Book Talk: HEX, Chapter 31

Posted April 17, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments


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)
  • Jules Helsloot (NL), Justin Walker (En), Ju (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 30: Everyone freaked out over the fact that someone freed the Wyler Witch and there is utter chaos. The Wyler Witch kidnapped a young boy and a young girl and this seems to make her thoroughly happy. Also she tries to tell Gemelda what to do, but Gemelda doesn’t get it and messes up.

Chapter 31 – Scene 1

Yay. A Grim chapter. And he does something unprecedented that he’s never done before. He hugs another dude.

Also Claire is present. Even though the text mentions that she’d left to find an electrician and doesn’t mention that she came back. At this point, though I think I’ve been very good so far, I’m going to go ahead and say that I don’t think this translator has a good grasp of English or Dutch tenses. There is NO other explanation for some of the issues this book has had with the way the tenses have been translated because they add totally unnecessary confusion to the text that could’ve been fixed with just a line added or a change in its tenses. (I mean, this is one is actually on Olde Heuvelt’s writing not mentioning it, unless I am completely unable to read attentively, BUT STILL.)

Anyway, despite appearances she is actually present and Grim, obviously, has to describe her appearance negatively. And Marty has a break down and thinks they should try to murder the Witch and also he is drunk and Grim is supposedly the one in charge and he says they should try to get help the next town over.

And also there are diseased rats the size of kittens.

Chapter 31 – Scene 2

The English scene picks up directly after the Grim and the others who decided to get help outside of town are at the town border and trying to make it to the nearest house/town/villa/whatever. The Dutch scene has them first walking to the car and describes their eerie road through town where there are many large rats and dead peacocks making a lot of noise and scaring them witless before even getting to the edge of the town and I have no idea why Olde Heuvelt decided to cut it because I swear, this is the first time this book that I have actually felt anything even close to afraid. It’s a good scene! It’s creepy! I like it! It actually manages to convince me I’m reading a horror book and not just something that I think is terribly written because it’s just not scary.

Anyway! The English version cut it. I am sad. I liked it a lot. (YES I ACTUALLY LIKE STUFF ABOUT THIS BOOK. HELL HAS CLEARLY FROZEN OVER.)

And while the Dutch peacocks fall silent, the English ones start making noise and coming into existence. And some more notes of Kat’s life and death in the Dutch version that were removed or condensed in the English version.

Chapter 31 – Scene 3

While the Dutch version makes reference to the peacock noises, the English one goes “We’re Americans! We have the right to know what’s going on!”

Anyway, the town is collectively losing it and demanding they sacrifice whoever is responsible and they zone in on the newly appeared Jaymer as the likely culprit.

Ah. This is where the English version decides to humanise the Witch by having her walk in on a scene of utter horror – Jaymer does not survive; the crowd butchered him pretty much – with a look of bliss on he face and two children beside her. And the Dutch keeps that sense that the people of the town made the Witch what she was and the English loses it. And the English Grim also figures out that they never learn and the Dutch one does not. It’s kind of the same sense that the townsfolk themselves are responsible, but the English leaves it more subtle in giving it only to Grim’s revelation.

Which… I should like better because it’s more showing than telling, but you all know my feelings about Grim and I hate that he’s been given this revelation.

And oh hey look. Everyone is kneeling and worshipping the Witch and it is “like Muslims turning toward Mekka” because we totally needed that reference. >> (We did not. I hate it.)

And Marty shoots the children the Wyler Witch had by the hand. By accident, mind you. He was aiming for the witch and missed. Twice. And she, well, gives him the plague by breathing on him. Well, smallpox, but I think the plague is creepier. Also it is the plague in the Dutch version.

And, hey, in the Dutch version, this is when Grim realises that they brought this on themselves. I think, given that, I prefer to see it when she spots Jaymer’s dead body because then it’s more “People are horrid in general” and not so much “They murdered my children”.

And also Grim now loses it because oh the Wyler Witch is really really angry that they effed up. Again.

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