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A caricatured but loving impression of La Flandre Profonde

A Butcher's Son with Glasses

Tom Lanoye
A talent that immediately elicits heart-felt assent.
de Volkskrant

‘A Butcher’s Son with Glasses’ is the fiction debut of Tom Lanoye. In four stories, the widely praised author gives us a first sample of his versatile craftsmanship. Here, he already shows himself to be the formidable stylist, the inventive storyteller, the absurdist who is perfectly able to mix truth and lie, humour and tragedy. Although the main character from ‘A Butcher’s Son with Glasses’ resembles the author in many ways, these stories are nevertheless loaded with surrealism, wit and crackling irony.

A masterful fiction debut. The most delightful thing (…) from La Flandre Profonde since Louis Paul Boon.
Knack

In the title story, the heavily pregnant butcher’s wife is visited by the spirit of the long dead ancestor of the butcher’s family. In another story, the garage manager and wreck collector, Jules, maims himself out of love for his wife, even though she is still deeply faithful to him. We also meet a man who has read all of the books in the world – apart from one, which will prove fatal to him.

The four stories in this debut provide a caricatured but equally nostalgic and loving impression of ‘La Flandre Profonde’ and demonstrate Lanoye’s feel for humour and style.

Ingeniously constructed and imaginative tales arouse emotion and a sense of tragedy.
Het Parool