Kees the boy

Kees the boy the cherished secret favourite of every Dutch adult reader Thijssen, Theo

A delicious and subtle irony pervades the novel, promoted by the fact that the author takes his protagonist 100% seriously, sliding back and forth smoothly between Kees’ fantasy and reality (with events not always conforming to the way Kees had imagined them to evolve). This is humour by stealth, humour-that-gets-under-your-skin, humour that tickles long after the fact. And this may be one reason why the novel has long been a cult book in the Netherlands. But the story also tugs at your heartstrings. With its terse style, its true to life dialogues and its well dosed sentiment, had it been written by Chekhov it would have been one of his major works. No less an authority than the current doyen of Dutch literature, Remco Campert, has deemed this novel the best ever written (and he wasn’t thinking of Dutch literature only).

The novel has all the charm and couleur locale of Amsterdam at the turn of the 19th century, when winters were severe, lamps burned on paraffin and carriages and street cars were horse drawn, but for sheer economy and pace of the narrative it could have been written yesterday.

Voor 23:00 besteld, morgen in huis.
(Op werkdagen)

Op voorraad in de volgende winkels:
Spui 14-16, Athenaeum Boekhandel & Nieuwscentrum
Van Baerlestraat 170-172, Amsterdam


368 pp.
Nederlandstalige literatuur

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