The Sorrow of Belgium is supposed to be the single most important book by a Flemish author. I can agree why some (most?) people believe so, but even for an avid reader as myself, I did have to overcome some difficulty and boredom getting to the end of it. However, the further the story progressed, the more interesting and even captivating it became.
After reading the book and taking some time to contemplate over it, I must come to the conclusion however that it indeed is a magnificent opus and that I'm very happy to have read it.
I'm not sure how well it would read in a translated version, as it's *very* Flemish, indeed.