In ‘Cardboard Boxes’ Lanoye treats the mundane subject of an adolescent boy’s unrequited love in a thoroughly unmundane way. This autobiographical coming-of-age memoir is set against the hilarious background of a childhood in Flanders around 1970: the four women who raised him, his obsession with masturbation, and the merciless depiction of the priests who taught at his Catholic school.
Original, funny and amusingly melancholicNRC Handelsblad
With his rich, melancholic style, Lanoye has created a monument to his first romance. A convincing story on all counts.
In addition portraying an array of wonderful personalities, Lanoye exposes the regressive, head-in-the-sand policies of a church-run education system in the face of mass disaffection. The comic asides connect boyhood infatuation and the author’s more serious societal concerns.
This story of ‘mundane love’ is turned into a touching, strong and entertaining book.Vrij Nederland