Book Talk: HEX, Chapter 15

Posted January 15, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Bilingual read-through of HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

List of Prominent Characters

So, the NL and EN tags are the ones actually used in the story. If it’s listed for both then it’s a shorthand I’m using to note which of the characters is which. Where no name for ‘both’ is included I haven’t used a name for both. (Expect this list to get updated per chapter!)

  • Beek (NL), Black Spring/Black Rock (EN), Black Beek (both)
  • Stefan (NL), Steve (EN), Ste (both)
  • Katherina (NL), Katherine (EN), Kat (both), aka Wylerheks (NL), Black Rock Witch (EN) Wyler Witch (both)
  • Jolanda (NL), Jocelyn (EN), Jo (both)
  • Timo (NL), Tyler (EN), Tiy (both)
  • Oma (NL), Gramma (EN), Granny (both)
  • Max (NL), Matt (EN), Maxmatt (both)
  • Robert Grim (NL, EN)
  • Claire Hamer (NL), Claire Hammer (EN)
  • Jens van der Heijden (NL), Warren Castillo (EN), Jenren (both)
  • Jasmine Aerendonck (NL), Bammy Delarosa (EN), Jasmy (both)
  • The Aerandoncks/The Delarosas, Aerenrosa (both)
  • Martijn Winkel (NL), Marty Keller (EN),Winler (both)
  • Loes Krijgsman (NL), Lucy Everett (EN), Loucy (both)
  • Pieter van Meerten (NL), Pete VanderMeer (EN), Pete van Meer (both)
  • Marieke (NL), Mary (EN), Marie (both)
  • Laurens (NL), Lawrence (EN), Lau (both)
  • Jelmer Holst (NL), Jaydon Holst (EN), Jaymer (both)
  • Mirna (NL), Sue (EN)
  • Burak Sayers (NL), Burak Şayers (EN)
  • Bert Aerendonck (NL), Burt Delarosa (EN)
  • Gemma Holst (NL), Griselda Holst (EN), Gemelda (both)
  • Kobus Mater (NL), Colton Mathers (EN) Colbus (both)

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

In chapter 14: Gemelda has decided to sacrifice a live animal to the Wyler Witch. Her son, Jaymer, came home with a black eye for reasons currently unknown (but likely related to the part where he’s responsible for the dog’s death in chapter 13). Also the whole town is terrified now that the local water supply has turned red with blood.

Chapter 15

We start this chapter with another one of Grim’s fantasies. But this time he’s fantasizing about a dude’s genitals rather than a woman! Well, I guess that makes a change.

Sjef Huygens has become Saul Humfries and Ad Coppens has become Adrian Chass. I have nothing beyond that Sjef is possibly one of the Dutchest names you’re ever going to come across. Along with Jan, which is the Dutch equivalent of John and not a girl’s name the way it often is in English.

Also, just so we’re absolutely clear on this point, you remember how the river is now red with blood? Well, Grim’s described it as “Mount Misery is excreting its own placenta” in both versions and, honestly, I’m kind of really not okay with the way Olde Heuvelt is using childbirth as a sign of horror here. I just. Wow, I just have no tolerance for horror that thinks its only way of conveying scary images is by distorting how female bodies work. (Except I do or I would stop reading, but hopefully you get my drift.)

I also have no tolerance for the fact that Grim is given to us as the voice of reason in this scene. Sorry, I just… I really don’t like the dude, okay? I don’t like his obsession with genitals. I don’t like his blatant disregard of women. I don’t like the fact that the only woman central to this book is the antagonist. I suppose I should be glad that he has some redeeming qualities, but honestly I think at this point I just hate him so much that his having redeeming qualities annoys me. EVERYTHING HE DOES ANNOYS ME. Also he decided that it was a good idea to curse the midwife who delivered Colbus rather than Colbus’ mother, so I… don’t actually know if that’s in any way better. I don’t think so?

Oh. Oh, thank you, English version, for taking that horrible image out. I should not have to feel grateful this is a change that was made. For context: remember when Gemelda killed a dude because he’d raped her? And later on the book decided to be, ah, less than clear whether he’d actually succeeded or whether it was just Gemelda’s imagination that he was going to do it except she killed him before he could? Yeah, well, the Dutch version explicitly links the shock she was in to rape. The English version just has her be in shock in general and doesn’t make any descriptions of what that shock looks like.

There are some minor changes to Grim’s reaction to having to get close to the Witch. Specifically, he’s actively filling his mind with other sounds.

Kat is all “If I cannot have the live peacock this random woman hung onto me, NO ONE CAN” and murders it. Poor peacock.

There is a scene 2, but it’s so short I’m just lumping it in with this one. The only significant difference is that it references upcoming presidential elections in the English version.

And basically all that happens here is that people discover the peacock and that the Wyler Witch doesn’t really want to part with it.

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