The Misfortunates

The Misfortunates

A Novel

Book - 2013 | First U.S. edition --.
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Frank, tender, and brutally funny, Dimitri Verhulst's semi-autobiographical story details the vibrantly entertaining journey of a boy growing up in a family of alcoholics in Belgium

Sobriety and moderation are alien concepts to the men in Dimmy's family. Useless in all other respects, his three uncles have a rare talent for drinking, a flair for violence, and an unwavering commitment to the pub. And his father Pierre is no slouch either. Within hours of his son's birth, Pierre plucks him from the maternity ward, props him on his bike, and takes him on an introductory tour of the village bars. His mother soon leaves them to it and as Dimmy grows up amid the stench of stale beer, he seems destined to follow the path of his forebears and make a low-life career in inebriation, until he begins to piece together his own plan for the future.

Bringing to life the shambolic upbringing that The Guardian describes as, "the odd, ugly, excremental poetry of their grubby lives," The Misfortunates "can be unexpectedly tender as well as uncomfortably funny . . . this novel continually surprises and intrigues."

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2013.
Edition: First U.S. edition --.
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781250035165
1250035163
Branch Call Number: VER
Characteristics: 199 pages

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j
jeprokx_
Aug 17, 2016

"Any similarity between existing people and certain characters in this book is due solely to insight into human nature."

j
jeprokx_
Aug 17, 2016

"I've never had any rights in this country and I'm happy to renounce any I'm supposed to have. That way they can't bother me."

j
jeprokx_
Aug 17, 2016

"Had there ever been an academic who would have sung these songs with us for the fun of it, without thinking of a presentation or anything like that?Easy pickings for the entertainment of a self-declared artistic bourgeoisie, that was the masses. The authenticity they strove to achieve. The primitives of the industrialized world and their forefathers. Given half ta chance they'd drag the plebs' washing lines into the museums t put their underpants and smoky living rooms on display. You could bet your life on it: just organize a washing=-line exhibition and you'd take the whole city by storm, such an original idea. Because the intelligentsia is easily satisfied and even more easily drained of inspiration. But once the exhibition was over, the lower classes would still be low, where they belong."

j
jeprokx_
Aug 17, 2016

She was the kind of person who saw obtaining reductions as a sport, a lifestyle, and she would never really be happy until she had been classified as a handicapped OAP student.

j
jeprokx_
Aug 17, 2016

"Not cats- they were reincarnations of stuck-up twats, who wore their fur as if they were draped in mink and spent their days whoring and flirting. They were unfaithful sluts."

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j
jeprokx_
Aug 17, 2016

It's like reading an Irvine Welsh book in proper English without a lot of self-pitying bouts and epiphanies leading to some grand decision to renounce an addiction (which the character reneges in the next chapter or so). This was very hilarious. Couldn't put it down once I started.

d
dirtbag1
Jun 11, 2015

I've heard that you should write about 'what you know'.I believe the Belgian author has lived the disappointment that comes with life in a family that enables alcoholism. The failure to live up to responsibilty. The failure to be there for others. This book clearly understands and states the emotional carnage that families of alcoholics live with. And in many cases, never get over. I'll be giving Mr. Verhulst's other work a look.

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