The Tiger’s Head (was The Head of the Tiger)

The Tiger’s Head, the latest in the series of English-language translations of Paul Halter’s impossible crime novels went up on Amazon and Kindle on June 11 and people were ordering it before I even realized it was up there!

When you submit the final copy to Amazon, they tell you the trade paperback version will take 5-7 business days and the e-book version will take 24 hours. I suppose this is contingency planning on their part, but it can trip you up if you’re an author/translator. In fact, both versions went up the very same day and I was blissfully unaware until last night. Any way, I’m just pleased to be able to bring books of a supremely talented author to locked room fans.

As you may have noticed, I dithered around with the title. During the translation phase, I used Tiger’s Head throughout, but then someone whose ideas I respect said it sounded better as Head of the Tiger (more evocative, more consistent with Night of the Wolf, etc.) I polled the proofreaders, a majority of whom preferred Tiger’s Head (punchier). The main reason I stuck with Head of the Tiger for so long is that for me, born and raised in London, The Tiger’s Head made me think of a pub….Any way, reason prevailed: I went back through the text and it was immediately obvious that Head of the Tiger would make clumsy reading. So that was it. . .

Another friend I respect said that, never mind the solutions one of Paul Halter’s strengths was dreaming up the impossible situations in the first place. And Paul certainly set himself a challenge this time. Not only all the doors and windows locked, from the inside, but witnesses stationed at each one of them. I don’t believe that’s ever been tried before.


John P.

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