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Paperback, 96 pages 178 x 110mm, £4.99
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The Belgians

By Antony Mason

What makes Belgians BELGIAN: A witty guide to the beliefs and behaviour that define the Belgians.

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  Belgians are avid collectors – with museums devoted to chicory, chips, birds' nests, tombstones and even underpants.  

Reviews

  • ‘A humorous look at the qualities and manners of the Belgians, covering everything from what they eat to how they drive. I lived in Belgium for 6 months and to the extent that you can successfully sum up an entire culture in 90 pages, it seems to hit the mark pretty closely. A cute little book and a very quick read.’
    Reader from Minneapolis, USA

  • ‘Hilarious… stereotypes and enough real facts for conversational knowledge. And yes, the cobblestones do look scrubbed in front of most Belgian houses.’               Reviewed by ‘A customer’

  • ‘A fun book. Having spent several years living in Belgium I can clearly recognise the characteristics described. An recently update too. Well done!’                     Reviewed by Mrs B from the UK

  • ‘Fun. I am Irish and live in Brussels and I bought this book to try to get an idea of what to expect from the Belgians. It has helped explain where they are coming from, their home life and their interests/ obsessions. Of course, it is impossible to generalise about a group of such people of such diverse origins, history and culture, but it highlights the many likeable characteristics of the Belgians and their country.’               Reviewer from Ireland

  • ‘It helped to understand little differences between cultures – my husband is a Swede (I bought that book as well) and I come from Brussels.’                Reviewed by Virginie Josefsson of Sweden

If you would like to comment or submit a review on the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Belgians please do so in the box to the right.

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Links to make you laugh

Those Belgians have a sense of humour!

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About the author

As a youth Antony Mason had almost no contact with Belgium, apart from hitch-hiking through it on the way to somewhere else. On one trip he and his travelling companion were picked up by a friendly Belgian driver who drove at top speed and insisted on turning round to address long pieces of conversation to the back seat. This reinforced certain prejudices about Belgian driving, which, along with other prejudices about the Belgians, the author has been monitoring closely ever since and, one by one, shedding.

The task has been greatly assisted by having met a beautiful Walloon whom he married. They now live in London with their Anglo-Belgian son, but make frequent visits to Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders with ever-increasing pleasure.

Author of more than 80 books on travel, exploration, history, antiques, architecture, house plants, volleyball, espionage… It was his Cadogan City Guide to Brussels, with Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp, the product of three years’ work, which tested the forbearance of his Belgian family to just short of destruction. He feared that the present book would prove to be the last straw. But like true Belgians, they have displayed admirable tolerance and total bemusement with the whole enterprise.