on 19 December 2012
In this book you are locked up with a group of asylum seekers, coming up to Christmas, each longing and hoping against the odds for a solution to the absurd pantomime their life has become. The form is something between short stories and a novel. Each chapter in Problemski Hotel is an in-depth view of the story of one particular character: how that person came to be here, what their life is like now, and what they hope for when they leave.
The subject matter is bleak and uncomfortable. It is to Verhulst's credit that he manages to find humour and humanity within these stories, and their absurd and at times comical intersections. Problemski Hotel is an outstanding work that deserves to be read more widely. Like the asylum seekers trapped within its pages, this book is still waiting for its moment.