædernes nationalkarakter. Desuden får læseren et grundigt indblik i det anstrengte forhold mellem aboriginals og hvide, samt kløften mellem rig og fattig.

Hovedpersonen, Joe Cashin, er en sympatisk strisser, som er fuld af empati – måske endda mere end det er godt for ham. Cashin har sin egen last af spøgelser og skyldfølelse at bære rundt på, men som historien udvikler sig, bliver han også nødt til at forholde sig til de gentagne beskyldninger om politivold og korruption.

Som kontrast har vi Rick Hopgood, leder af efterforskningsgruppen i Cromarty, den nærmeste større by, en racistisk machokollega, Cashin bliver tvunget ud i af samarbejde med.

Plottet bevæger sig ikke ligefrem hurtigt af sted i begyndelsen, men der er en stille og rolig atmosfære af småkriminalitet, mens vi venter på, at der skal komme en udvikling i sagen om den gamle mand, som blev slået ned. Efter de første kapitler begynder tingene at tage fart, og Temple lever en god og tilfredsstillende løsning på forbrydelsen.

Hvad er der mere at sige: Peter Temple var et dejligt april-fund, og han passer fint ind i mit krimi for alle-tema – præcis ligesom den bog, jeg regner med at anmelde i morgen.

En kommentar til sproget: ved et tilfælde har jeg både en engelsk og dansk udgave ved hånden, og jeg kan godt forstå de danske og tyske læsere, som ikke synes, romanen klarer sig så godt i oversættelse. Den danske oversættelse er af ganske god kvalitet, men den giver ganske enkelt ikke den samme, opløftende oplevelse.

“Har de fået fanget ham?”
”Ikke så vidt jeg ved, mrs Addison,” sagde Cashin. ”Hvor véd de det fra?”

”Fra radioen, min ven. Hvad skal der dog blive af det her land? En mand overfaldet i sin seng, langt ude på det fredelige bøhland. Den slags hørte man ikke tidligere.”

Og så den engelske:
”Caught him yet?”
”Not as far as I know, Mrs Addison,” said Cashin. ”How did you hear?”

“The radio, my dear. What´s happening to this country? Man attacked in his bed in the peaceful countryside. Never used to happen.”

Hmm, der skal vist et længere uddrag til for at forskellene virkelig træder frem. Men min holdning er klar: Peter Temple nydes bedst på engelsk.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in Australian, Peter Temple, review. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to >Peter Temple, The Broken Shore (2005)

  1. maxine says:

    >I think this is a wonderful book and fully deserves its various accolades and awards. Many of Peter Temple’s books feature a very similar protagonist (himself, presumably) and themes, but they are all intensely readable, really drawing you in. I love them. I think Temple is one of the modern masters. And it was thanks to blogs that I discovered him!

  2. Cathy says:

    >Thanks for the review–I’ve added The Broken Shore to my wish list!

  3. Sunnie Gill says:

    >The Broken shore was the co-winner of the 2006 Ned Kelly Award for best novel. Deservedly so.It is interesting to note that Peter Temple was born and grew up in South Africa. He has lived in Australia for the best part of 30 years.Perhaps his ability to observe Australian society so well lies in that fact.

  4. Kerrie says:

    >What actually gets lost in the translation Dorte? THE BROKEN SHORE also won 2007 CWA Duncan Lawrie Award. It was on the oz_mystery_readers best reads for 2006 and 2007

  5. Dorte H says:

    >Maxine, I agree. Peter Temple is on my list🙂 I had also noticed that English bloggers liked him, but I ordered the book right now because we are discussing him in my book club this month. I could see that people who have begun reading it in Danish didn´t really like it so I thought I would read it immediately to form my own opinion.

  6. Dorte H says:

    >Cathy; I think that is a really good idea. The slow start is absolutely the only thing I can put a finger on. So 4½ stars of 5, or so :DSunni; I think you have a good point there. He is certainly observant. And his South African background should also give him a broader perspective so he notices what some Australians may have begun to take for granted.

  7. Dorte H says:

    >Kerrie; it is probably this strong, interesting feeling of reading English which is good, varied, tasty and very different from British & American English which is so difficult to convey. In the Danish translation it looks flat and boring. It is also difficult with American books with much slang, and I would never ever try to read "The Color Purple" in Danish for example, because ours is not a language in which you can render dialect in writing. Vocabulary is possible, but written Danish is one and the same, no matter where you live. I hope this makes sense. It is a shame, but Temple in Danish is not quite the same pleasure.

  8. >Peter Temple’s The Broken Shore was one of the best books I read in 2007, which is good because it is ANZAC Day today. I liked the way the book was stronger in the second half and did not taper off as so many books do after good beginnings.

  9. Dorte H says:

    >DesertRose: thank you so much; I´ll be there :DNorman: in my opinion the book wasn´t horribly slow, it was just clear that things gathered speed after the first 100 pages. I really loved it, and hope the Danish book club members pull themselves together and read it. I would enjoy discussing it with Danes also. But as I have explained above, this story should not be read in translation.

  10. >I’m not surprised that it doesn’t translate well – it would be an awfully hard job I think as there are a lot of colloquialisms that I just don’t imagine have equivalents in other languages. I always wonder when I am reading translated books what I am missing in not being able to read the original. How wonderful to have the choice of reading in the original lanugauge.

  11. Beth F says:

    >This one looks good. I love an Australian setting. I will definitely be adding it to my list.

  12. Dorte H says:

    >Beth, the book is fabulous, especially the language. Bernadette, spot on! The fact is that Danes read & watch so much from the USA and Britain that we know most of the idioms and often translate them into Danish after some time. Australian idioms and colloquialism are new so it is a horrible task for the translater. And you are right, having this choice is great. I read English books in English whenever I can, and I am glad I have also begun approaching Swedish – it is not quite as easy for me yet, but I´ll try to keep it up. After the first five novels in a language it is not so difficult😉

  13. Pingback: The Broken Shore by Peter Temple | The Game's Afoot

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