- Paperback: 592 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; 01 edition (29 Sept. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141395729
- ISBN-13: 978-0141395722
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.8 x 20.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 29 Sep 2016
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Forms a loose narrative - both historical and literary - of the twentieth century...watching the decades roll by in this looking-glass world, familiar yet strange, is one of the book's chief pleasures...the stories here will provoke, delight and impress. Joost Zwagerman's selection forms a fascinating guidebook to a landscape you'll surely want to wander in again. (Claire Lowden TLS)
Great stuff (Jon McGregor)
There is a lot of northern European melancholy in the collection, though they are often tinged with wry humour...The Second World War and Dutch colonialism also cast their shadows on these stories. Unblemished comedy is in short supply. And you have to ask: is this gloominess a reflection on the Dutch temperament, or on the present selection?... An excellent book (Jonathan Gibbs Minor Literatures)
An affectionate love-letter to the Dutch short story which deserves to be cherished by all (TN2 Magazine, Trinity College Dublin)
About the Author
Joost Zwagerman (1963-2015) was a novelist, poet, essayist and editor of several anthologies. He started his career as a writer with bestselling novels, describing the atmosphere of the 1980s and 1990s, such as Gimmick! (1988) and False Light (1991). In later years, he concentrated on writing essays - notably on pop culture and visual arts - and poetry. Suicide was the theme of the novel Six Stars (2002). He took his own life just after having published a new collection of essays on art, The Museum of Light.
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Top Customer Reviews
The literature of this region has been long overlooked by many despite the popularity for instance of French and other European countries, but as this collection shows this is work that should very much be embraced. You can see at times obvious influences from other countries both in style and content, but always given a unique Dutch flavour. Taking in crimes, love, comedy and even some magic realism this does make for a very varied and interesting read, which is ideal to dip in and out of a story at a time.
Obviously with something like this there are going to be stories that are more appealing to people than others, but all of them are good and some of them will make you think about things in a slightly different way. This doesn’t shy away from certain subjects, and at times the stories here can be slightly grotesque and rather earthy. In all this makes for a good and interesting read that is really rather enjoyable.