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The City and the Book

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1Ardashir First Message
Edited: Aug 26, 2007, 6:34pm Top

OK, to kick things off...
I visited the lovely, atmospheric city of Bruges recently - but I foolishly spent only one night there. I will be going back, someday, but I want to read some books set there before then.

I have tried getting hold of Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach for some time now, and after several abortive attempts through Amazon and Abebooks it seems I finally will receive it soon.

I am also considering Dorothy Dunnett's series about Niccolo Rising, which seems to revolve around the city in its golden age.

Any other suggestions? It might be enough for a while, I guess...

Aug 27, 2007, 11:45pm Top

Alan Hollinghurst's The folding star is set in an unnamed Flemish city that seems to be based on Brugge. Not his best, but might be worth a look.

A.N. Wilson's novel about a Victorian architect, Who was Oswald Fish?, is set mostly in Birmingham, but has interludes in Brugge.

Aug 28, 2007, 2:46am Top

Yes, perhaps Hollinghurst's book is worth checking out.

Rodenbach apparently wrote another book set in Bruges as well, The Bells of Bruges. I don't know much about it, though.

Edited: Aug 29, 2007, 10:19am Top

Pamela Hansford Johnson wrote a comic novel, The Unspeakable Skipton, set in Bruges.

I would also recommend the short story "The Journal of J. P . Drapeau" by Thomas Ligotti, it reads like his response to Rodenbach's work.

Sep 12, 2008, 4:43am Top

I have recently seen the film 'In Bruges' with Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleason and Ralph Fiennes. Two English hitmen go into hiding in Bruges after a botched job in London. The older one loves the storybook city, the younger one thinks it's a shithole.

The movie is entertaining, and a bit of a treat when you've visited the town, but it is also quite violent in parts.

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