The author of “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” in his latest book included a recipe that could only be made in Hyrule, the world of Zelda.
Google is one of the most powerful information and documentation tools that has ever existed. As long as you know how to use it, of course, since its positioning algorithm can play a trick on you if you don’t pay attention to the sources. This is surely what has happened to John Boyne, the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, whose new historical fiction novel mistakenly includes a recipe straight out of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that can only be found and used in Hyrule.
This is the recipe for red dye, which uses real materials such as rubies and apples, but also others such as Hyrule mushrooms, or tails of igneous lizalfos, which are only found in the lands of this adventure game. This weekend, a Reddit user preparing to read ‘A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom,’ Boyne’s new novel, suddenly came across a paragraph in which the author mentions numerous fantastic ingredients from Breath of the Wild to narrate the making of color tints as part of its story.
Is it an homage? An Easter egg? Hmm. The book is *not* a fantasy. It’s a historical drama set in the real world. I had a hunch, and tried a google search. pic.twitter.com/o3yHQO4nEU
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) August 3, 2020
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!” 😂
— John Boyne 📚 (@john_boyne) August 3, 2020
And as we say in the title, this has an explanation. As journalist Dana Schwartz points out, John Boyne most likely would quickly Google the ingredients for a red tint, and the search engine’s algorithms would show him Polygon’s Breath of the Wild guide as the first result, something she herself played on her computer. The author included it in the novel without looking at its source, since it was a minor detail, and this reached the press without changing. A small mistake for the author, and a great success for the editors of Polygon.
The best of all? John Boyne has seen the matter, and taken it with grace, promising that he will not make any changes of any kind in subsequent editions of his book: “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!’” Among the mistakes an author can make when documenting himself, this is surely one of the funniest and most innocuous there is.
Although if you have never visited the lands of Hyrule in its latest version, it is best to take a look at our review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
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