Monday, November 17, 2014

German Three Investigators Soccer Gangsters and Hidden Fouls

In the German Three Investigators series, the Three Investigators are known as "Die drei ???".  "Die drei ???" are Justus Jonas, Peter Shaw, and Bob Andrews.  The boys retain their personalities from the original American Three Investigators series.  Justus is the brain and is overweight.  Peter is athletic but is easily scared.  Bob is good at research.

In Soccer Gangsters, Justus' cousin James arrives in Rocky Beach.  James plans to play soccer at a local school.  The boys become aware of a possible conspiracy involving soccer and have reason to believe that James' school is involved.

This is one of the German books that was first condensed and then translated into English.  The end result is awful, so awful that I have great doubt as to whether the original unabridged German version is that good.

On page 11, James agrees to be called "Jimboy" by the Jonas family because that's what they called him when they saw him many years before.  James doesn't go by "Jimboy" and is now grown, but he is immediately fine with his new name.  This is bizarre.

In this book, Bob's girlfriend is Elizabeth, and Peter's girlfriend is Kelly.  Both girls are from the Crimebusters series.  Justus' girlfriend is Lys de Kirk, who is an actress.  I infer that Lys is Qute from the last Crimebusters book. At least Lys is a better name than Qute.

On page 17, Justus decides that he can afford to eat cherry pie "since he had slimmed down lately because of his girlfriend, Lys, and all the exercise he'd been getting."  Is it just me, or...?

The transitions were quite awkward because too much text was removed when the book was condensed.  For instance, on page 21 Justus is talking to Bob in the trailer, and then almost immediately, Peter and Bob ride into the salvage yard on their bicycles.  I was confused because I thought Bob was already there.  Apparently he left and time passed, and that part of the text was removed.

We learn that Justus plans to become a lawyer.  This fits.

This book is not good, and I did not like it.

In Hidden Fouls, a German soccer team has come to Rocky Beach to play.  Peter plays on the Rocky Beach team, and the two teams compete.  Someone is sabotaging the German team, pitting the coaches and players against each other. 

The author mentions Robert Arthur on page 57, Alfred Hitchcock on page 88, and William Arden on page 111.  Nice!

With just a little polishing, this story would be as good as one of the original Three Investigators books.  There are a few typos and word usage problems.  A few sentences here and there make no sense.  Since the purpose of the book is to teach English and expand vocabulary, some words chosen to use are very awkward.  Take this quote from page 55:  "Most importantly: paws off of private property!"  That's the kind of awkward I mean.  "Paws off" is in bold print, so it is one of the vocabulary terms.

I enjoyed this book.

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