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Will Reviews

Will by Jeroen Olyslaegers, David Colmer


Jeroen Olyslaegers, David Colmer

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Pushkin Press
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication date: 26 Sep 2019
ISBN: 9781782274247

A searing portrayal of a man trying to survive amid the treachery, compromises and moral darkness of occupation, Will asks what any of us would do to stay alive.

  • The TimesBook of the Year
5 stars out of 5
Antonia Senior
20 Sep 2019

"This is historical fiction at its best: provocative, uncomfortable and illuminating."

Will by Jeroen Olyslaegers is narrated by an obstreperous, prickly old man. He is telling his great-grandson his life story, which revolves around what happened during the occupation of Belgium. We learn that he joined the police force to avoid being sent to Germany as forced labour. Will’s family are casually antisemitic and his unemployed father welcomes the occupation...Will is not likeable, but he is vividly human, driven by self-preservation, lust and hope. Olyslaegers, a Flemish author whose grandfather was a Nazi collaborator, is masterly in probing the moral quandaries of collaboration. This is historical fiction at its best: provocative, uncomfortable and illuminating.