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      英語世界
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      Top 6 Books About Gangsters
      發布時間:2021年06月01日     劉佳 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      Top 6 Books About Gangsters

      黑幫小說六佳作


      By Rod Reynolds

      文/羅德·雷諾茲

       

      It’s not hard to understand the enduring appeal of gangsters in fiction. From the romantic notion of the outlaw antihero to the caricature of the psychotic mob boss, they have been portrayed in many different lights1; but the unifying theme is that they live by a set of rules alien to the law-abiding public, and that makes them fascinating. We want to know what makes them tick2, to understand their world and to see it in all its bloody reality. It’s the essence of what makes a good thriller: showing us a violent existence from the safety of an armchair.


      小說里的黑幫長久以來魅力不減,這一點并不難理解。從浪漫地想象在逃的反英雄到用夸張手法描寫瘋狂的黑幫老大,幫派人物的形象各有千秋;但其中一致的主題是,這些人物所遵從的規則是遵紀守法的百姓不了解的,也正是這點使他們獨具魅力。我們想知道他們所作所為背后的原因,想了解他們的世界,還想親眼目睹那個世界血淋淋的現實。這正是優秀驚悚小說的精髓所在:讀者不用離開舒適的扶手椅就能一覽暴力世界。


      Here’s my pick of the gangster books I’ve read over the years:


      這些年我讀了不少描寫黑幫的書,下面挑出幾本分享:

       教父

      1. The Godfather by Mario Puzo

      1. 馬里奧·普佐的《教父》


      An obvious choice, perhaps, but a reflection of how seminal it is to the genre. Francis Ford Coppola’s film adaptation is regarded as one of the greatest of all time, but the book is a classic in its own right. It introduced terms like Cosa Nostra3 and omertà to a mass audience and defined the public perception of mobsters for decades to come.


      也許大家都會選這本書,這也反映出它對這類小說影響深遠。弗朗西斯·福特·科波拉據其改編的電影可視作史上最優秀的作品之一,而這本書本身也堪稱經典。它向廣大讀者介紹了Cosa Nostra(美國黑手黨)和omertà(緘默法則)等黑幫用語,并且在接下來的數十年內界定了公眾對黑幫人物的認知。

       盜亦有道

      2. Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi

      2. 尼古拉斯·皮萊吉的《盜亦有道》


      Adapted by Martin Scorsese as the film Goodfellas, Pileggi’s account of the life of mobster Henry Hill was the starting point for the modern-day depiction of the gangster. The book set the template for all that followed – from Casino and Donnie Brasco right through to The Sopranos.


      皮萊吉的這本書講述了黑幫人物亨利·希爾的一生,后經馬丁·斯科塞斯改編成電影《好家伙》。該書是現代描述黑幫作品的起點。從《賭城風云》和《忠奸人》一直到《黑道家族》,后來的此類作品均以該書為典范。

       美國小報

      3. American Tabloid by James Ellroy

      3. 詹姆斯·艾爾羅伊的《美國小報》


      Ellroy dedicates his masterpiece to “bad men, and the price they paid to secretly define their time”. Covering the period from JFK’s4 election to his assassination, Ellroy takes us into the world of thugs, fixers5 and killers on the fringes of power. It still amazes me that in 600 pages, the closest thing to a hero6 is a hitman who by his own reckoning has killed more than 500 people. It was accused of glorifying criminals, but I prefer Ellroy’s own explanation: this is a story of three men crushed by the weight of their own evil.


      艾爾羅伊將這部杰作獻給“壞人,還有他們為默默塑造自己的時代而付出的代價”。故事發生在從約翰·F. 肯尼迪當選總統到遇刺身亡的這段時間,作者將我們帶入暴徒、毒品販子和殺手的世界,將我們帶到了權力的邊緣。至今仍讓我驚嘆不已的是,600頁的故事里,唯一跟英雄沾邊兒的人物是一個據自己估算刺殺了500多人的雇傭殺手。有人曾指責這本書在為犯罪分子唱贊歌,但我更贊同艾爾羅伊自己的解釋:這本書講述的是三個男人被自己沉重的罪惡壓垮的故事。

       犬之力

      4. The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow

      4. ·溫斯洛的《犬之力》


      Winslow’s novel chronicles the first 30 years of the US’s “war on drugs”. Epic in every sense, the book lays bare the violence, futility and hypocrisy of the policy, and is made all the more striking by its grounding in true events. But this is much more than a fictional exposé of recent history; as in The Godfather, it’s the personal relationships that drive the narrative as the friendship between DEA7 agent Art Keller and narco kingpin Miguel Angel Barrera disintegrates into a blood feud.


