SECOND OPINION: Cheese by Willem Elsschot

Review published on April 13, 2017.

I very much enjoyed this short novel of only 132 pages.

It is the dry, quirky and intriguing story of Frans Laarmans, his long suffering family and his ventures into what he perceives as high society and business in Belgium. It kept me entertained and engaged from page one.

Frans (the protagonist in this story) isn’t in my opinion a likeable character and I didn’t find myself warning to him and his adventures at all. However it was exactly this that made Cheese all the more enjoyable to read. Frans Laarmans is no hero and I found myself feeling slightly irritated by him, but this was also the feeling that made me keep on reading.

This would be exactly the kind of short story that you could read almost in one sitting and it does leave you wanting to know more about their lives afterwards.

Quite often the study of the mundane normality of a persons everyday life is more fascinating and relatable than a fantastic tale of daring and adventure.

I like to read books that leave something of themselves with me for a day or two and this story did just that. I was left thinking about the characters and how they wanted to appear to others at the expense of being true to themselves and their families.

Karen Carissimi 4/4

Cheese by Willem Elsschot
Alma Books Ltd 9781846884160 pbk Sep 2016

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