laurierobey: (Default)
laurierobey ([personal profile] laurierobey) wrote2004-02-26 07:46 am

German books with soup ads

On my Tim Powers Yahoo group, the bizarre subject of a certain publisher inserting soup ads into the text of German editions of certain books has come up. This is just too bizarre.

Quoting from the list---------------------------------

From: David Silberstein <davids@k...>
Date: Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:08 am
Subject: Soup!

On Thu, 26 Feb 2004, timpowers1952 wrote:

>In German editions of my books, a weird thing happens -- where in my
>English-language text a scen will go something like:
>Joe hangs up the phone. "She's tied to the railways tracks! We have
>only minutes to save her! Go get the car!"
>-- in the German version it's:
>Joe hangs up the phone. "She's tied to the railway tracks! Wh ave
>only mintues to saver her!"
>Someone else: "Do we have time for soup?"
>Joe (anxiously): "What kind of soup?"
>The Someone Else: "Knorr's Soup. It's quick to prepare. We have all
>twelve tasty varieties."
>Joe: "Well -- okay."
>(They cook & eat the soup, remarking on how good it is.)
>Joe (looking at his watch): "Get the car!"
>In every book from this one publisher. I told Bill Gibson about it,
>and he found the same business in his German editions! I find this
>kind of charming; but I wish they'd let me write the dialogue, and
>choose where it's to show up. (Incidentally, it's not Knorr's soup in
>the books. I forget which brand it is.)

You too, eh? The same thing famously happened to Terry Pratchett.
Let me see if I can find the information...


There were a number of reasons for switching to Goldmann, but a
deeply personal one for me was the way Heyne (in Sourcery, I think,
although it may have been in other books) inserted a soup advert
*in the text* ... a few black lines and then something like 'Around
about now our heroes must be pretty hungry and what better than a
nourishing bowl'..etc, etc.

My editor was pretty sick about it, but the company wouldn't
promise not to do it again, so that made it very easy to leave
them. They did it to Iain Banks, too, and apparently at a con he
tore out the offending page and ate it. Without croutons.

This is a poor-quality scan of the pages:

And also:

This was published by the famous German publishing company
known as Let's-put-in-the-soup-adverts Heyne.

Googling a bit more for "heyne soup", I note that Lawrence Watt Evans
also was "souped" up:

The German edition was first published in 1989 by Wilhelm Heyne
Verlag GmbH [...] There's a really bizarre ad for soup on pages
191-192, using my characters without my permission.

And also:

>> The soup ads seem to be a persistent German thing. Lest anyone
>> think these are limited to fantasy novels, they also appear in
>> the German editions of contemporary SF novels like Kim Stanley
>> Robinson's ICEHENGE and THE GOLD COAST.

Walter Jon Williams said that one turned up in HARDWIRED. He was
Not Pleased.

And an amusing followup:

Can you imagine these guys publishing an edition of the Bible?

"And Moses came down from the mountain bearing 11 Holy Commandments.
And the first commandment was ... Thou Shalt Eat More Soup."
-- Harry Johnston

Now *there's* an absolute morality!

End of quote-------------------------------------

Someone else on the list mentioned that when they worked for FASA back in the 90's, they had the same problem with the German editions of their Battletech novels.
rowyn: (hmm)

[personal profile] rowyn 2004-02-27 07:23 am (UTC)(link)
That is bizarre beyond words. O.o Thanks for pointing to it!

[identity profile] 2004-02-29 01:31 pm (UTC)(link)
It is only appropriate for a shotgun offensive approach: selling Soup to Nuts.

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