Skip to main content
A milestone in Dutch language literature

Chapel Road

Louis Paul Boon

This novel tells the story of Ondine, who was born in a poverty-stricken house in Chapel Road at the turn of the century. Despite her origins, she has set her sights on a rich existence but ends up marrying Oscar, who is poor but idealistic. Inevitably both become disillusioned by life. Boon interweaves the comments and experiences of a number of 'modern' people in a postwar era, when socialist concepts have faded in favour of a middle-class mentality of pampering wealth.

One of the few truly magnificent novels in Dutch language-literature. A masterpiece.
De Volkskrant
The most powerful epic to come out of Flanders this century

‘Chapel Road’ is a showcase for all Boon’s writing qualities. Its dazzling construction combines several narrative threads, including one where the writer and his friends discuss how the story should develop further. Boon’s inimitably skillful style gives the book a contemporary feel. His editing techniques move the reader effortlessly back and forth through time and his very personal mixture of literary and popular language adds variety and humour to the story.

Even now that experimental writing is commonplace, it has lost none of its freshness and vitality.
The Times Literary Supplement
One long, exuberant flow of language. If Boon cannot get the whole world into a book, he does manage to encompass much of it.