      溫斯洛的這部小說按時間順序講述了美國“禁毒之戰”前30年的征程。從各個層面來講,它都是一部史詩級作品,揭開了禁毒政策充滿暴力同時又徒勞無果且虛偽的一面。小說基于真實事件寫成,因而更加令人矚目。但是,這本書遠不止是以小說的形式披露那一段歷史;與小說《教父》一樣,本書故事進展也由人物之間的關系推動,美國緝毒局特工阿特·凱勒和毒梟米格爾·安赫爾·巴雷拉之間的友情逐漸瓦解,演變成一場血腥紛爭。

       洛城機密

      5. LA Confidential by James Ellroy

      5. 詹姆斯·艾爾羅伊的《洛城機密》


      For my money8, Ellroy’s five-book run from The Big Nowhere to The Cold Six Thousand is as strong as any crime author has put together. LA Confidential focuses on the LA mob scene after Siegel9, but takes in LAPD corruption, institutional racism, high-class prostitution and more. Sprawling and complex, yet exquisitely plotted, it’s the pathos Ellroy imbues in his tough guys that sets this apart. That and the fact that it features the villainous Dudley Smith at his absolute zenith.


      在我看來,從《無際荒原》到《冷峻六千》,艾爾羅伊創作的這五部作品質量都很高,不弱于任何其他犯罪小說作家的作品集?!堵宄菣C密》重點描寫了繼西格爾之后的洛杉磯黑社會勢力,但也沒有忽略洛城警方內部腐敗墮落、制度性種族歧視、高級性交易等現象。小說鋪陳宏大、錯綜復雜,卻又布局精妙;艾爾羅伊筆下的硬漢頗具感染力,正是這點使該故事與眾不同。還有一個原因,那就是本書中邪惡的達德利·史密斯正處于權力的絕對巔峰時期。

       非常時間

      6. After Hours by Edwin Torres

      6. 埃德溫·托里斯的《非常時間》


      Torres’s work opens up the rarely featured world of Puerto Rican gangs in Spanish Harlem10. It is the second book in the series, and this time Carlito Brigante is older and wiser and looking for a way out of the life – and anyone familiar with the genre knows that never goes well. The book hums with authenticity, and Brigante is a standout character: a killer and a survivor, but smart and thoughtful with it.


      托里斯的這部作品展現了一個極少受人關注的世界,那就是東哈萊姆區的波多黎各黑幫。本書是一套系列小說的第二部。這一部里,黑幫人物卡利托·布里甘特老了幾歲,也聰明了一些,試圖擺脫過去的生活——任何熟悉這類小說的人都知道如此選擇從來都不會有好結局。這本書讀起來非常真實,布里甘特也是個不同尋常的角色:既是個生命力頑強的殺手,也是個言行謹慎的聰明人。


      (譯者為“《英語世界》杯”翻譯大賽獲獎者)


      注釋:

       

      1. in a different light 從不同的角度,從不同的方面。

       

      2. what makes someone tick 某人做某事的原因或動機。

       

      3. Cosa Nostra 指美國黑手黨;意大利語,本意為“我們的事業”。

       

      4. =John Fitzgerald Kennedy(約翰·F. 肯尼迪,1917—1963),1961 年至1963 年為美國第35 任總統。

       

      5. fixer 通過非法的手段解決各種棘手問題的人。

       

      6. the closest thing to a hero 在英雄完全不存在的情況下,最接近英雄的人物。

       

      7. =Drug Enforcement Administration 藥物執法管理局,俗稱美國緝毒局。

       

      8. for my money 我認為。

       

      9. 即Benjamin Siegel(1906—1947),美國有名的黑幫老大,率先在拉斯維加斯建造了高檔酒店,拉開了賭城繁榮發展的序幕。

       

      10. 即East Harlem,紐約的東哈萊姆區,波多黎各人居多,說西班牙語。

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