""Willem Elsscbot (1882-1960), whose real name was Alfons de Ridder, was the Dutch Italo Svevo: an advertising executive whose rueful comic novels dramatized the plight of the 'little man' in a busy world with a rare combination of comedy and pathos. The protagonist here is Frans Laarmans, a nondescript shipping clerk whose promotion to European agent for his Antwerp firm's Edam cheese plunges him into a nightmare of obligation and bureaucratic complexity. As Laarmans frets and panics, hundreds of wheels of Edam sit, stink-ripening into an ingenious metaphor for the burdens imposed by their reluctant possessor's frenzied pursuit of status and security. A masterpiece...and one that's enormous fun to read."
From the Back Cover
A delicious satire about business, greed, ambition and cheese - Edam's great moment in world literature.
Frans Laarmans is a humble shipping clerk. One day he is suddenly elevated to the position of chief agent for a Dutch cheese company, with responsibility for Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Thrilled at the change in his status, he goes on leave and sets up an office at home. He takes delivery of ten thousand full-cream Edams.
But running a business is not as straightforward as he thought. As the bulk of the twenty tons of cheese sits in storage, crates and crates of it, it starts to haunt him. And when his employer, the brusque Mr Hornstra, wires him to say he is coming to Antwerp to settle the first accounts, Laarmans begins to panic...
Cheese is a comic classic in Holland and Belgium - the equivalent of Three Men In A Boat or Diary Of A Nobody. It is a delightful period piece, but also timeless in its skewering of the pretensions and pomposity of businessmen, as relevant in an age of dot.com failures as it was when it was written.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.