OCRed Kindle edition of Pinball Games

I just finished reading (on the beach) Pinball Games by George Eber, a book recommended (I think) by a year-end edition of Forbes magazine, dealing with the War and subsequent Russian occupation of Hungary. It was very informative and although it covers a sombre period, very amusing and sweet in places. Nevertheless, there were some very problems with the edition.

  1. Obvious OCR errors like "carne" instead of "came". This is not really acceptable in an e-book edition selling for more than $10 (US).
  2. Inconsistent and incorrect use of Hungarian diacritical signs with some place names having all, some only some and some none ("Mosonmagyarovar") of the correct accents. It is possible that this was the case in the printed edition as well.
  3. Inconsistent use of translations, especially of place and personal names and honorifics (sometimes "néni" without explanation and sometimes "aunt" and so on) which were probably inconsistent in the original manuscript and should have been fixed by the original editor.
The book was actually rather moving and one has to admire the fortitude of the author and other characters. It was also a beautiful insight into the lives of the bourgeoisie of pre-War Budapest and contained many interesting vignettes of economic life during the difficult years. Nevertheless, I think that the traditional publishing industry needs to produce a much higher-quality product if it wants to distinguish itself from new media but perhaps they have already given up...

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