Dutch writer Tim Krabbé’s noir novel The Cave explores a choice and the unwitting corruption that follows from it. The most peculiar feature of Sam Garrett’s English translation is that it accidentally exemplifies the kind of corruption Krabbé explores, but on a stylistic level. The weak passages of Garrett’s text are sins of obedience where the closest rendering to Dutch no longer works in English—though at some point in the linked history of the two languages, it might have. That’s precisely the sort of shortfall Krabbé warns against in The Cave: the ease of being influenced, of losing track of one’s fundamental responsibility. The Dutch text in its English version mirrors the novel's preoccupation with small failings.