I am a german and my english is not good enough to enjoy Jonathan Coe’s originals. I depend on good translations.
I can’t judge the quality of a translation per se. I can ony evaluate the style of the resulting german language.
His previous books obviously had been translated very carefully: The languages of the protagonists did always resemble their rules in the novels.
Not so this time. If you pick a random sentence spoken by one of the literary characters, you couldn’t distinguish their style of speech. Even worse, the oblique speech and narrative passages are clumsy; it´s a mixture of affected, unfamiliar terms and plain, artless grammar which pretends to be modern.
The resulting book makes no good reading at all. If it was my first J.C.-book, I would blame the author.
Please forgive me this negative comment, maybe my words are too harsh for the occasional reader without any linguistic skills that I am. But I couldn’t hold back with it.