Daalder's Chocolates

Philibert Schogt, Author, Sherry Marx, Translator , trans from the Dutch by Sherry Marx. Thunder's Mouth $15.95 (322p) ISBN 978-1-56025-731-8

Dutch novelist Schogt follows up The Wild Numbers with this tale of a chocolatier knight-errant cast adrift in an increasingly corporatized, mass-produced universe. Joop Daalder, an elderly Dutch perfectionist and all-around crab, is forced to close his beloved chocolate shop in the face of competition from a corporate behemoth and its trio of tattooed and pierced "rebel" chocolatiers. Flash back to Joop growing up the unloved baby of a musically oriented bourgeois family that has little patience for his culinary pursuits. On a class trip to France, Joop stumbles into a chocolate shop and discovers his calling. From France we go back to Holland and then on to Toronto, where Joop and his wife, Emma, realize their dream of opening their own shop. Entire decades vanish as quickly as they have appeared; Joop's unpleasantness is a constant, with Schogt using him to take shots at the barbarism of everyday life in the Wal-Mart era. They aren't enough to carry the book, but they make reading it paradoxically sweeter. (Oct.)

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Reviewed on: 08/15/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
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