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The Misfortunates (2007)

by Dimitri Verhulst

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8463717,813 (3.77)29
"Sobriety and moderation are alien concepts to the men in Dimmy's family. Useless in all other respects, his three uncles have a rare talent for drinking, a flair for violence, and an unwavering commitment to the pub. And his father Pierre is no slouch either. Within hours of his son's birth, Pierre plucks him from the maternity ward, props him on his bike, and takes him on an introductory tour of the village bars. His mother soon leaves them to it and as Dimmy grows up amid the stench of stale beer, he seems destined to follow the path of his forebears and make a low-life career in inebriation, until he begins to piece together his own plan for the future. Bringing to life the shambolic upbringing that The Guardian describes as, "the odd, ugly, excremental poetry of their grubby lives," The Misfortunates "can be unexpectedly tender as well as uncomfortably funny... this novel continually surprises and intrigues.""--… (more)
  1. 10
    Hemelsleutels by Tania Heimans (emhromp2)
    emhromp2: Also a bittersweet story about childhood and funny memories that may actually not be so funny after all.

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» See also 29 mentions

Dutch (21)  English (14)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
door Elise:

Dimitri Verhulst, de schrijver van het boek 'De helaasheid der Dingen' is goed in het omschrijven van woorden m.b.t. beeldspraak en vergelijkingen. Hij omschrijft zijn thuis-e en familiesituatie zo precies dat niemand hem zou kunnen nadoen.

door Tito:
Een zeer goed boek, één van de beste die ik al heb gelezen. Het is wel een vrij ingewikkeld en diep boek. Zeer grappig met leuke flashbacks. ( )
  literair_adolescent | Jun 1, 2020 |
I bought The Misfortunates at Sterling Books in Brussels on the recommendation of one of the staff there nearly a year ago. It's a very funny, sometimes disgusting and rather piercing look at life in a family of constantly drunk men, told from the point of view of son and nephew 13-year-old Dimmy.

Very little of the story dwells on Dimmy's own life; instead, he tells the reader a series of anecdotes about his family which shed some light on his home circumstances and how he manages to escape. The details of his escape are somewhat glossed over, probably because the writer purposefully stays away from a 'and the moral of this story' approach throughout.

It's very enjoyable if you're not easily offended or grossed out!

This was translated from Dutch by David Colmer, and I think he's done an excellent job. ( )
  mooingzelda | Aug 29, 2019 |
We do not forget that literature has another face, that of responsibility, awareness, commitment. It is the last that attracts me. - Dimitri Verhulst

Just another Belgian dipsomaniac proletarian coming of age story, albeit one with a Tour De France drinking competition and a multipage homage to the genius of Roy Orbison. The Misfortunates is brutal and never flinching, never allowing any moralizing in its episodic survey. This was likelier far more hilarious than it should have been for me. My reaction likely represents me as a darkish coot. I am pretty cool with that. The novel makes no effort to glorify the unfortunate nature of addiction and depravity. All the characters understand the situation, most are simply powerless in its wake. I did expect a return from the posh side of the family later in the novel after such an interesting arrival: the retrurn didn't occur. That isn't really a spoiler in the context of things. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Noi(io :-) ) ridiamo, noi(di nuovo io :-) ) piangiamo, il degrado e le difficoltà che avrà sicuramente passato Dimitri non ce li fa pesare, deve averli superati brillantemente(come si intuisce alla fine) grazie alla donna che ama [e grazie anche alla sua scaltra mente ironica ;-)].
E quindi, soprattutto se, come me, sei nato "ai bordi di periferia dove i tram non vanno avanti più", questo libro ti resta dentro. Uh, se ti resta dentro...
[Mi ha preso troppo 'sto libro, non trovo le parole giuste. Se non queste: se siete qua a leggere la scheda del libro, allora questo libro vi incuriosisce. Potete fidarvi, è un libro che non vi pentirete di avere letto!] ( )
  downisthenewup | Aug 17, 2017 |
Divertido y deprimente. Sucio ( )
  aliolica | Jun 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dimitri Verhulstprimary authorall editionscalculated
Colmer, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kersten, RainerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Losman, DanielleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Het verbaasde me dat je daaraan je leven kon wijden, de wereld nabootsen en daar niet helemaal in slagen, en wanneer je er wel in slaagt voeg je slechts het vergankelijke aan het vergankelijke toe, dat wat je niet kunt krijgen aan dat wat je niet hebt. - Pierre Michon, Meesters en Knechten
Waarom droom ik nu niet meer over mijn moeder? Misschien omdat ik te veel over haar geschreven heb, ik heb zelfs haar mooie profiel verspreid op de omslag van een boek, en ik heb haar aanwezigheid bezworen zonder ook maar iets te willen bezweren. Mij viel mijn moeder niet lastig, ik heb haar zelf opgeroepen door zoveel over haar te schrijven, maar ik vermoed dat ik uiteindelijk een literair personage heb geschapen, complex, artistiek, ingewikkeld, en daarmee is me de echte moeder ontvallen, de dode moeder. Ik ben de wees van een dode moeder omdat ik te veel over haar geschreven heb. - Francisco Umbral, Een wezen van verten
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Voor Windop. En ter nagedachtenis van mijn grootmoeder, die zich de schaamte wou besparen en stierf terwijl ik de laatste bladzijden van het manuscript voltooide.
First words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
De vermeende terugkeer van tante Rosie naar Reetveerdegem werd als een aangename schok ervaren in de levens van onze volstrekt nutteloze mannen, waarvan ik er op dat ogenblik een in wording was.
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Pierre Michon, Meesters en knechten /Francisco Umbral, Een wezen van verten
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