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The Undutchables: An Observation of the Netherlands, Its Culture and Its Inhabitants Paperback – 30 Aug 2013
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Chapter 1 gives a brief history of the Netherlands. The other chapters cover different aspects of Dutch life and customs in a mainly humourous fashion. One of my favourite passages is the one about how the Dutch drink their beloved coffee. Another funny part discusses Dutch toilets. There is a chapter covering the Dutch in their former colonies and other places where they have been very influential. The 3 appendices contain some amusing and helpful material about the Dutch language such as a list of Dutch-English words that sound similar (false cognates) but when used incorrectly can be embarrassing.
As for the writing style, the book paints a caricature, using humour, exaggeration and other elements to expose and describe quirks, habits and traits, not all unique to Netherlanders but that create a colourful cocktail or mosaic of these interesting people. I have given copies to several Dutch friends and it is always well received. Indeed, they tell me the book is a laughing mirror, and they like the book title.
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