The Leper is the best novella ever written because of its originality and irony.
It's about a soldier returning home with a horrible secret: he caught leprosy overseas. He hides the fact from his family and disappears to live on his own. However, one thing obstructs his plans: an abandoned baby he finds caught among fishing nets. He takes her to be his own until he can no longer afford to live in the apartment he's renting.
Then he goes to his brother's monastery and asks for a place to stay. His brother pawns him off to a doctor and pawns the baby off to an ugly servant.
The best thing about it is that while Brouwer could have made it longer, he didn't. Making it longer would have ruined it. This plot is largely based on the characters, therefore they are believable.
The book is spectacularly written and has an ironic end. Excellent.
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