Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Misfortunates

The Misfortunates

A Novel

Dimitri Verhulst

Thomas Dunne Books



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."


Praise for The Misfortunates

“Verhulst's prose is always a delight . . .This is a subtle and wonderfully told story.” —Financial Times

“Verhulst's gift for imagery is impressive . . . the humour is pitch-black and very funny.” —Prospect

“Ceaselessly entertaining . . . it bursts with humour and energy that never lets up.” —BookMunch

“Outrageousness yields to eloquent recognition in this darkly intelligent novel.” —Irish Times

“This is a welcome addition to the ranks of literary fiction that find humour, and sometimes poetry, in urban deprivation.” —Independent

“Verhulst is a writer with an understanding of those who fail, and writes acutely and authentically.” —De Standaard

“Verhulst is probably one of the most sensitive, most poetic of the new young Flemish writers. But none of his contemporaries has the same hardness. Sometimes his pen comes down like a hammer.” —De Morgen

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Dimitri Verhulst

DIMITRI VERHULST is the Belgium author of a collection of short stories, a volume of poetry, and several novels including Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill and Problemski Hotel.

Dimitri Verhulst

© Nathalie De Clercq

From the Publisher

Thomas Dunne Books

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