Villa des Roses (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – 28 May 1992
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'Elsschot is full of subtle feeling and his style is highly economical and lucid...a sophisticated, parodic, tender realist of genius' -- Martin Seymour-Smith
'Packed with bizarre incidents and even more bizarre characters black, certainly, but brilliantly comic as well. A rough-cut gem -- Ham and High --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
There are numbered notes in the back of the book for those who need them. My French is nonexistent and so I was not equal to getting through without them, but they do deepen one’s regard for the multilingual complexities. I very much enjoyed this book, except for the “accident” to Chico. It is lively, as well as enlivening, even funny at times. I would certainly read another book by Elsschot. First published in the Netherlands in 1913, it was hailed as a masterpiece of Dutch Naturalist writing. Excellent.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I consider him to be the most important Dutch language author of the 20th century. Quite a few Dutch and Flemish people share this opinion. Even though his work is little known outside the Dutch language area, Elsschot should really be considered as one of the great figures in world literature, on a par with internationally well known authors as Dickens, Victor Hugo, Chekhov or Cervantes. He did not write any long novels, only short stories. His complete works can be gathered in one 800 page volume. But the quality of these little gems....
As almost all of Elsschot's works, Villa des Roses is based on his personal experiences. It describes the life in a Paris boarding house around 1910. Especially touching is the description of the unfortunate love affair between the servant girl Louise and a young German boarding guest. But there are a lot of other interesting plots and characters in this short story of about 100 pages. Elsschot is a master of observation and phlegmatic, economical description. His simple style is extremely powerful.
There's a cinematographic adaptation of Villa des Roses (2005), but it's only a feeble shadow of this very enjoyable novel.
Love Villa des Roses, and you will love Cheese, by the same author , even more.