• Forms a loose narrative - both historical and literary - of the twentieth century...watching the decades roll by in this looking-glass world, familiar yet strange, is one of the book's chief pleasures...the stories here will provoke, delight and impress. Joost Zwagerman's selection forms a fascinating guidebook to a landscape you'll surely want to wander in again.

    Claire Lowden, TLS
  • There is a lot of northern European melancholy in the collection, though they are often tinged with wry humour...The Second World War and Dutch colonialism also cast their shadows on these stories. Unblemished comedy is in short supply. And you have to ask: is this gloominess a reflection on the Dutch temperament, or on the present selection?... An excellent book

    Jonathan Gibbs, Minor Literatures