– Ágota Kristóf, Alan Sheridan, David Watson, Marc Romano
A novel trilogy originally en français, collected into a single work via English translation. Each of the three novels was done by a different translator, and they seem to run the gambit of different styles of translation. Despite the continued stories of the same characters, it feels as if these three differing books have little to do with one another. The first book is definitely the most fun to read out of the three, but how much one would get out of the entire trilogy depends on how tolerant one is to postmodernism being used as a gimmick.
I will freely admit to my interest in these books being a selfish one. I had gotten into playing Earthbound and had my eyes on the then-untranslated sequel. The author, Shigesato Itoi, reportedly admitted during the early days of the game's development that the two lead characters in the sequel took the names of the main characters in Kristof's book series; which prompted me to wonder what these other books might've been like. At the time, these were not easy books to track down, and I very much doubt I would've ever read them were it not for their happenstance connection to Earthbound.
Though in the end, that interest began to cut both ways. When Clyde Mandelin eventually released his translation of Earthbound's sequel, I was very upset when he translated “Claus” to be spelt with a “C” and not—as Kristof took many tragic plotpoints to correctly state—a “K.”