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April 6, 2019


#Dublin Literary Award 2019 Peter Terrin (Belgian)

by N@ncy

  • Author: Peter Terrin
  • Genre: Novella 
  • Language:  Dutch (read it in my second language!)
  • Published: 2014
  • Table of Contents: 165 pages
  • Setting: Monte Carlo, Monaco, Alstead, England
  • Timeline: May 1968 – July 1969 – some flashbacks to Jack’s youth.
  • Theme: misplaced heroism
  • List of Challenges 2019
  • Monthly plan



  1. 1968 race in Monte Carlo is a
  2. …turning point Jack Preston’s life.
  3. He  saves the life of actress Deedee from an horrific explosion.
  4. Jack  is scarred for life.
  5. At home he waits for a sign of gratitude from Deedee.
  6. The press announces that Deedee’s bodyguard saved her.
  7. Jack ends up being ‘nobody’s’ hero.



  1. Peter Terrin tries to make a statement
  2. …by writing too poetically.
  3. It feels forced, belabored.
  4. There are difficult words, choppy sentences
  5. ….that did not ‘grab my interest’.
  6. After reading the first page the book felt like work and not pleasure!
  7. For example: sentences with
  8. …79-89-68-131-111-101-79-110 words  in one sentence!!
  9. OMG…what is Peter Terrin trying to prove?
  10. I want the writer to lead me through the story,
  11. nudge me in the right direction, pluck a heart string.
  12. Terrin manages to drag me along with the windy orations
  13. …that bore me to death!
  14. I just lost all interest.
  15. Part 2 and 3 could not save this book.


Last thoughts:

  1. S. Hertmans War and Turpentine.
  2. This is a wonderful examples of great writing by Dutch/Belgian writer.
  3. Why didn’t Dublin Literary Award longlist Hertmans?
  4. I can barely crawl through 165 pages of Monte Carlo by Peter Terrin.
  5. I keep asking myself: “Am I so hard to please?”
  6. This book was like watching the old lady
  7. …in front of you pay for her groceries
  8. …one nickel at a time…so excruciating.
  9. There is NO way this book will be shortlisted for
  10. Dublin Literary Award 2019.
  11. If it DOES…get shortlisted…” I’ll eat my hat!”
  12. Update:  It did not make the shortlist on 04 April 2019!
  13. So I still have my hat!
  1. NOTE:  there is a reason I don’t read many
  2. …Dutch/Belgian  authors
  3. …books are boring
  4. …and it is the same group of writers
  5. …that keep getting nominated over and over!
  6. Example:
  7. Arnon Grunberg, Esther Gerritzen, Connie Palmen
  8. Ilja Pfeiffer, Tommy Wierenga.
  9. More interesting are the multicultural voices that have emerged!
  10. Murat Isik, Ozcan Akyol and Alfred Birney (Indonesian)


Peter Terrin


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