I lost touch with books for about a decade because of life but thankfully I am able to return to this beautiful world. Eclectic mix from YA to erotica. I blame fanfic.
My father bought me this as joke. I had long been obsessed by cheese - there was no meal I ate in which it wasn't incorporated or at least served up as a side dish. And indirectly was responsible for introducing me to the wonderful writing of Willem Elsschot. This remains my favourite, maybe because it was the first.
This is humour done at its best. It's witty, it's wry and it's sumptuous in its intricate descriptions of the silliness of human beings. Frans Larmaans is just an extraordinary characterization. I felt what it was to be like being inside his painfully shy nature as he grapples with a froward and wayward world. He's not self-righteous because all his notes are tinged with contemplation and he doesn't carry a chip on his shoulder. He's an underdog but his story is also of his own making in some respects and that makes this a tragedy for me. It's about living your life for other people, their standards and measurements so that before you know it, you've given it all away and kept nothing for yourself.
Elsschot masterfully writes with such eloquent wit through the eyes of someone just struggling to get his share of the world. It's heartbreaking and it's wondrous because it deals with the human soul. It is something everyone of us can relate to and it hurts because we feel the pain too, yet it brings a smile as we recognize the silliness of it all.