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A sparkling and comical dystopian fable


Marc Reugebrink

Baron van Rüdersdorf Helmstadt discovers that the many miscarriages, diseases and deaths in Lende may be caused by the drinking of heavily polluted water from the local stream. He drums up a few villagers and has them bore hole after hole in the hope of finding clean drinking water. But however much the baron drills, he cannot find clean water. All that comes up is brine. Salt.

Let the literary good times roll with a devil-may-care attitude
NRC Handelsblad

As the region becomes increasingly pitted with wells, the population slakes its thirst with hard liquor. It is the only thing safe to drink, but the alcoholic intoxication is not without consequences. The whole village, the baroness chief among them, suffers from worsening bouts of complete madness and derangement. The further the community drifts towards the abyss, the greater the fear of the apocalypse and the harder the baron searches for what he will never find.

‘Salt’ is a comedy, a rollercoaster of absurd incidents that shows mankind at its worst. With their backs against the wall and no longer able to fall back on the usual solutions, people resort to behaviour that allows them to forget. This dystopia is situated in an unspecified past, but manages to describe our own age in an eerily compelling way.

An exceptionally sensory narrative that revels in language ****
De Volkskrant
A novel that’s extremely funny and dark in equal measure