Despite the fact that I haven’t written any reviews recently, I am still doing my fair share of reading whenever I get the chance. If there is a spare moment, it is filled with a book. Today I finished the most enjoyable Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon, a work which goes to prove that the Cold War spy thrillers have not died the death since the Iron Curtain fell. I’m not going to do a full review of it, much as I would like to, just recommend it to anyone who has a thing for this type of work, for the years immediately following the end of the war in Germany and across Europe. Rather, I wanted to mention a small thing which sort of bugged me. Page breaks.
You see, one of the characters in the story is called Dymshits. This is not such an unusual name and does have a few people of note who have borne it. It is also not pronounced in the manner in which you probably read it; I think it is more likely to be Dims-Hits for the German version, my Russian is a little too rusty to try in that direction!
Photo Source: J Hikka – Creative Commons
The thing is, Major Dymshits appears several times in the book and has a good role to play when it comes to the old Kulturbund in Berlin, prior to the Wall being built. So when you get to pages 60 / 61, it is rather disconcerting to see the name split in two across the page break. Yes, it is as you probably think: Dym is on page 60 and shits on page 61.
Perhaps a little more forethought when proofreading and doing the layout, Simon & Schuster?
- Viktoria Michaelis.