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Chapel Road by Louis Paul Boon
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Chapel Road (1953)

by Louis Paul Boon

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386627,829 (4.17)16
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Dutch (5)  English (1)  All (6)
IMO a masterpiece. Boon says in the short preamble leading into the main text: "Chapel road which is the book about the childhood of Ondine, who was born in the year 1800-and-something...about her brother valeer-traleer, with his monstrous head wobbling through life this way and that...about her father, vapeur, who want to save the world with his godless machine, and about all the things which I can't quite recall now, but which try to draw a rough sketch of the laborious RISE OF SOCIALISM, and of the decline of the bourgeoise which got knocked down by two world wars and collapsed." As Boon relates the story of Ondine and her family, he also mixes in anecdotes of his and his own friends and family's present day events allowing one of them a journalist/poet Johan Janssens to retell a series of Belgian fairytales relating to Reynard the fox and Isengrinus the wolf. These three different threads weave into and out of each other in short sometimes epiphanic chapters. They are very often a hilarious, bitter, sometimes violent bit of social commentary mixing in doses of sarcasm and satire. Extremely anti-authoritarian in content. I have to say that I have never read anything quite like it and found it both profound and at the same time oddly entertaining. A wonderful read. Highly recommended. ( )
2 vote lriley | Jul 25, 2006 |
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Ge ziet van uit uw open zolderraam hoe het niemandsbos in het rood wordt geverfd door de zakkende zon, en hoort hoe het droefgeestig schaap van mossieu colson van tminnesterie nog een laatste keer blaat vooraleer het achter de knarsende staldeur verdwijnt: en dan schuift ge uw pampierderij opzij en stapt de trappen af, juist als de kantieke schoolmeester de deur openduwt en samen met zijn schone vrouw lucette een beetje van die late rode zon binnenlaat.
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