notes on dutch literature

Posts Tagged ‘Roddy Doyle’

The Misfortunates

In Review on October 28, 2012 at 8:18 PM

The Misfortunates

The Misfortunates by Dimitri Verhulst must be one of the funniest books I read in the last few years. If you ever watched Shameless or read a Roddy Doyle novel (Paddy Clark ha ha ha) you’ll get the characters in Verhulst’s funny and also endearing novel. The Verhulsts have the same inverted pride in their own depravity, the same up-yours disregard for respectable society. The odd, ugly, excremental poetry of their grubby lives can be unexpectedly tender as well as uncomfortably funny; this novel continually surprises and intrigues.

In this semi-autobiographical novel, the author describes a childhood spent in a family of uncles – his father Pierre’s siblings – all of whom have fled their wives to return to the more accommodating maternal nest. As they see it, they have been set free to follow their true vocation of unfettered self-destruction through drink. They regard an early death as a fair price to pay. Apart from Dimitri’s grandmother, women are regarded as little more than obstacles to this project. Dimitri’s mother is dismissed as a “bourgeois cow”. The older Dimitri is able to say: “There are two people I hate. One gave birth to me and the other was giving birth to my child.” Women are feared because they awaken a form of self-consciousness and thence a sense of shame.

The Misfortunates is translated by the excellent David Colmer and published by Portobello Books. The film came out in 2010.

Other translated work by Verhulst: Madame Verona comes down the hill

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings

lis simone

PARIS LIFESTYLE BLOG

Famous books from a small country

www.laurawatkinson.com/

Just another WordPress.com site

the contextual life

thoughts without borders

ALTA Blog

literary translation news and updates

The Bookwyrm's Lair

Thoughts on Popular Books, High Literature, and the Printed Word

Fleur in her World

Notes from a bookish life on the Cornish coast ...

Bookmunch

Books reviews with the occasional interview thrown in for good measure

The Overflown

Leftovers of interviews, reviews, press trips and features by an art/food/travel journalist and writer.

Lizzy's Literary Life

Celebrating the pleasures of a 21st century bookworm

A year of reading the world

196 countries, countless stories...

The Longest Chapter

Literary fiction, poetry, first editions, classics...

WordPress.com News

Famous books from a small country