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Beschreibung des Verlags
A darkly hilarious tale of a model family's disintegration. Professor Siem Sigerius - maths genius, jazz lover, judo champion, Renaissance man. When Aaron meets his girlfriend Joni's family for the first time, her multitalented father could hardly be a more intimidating figure, but somehow the underachieving photographer manages to bluff his way to a friendship with the paterfamilias. With his feet under the table at the beautiful Sigerius farmhouse, Aaron feels part of the family. A perfect family. Until, that is, things start to go wrong in a very big way. A cataclysmic explosion in a firework factory, the advent of internet pornography, the reappearance of a forgotten murderer and a jet-black wig-all play a role in the spectacular fragmentation of the Sigerius clan... and of Aaron's fragile psyche. "Great European art: the Dutchman Peter Buwalda explodes the bourgeois family saga. The narrative pyrotechnics alone are a tour de force." Die Zeit "Peter Buwalda's impressive family saga is a genuine page-turner, with a forceful, precise style. The author races with unstoppable speed towards the finish, without getting entangled in the numerous gripping narrative strands, without even steering out of the curve." Libris-Prize Jury Report, 2011 "Buwalda's debut novel [is] daring in its linguistic power and freedom, and impressive, even frightening, in its psychological sharpness and precision ... great and outrageous." Frankfurter Rundschau
Dutch author Buwalda's magnificent first novel offers proof of Tolstoy's dictum that "every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Three uniquely unreliable voices narrate this darkly humorous familial drama: the mentally precarious Aaron Bever; his beautiful girlfriend, Joni Sigerius; and her stepfather, eminent math genius and university rector Siem Sigerius. Their interweaving narratives, which hop between the Netherlands, Shanghai, Belgium, and California, chart the years between the rise and fall of their outwardly successful but privately dysfunctional family. Buwalda displays the sexual appetites of his characters from puritanical to hedonistic against the 1990s backdrop of an emerging Internet and concomitant ascendency of online porn. Temperatures rise until the explosion of a Dutch fireworks factory, which is followed by familial pyrotechnics. A custard doughnut plays a decisive role in deciding the Sigeriuses' fate. Questions arise regarding the nature of probability and coincidence, as well as who really gets to wear not only the pants in a relationship but the racy feminine undergarments, too.