With Choke Valley Frank Westerman has gold in his hands. He shows how myths work, how they come to lie on top of facts, how they push the truth aside. He allowed the facts to ripen for twenty-seven years before making a very tasty cocktail out of them in Choke Valley. You read it avidly from beginning to end.
De Groene Amsterdammer
Masterful. Reads like a thriller, but at the same time this is an investigation of stories, of science, of myths. It’s full of marvels. Truly magnificent.
Theodor Holman at OBA-live
In Choke Valley Frank Westerman movingly shares his astonishment at what happened in the “valley of death”. The result: a thrilling whodunit. He peels away at his subject layer by layer. Westerman enthrals, entertains and makes the reader a good deal wiser.
Frank Westerman is an author who has single-handedly shown that there is no difference at all between the novel and the “true story”. In his latest book Choke Valley he demonstrates that he is at the very top of what in this country is called literary non-fiction. Compelling.
With Choke Valley Frank Westerman has achieved his goal: he meticulously conveys the way stories burgeon and mature. And perhaps the wild stories about the Nyos disaster will one day crystallize into a new myth. By writing a thoroughly engaging book about it, Westerman has turned his readers into eye-witnesses.
Choke Valley is the seventh jewel in Frank Westerman’s crown; a great European author, a writer of literature.
Bert Wagendorp in de Volkskrant
Each and every one of the stories Westerman digs up is brilliant. Choke Valley is a real success as a book. The search for and gathering together of stories was an excellent plan that has been very well executed. Enthusiasm is paramount.’
NRC Handelsblad * * * *
Choke Valley is a non-fiction book that does not need the qualification ‘literary’ for it to be considered ‘impressive’. The real ambition of the author is to ponder the facts and reconstruct how, over the course of time, they become a story. It is beautifully done. Here the concept of ‘literary non-fiction’ acquires its true meaning.
Hans Renders in Het Parool * * * *
Rhetorical art, the author writes, is managing to make the conversion of one thing into another like a homerun. In Choke Valley Westerman proves himself an outstanding batter.
De Standaard der Letteren.