In ‘Cursed Wood’ Johan de Boose gives voice to an object rather than a human being. A piece of wood, originally from the Cross of Christ, travels through Europe, where it is passed from hand to hand and is repurposed and reinterpreted in different locations and at different times. The piece of wood finds its way to the Roman emperor, Orthodox monks, the Russian tsar, Islamic scholars, inventors, the pope, fascists and communists, painters, scientists and terrorists. The journey lasts more than two thousand years.
An exceptionally original contribution to Dutch-language literature, beautifully composed, stylistically strongJuryrapport Libris Literatuur Prijs
Johan de Boose takes the reader on a journey past the most dramatic events in European history, all of which the wood has witnessed. For the piece of wood this is a voyage of discovery about human faith in God. Through his original narrator, De Boose outlines some of the highs and lows of Christianity. Everywhere it goes, the piece of wood sees the search for faith end in torture and bloodbaths. In this way, De Boose gets us thinking about what we refer to as war, and what as terrorism, in the name of religion.
De Boose has fun with the genre of literary satire, with nods to the likes of ‘Gulliver’s travels’, the ‘Decamerone’ and Julian Barnes’ ‘A History Of The World In 10 ½ Chapters’. The fact that the wood has reservations about everything adds an appealing, ironic touch.
A scintillating novel. De Boose’s beautiful sentences and gripping events conceal an essay on the good and the bad of faith. ****De Standaard
An original novel, excellently structured, written in deceptively simple languageTzum