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John Boyne is an Irish novelist perhaps best known for his 2006 Holocaust-fiction book The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, which received a film adaptation in 2008 (pictured above) and was turned into a ballet in 2017. The same book won a handful of awards, domestically and internationally, and his new novel, A Traveler At The Gates Of Wisdom, was just published by Doubleday, the week before last. Which is all very lovely for him, isn't it?
What's a little less back-slappingly well done old chap is Boyne's inclusion of a recipe for red dye in A Traveler At The Gates Of Wisdom, which is lifted directly from the Nintendo game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. As spied by author and journalist Dana Schwartz on a Reddit post about the new novel, Boyne has included ingredients such as Keese wing, Octorok eyeball and (the ultimate giveaway, surely?) Hylian shrooms in his recipe. Which is, I think we can all agree, a very enjoyable mistake indeed.
OKAY. This is a thread, but it's worth it I promise.- Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) August 3, 2020
On Reddit today, user u/NoNoNo_OhOhOh posted a page from acclaimed Irish novelist John Boyne's latest book, 'The Traveller At the Gates of Wisdom.
Note the ingredients. pic.twitter.com/4RTgZxtUT7
Schwartz's Twitter post goes on to explain that A Traveler At The Gates Of Wisdom is set in the real world, not a fantasy realm where perhaps such a crossover might be an Easter egg of sorts. (Although the book is pretty fantastical, set across 2,000 years.) Clearly, Boyne just Googled for red dye and just went with whatever came back top - in this case, information for crafting in Breath of the Wild. Schwartz later adds: "Let this be a lesson to all novelists to read the full context of the things you're looking up for your books but if you do make mistakes, at least let them be hilarious."
Whereas, no doubt, many an author would cringe at this, to his credit Boyne has fully embraced his mistake. He writes, in reply to Schwartz: "LOL that is actually kinda hilarious. I'm totally willing to own it. Something tells me I'll be telling this anecdote on stage for many years to come..."
And when asked by Schwartz to not edit the mistake in future editions of the book, Boyne posts: "Yeah, I'll leave it as it is. I actually think it's quite funny and you're totally right. I don't remember but I must have just googled it. Hey, sometimes you just gotta throw your hands up and say, 'Yup! My bad!'"
Yeah, I'll leave it as it is. I actually think it's quite funny and you're totally right. I don't remember but I must have just googled it. Hey, sometimes you just gotta throw your hands up and say "yup! My bad!" :joy:- John Boyne :books: (@john_boyne) August 3, 2020
I don't know about anyone else, but this is a pleasant, lighthearted story to kick a week off with, isn't it? Boyne's received criticism in the past for taking very creative liberties with the horrifying realities of the Holocaust in The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, and for his YA book about a transgender child, My Brother's Name is Jessica, which misgenders a key character with its own title. But I don't think anybody's gonna get mad at him for mistaking a Lizalfos for a real creature, are they.
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo, BBC/Heyday/Miramax
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