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Dispatch from Moscow:

While strolling through Smolensk Square, en route to the Arbat (for an indication of the importance of the Arbat, see here, here, here, here, etc., if you know Russian, as well as (on a different note) here), I ran across a book vendor with the following book: Harry Proglotter and the Magic Shawarmatrix. The blurb goes like this (my loose translation on the fly):

Woe, as it happens, crept up unnoticed. Harry Proglotter, a student in the magic school Hobotast, carelessly ate a Magic Shawarma, which contains the roots and offshoots of Universal Evil. And this Evil is growing inside the young wizard, threatening universal catastrophe. Harry must set out on a risky, distant expedition for the healing antidote. He is helped by his friends James Barahlow and Molly Kozazel, and also by master Yoda, who in those days wasn't yet a Jedi teacher.

If you like this, check out the official site of Tanya Grotter.

UPDATE: A commenter asks about Tanya Grotter in English -- the official site is in Russian only, but here's an English description of the character. Another commenter says the book wasn't published in the Netherlands but was available in Belgium -- maybe the commenter is talking about Harry Proglotter, but the Wikipedia site I link to in the previous sentence says that this was true of Tanya Grotter.

However, the "magic shawarma" plot (Perhaps we can have sequels with an enchanted falafel or a cursed baba ghanoush? But there's something cool about a "shawarmatrix" that couldn't be reproduced with other Middle Eastern foodstuffs.) reminds of W.S. Gilbert's infamous magic lozenge plot.

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Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
In Russia, copyright violates YOU!
8.9.2006 4:41pm
liberty (mail) (www):
Hilarious. Not sure that it should be a copyright violation though, seeing as it only seems to have superficial similarity to the original.
8.9.2006 5:42pm
Volvodriver (mail):
Ex-Fed-

As they say on fark, you owe me a new keyboard. That was very funny.
8.9.2006 5:55pm
ys:
I don't think there is much of a copyright threat here, except for the name of the main character. Looks more like a typical post-soviet, post-modernist fantasy, albeit with a fair sense of humor. Now, the much older knock-offs of Pinocchio and The Wizard of Oz would have made a copyright case if done today.

It is also clear that it was written by a Muscovite. Find a Peter-Moscow dictionary on the web and you'll see what I mean.
8.9.2006 7:10pm
Colin (mail):
Bizarre; I'd stick to Nochnoi Dozor.
8.9.2006 8:42pm
cw (mail):
I went to the Tanya Grotter site. Where's the English switch?
8.9.2006 10:22pm
geaawe (mail):

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8.10.2006 3:52am
Roel:
This book was prohibited from being published in the Netherlands, so there is some sort of copyright violation going on (at least according to Dutch courts). The Dutch translation that was prohibitied in the Netherlands is available in Belgium, though. About the Dutch case
8.10.2006 4:27am