Hoffman's Hunger was written in Dutch and was also a best-seller in German. For example, English-speaking writers seem to write freely about non-English characters, but it feels funny to read an American character sketched by a Dutch writer. That is one sort of insight that can be gained from reading literature in translation.It is always a bonus to read a book in translation from another culture, and I am always delighted when they cross my path.
Another foreign-feeling emphasis comes in the concentration in this book on toilet activities. Granted a story about physical hunger standing in for emotional hunger would generate a certain amount of digestion-talk, but to me it feels like conversations I have with Italian acquaintances, in which I have to give up my Anglo bodily-functions reserve.
Then there is the thriller aspect - not only foreign characters, but foreign characters in countries foreign to them. Like a taking a little trip!
It took me a long time to get around to reading this book, but I guess I was ready to really enjoy it when I got to it. Now my mission is to figure out which friends to lend it to, or how to recommend it. Let's see - a great book for Europhile-traveller/foodies, a quick read and not challenging (except for the digestive parts) so good for vacation reading, but for readers, OK so...my mom, maybe a couple of my best friends from high school...
I would definitely be glad to encounter another of Leon de Winter's books. No better praise than that.
The marigold is wondering nervously:
There are only 2 reviews on LibraryThing, ARC says due out in 2007, but the ARC itself was sent out in the summer of 2008. Has this book been, in fact, published?