Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Cheese Paperback – November 1, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$65.87 $0.01

Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Originally published in 1933, this classic Dutch comedy tells the tale of a determined but misguided marine shipping clerk enmeshed in a cumbersome cheese-centered farce. In early 1930s Amsterdam, a friend of a friend offers 50-year-old Frans Laarmans a position as an Edam cheese distributor. Laarmans isn't fond of cheese upon visiting a cheese shop, he observes, "The Roqueforts and Gorgonzolas lewdly flaunted their mould, and a squadron of Camemberts let their pus ooze out freely" but he is willing to snatch at any opportunity to escape his drab job at the shipping yards and enhance his social standing. Despite help from his wife, who is a bit sharper than her husband in business matters, Laarmans finds his new occupation exhausting. Before selling his first Edam, he wastes days searching for a typewriter to write up receipts for unmade sales and hours searching shops for a desk. In the meantime, 10,000 wheels of Edam are delivered. When he is informed that his supervisor is en route to meet him and settle accounts, Laarmans frantically struggles to make a sale. Doomed from the start, his final weak efforts are to no avail, and even his one success is ill timed. The book's poker-faced humor falls a bit flat in translation, though Laarmans's ordeal makes for nail-biting reading, and Elsschot's class commentary is astute. (Apr.)Forecast: The small trim size, bright jacket and low price point may make this an appealing gift buy, though Elsschot's particular brand of dry humor won't be to everyone's taste.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“… makes for nail–biting reading, and Elsschot’s class commentary is astute.” -- Publishers Weekly

“A masterpiece… and one that’s enormous fun to read.” -- Kirkus Reviews
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Granta UK (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862075565
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862075566
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,406,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Willem Elsschot was the pseudonym of Alfons De Ridder, who is widely considered a giant in Flemish literature. All of his works are very concise and "Cheese" is no different.
Within a mere 126 pages, Elsschot humorously recounts the tale of Frans Laarmans, an ordinary clerk, who tries his hand vainly at the cheese business. Laarmans is a clerk with General Marine and Shipbuilding Company and is quite content to plod along until a friend prods him to delve into the cheese business. What follows is a wonderfully wry and funny look at business. Larmaans is quite unsure about what to do when ten thousand wheels of the red-rinded Edam cheeses arrive at his doorstep. He knows he has to sell them all, but would rather first set up his office with a proper desk and typewriter. In the end, his business collapses predictably, but Laarman's failure saddens the reader. One feels for the shy clerk right from the beginning to the end.
Elsschot had a wonderful gift for telling a story in just a few pages and "Cheese" is a wonderful example of it. I was tempted to read more by the author but sadly found out that most of the rest of his work is out of print. Special thanks then to Granta Books for republishing this one.
Other pluses for the book are the bright red jacket, the price, and the crisp writing style. I finished the book in one sitting at the beach.
"Cheese" is just as delectable as the full-cream Edams featured in it. Dig in!
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on April 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wish more people knew about this book; I guess it doesn't help that its title makes it impossible to search for amongst the "cooking with cheese" books and what-not. This is witty little novel about the ups and downs (mostly downs) or someone attempting to start their own business. Very wry and well observed. It's not roar-out loud type of humor, but it will make you smile and nod in recognition -- and sometimes that's exactly the kind of humor you need.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was on the compulsary reading list when I was at high school and subjected to Clintonian exegesis as in "what is the meaning of the word 'is' as used by the author on page 25", but even that couldn't kill this excellent novel of Laarmans and his mountain of cheeses.If you enjoyed Cheese, you will also like the not so honest commercial adventures of Boorman and Laarmans in Soft Soap and The Leg.Villa des Roses, also in English translation ,is equally excellent, but here the humor is even more tragic and dark.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I cannot remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud. In public. The self-deprecating flavor of the humor in this chronicle of an inept businessman is somewhere between Jerome K. Jerome and Jacques Tati. Highly recommended escapist, absurdist fun. Also for lovers of all things Belgian: Harry Pearson's comic travelogue "A Tall Man in a Low Land," which brings the 1933 Belgium of "Cheese" into the present.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I agree with the other posts. This is a truly delightful book. I picked up a copy when I was in Amsterdam, and laughed through my plane ride home. The satire has broad implications and is as fresh today as when it was written.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I cannot remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud. In public. The self-deprecating flavor of the humor in this chronicle of an inept businessman is somewhere between Jerome K. Jerome and Jacques Tati. Highly recommended escapist, absurdist fun. Also for lovers of all things Belgian: Harry Pearson's comic travelogue "A Tall Man in a Low Land," which brings the 1933 Belgium of "Cheese" into the present.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse