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The Twin
The Twin | Gerbrand Bakker
3 posts | 2 read | 6 to read
When his twin brother dies in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to return to the small family farm. He resigns himself to taking over his brother's role and spending the rest of his days 'with his head under a cow'. After his old, worn-out father has been transferred upstairs, Helmer sets about furnishing the rest of the house according to his own minimal preferences. 'A double bed and a duvet', advises Ada, who lives next door, with a sly look. Then Riet appears, the woman once engaged to marry his twin. Could Riet and her son live with him for a while, on the farm?'The Twin' is an ode to the platteland, the flat and bleak Dutch countryside with its ditches and its cows and its endless grey skies. Ostensibly a novel about the countryside, as seen through the eyes of a farmer, 'The Twin' is, in the end, about the possibility or impossibility of taking life into one's own hands. It chronicles a way of life which has resisted modernity, is culturally apart, and yet riven with a kind of romantic longing. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The Twin | Gerbrand Bakker
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Following @Kalalalatja @julesG and @Simona I‘ll post a few local authors for some Dutch inspiration for the ones participating in #ReadingEurope2020. 🇱🇺🇱🇺

Below I‘ll tag some favorites, but of course there‘s always Herman Koch too 😀

BarbaraBB This is a quiet book about Dutch rural areas where a father and son live together on a small farm 3w
BarbaraBB Another about fathers and sons but this time set in Amsterdam and with a lot of twists. 3w
BarbaraBB One about an old Dutch man who emigrated to Canada year‘s before. His memories get lost because of Altzeimer‘s. Heartbreaking. An all-time favorite 3w
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BarbaraBB All Hermans‘ books are excellent. This one is my favorite and set in WWII 3w
BarbaraBB Arnon Grunberg is very popular. I‘m not much of a fan but this one is good. (edited) 3w
BarbaraBB A classic. About WWII and Indonesia, a Dutch colony at the time. Very poignant. You can‘t go wrong with Brouwers either. 3w
BarbaraBB This one may be my favorite ever. It‘s the story of a woman who knows what she wants in 19th century The Hague. It reminded me of Wharton, Austen and Dickens. 3w
BarbaraBB Anna Enquist writes stories like poetry. I hope her sentences are as good when translated. Great plot too. 3w
AceOnRoam This is excellent, thanks @BarbaraBB 3w
BarbaraBB @AceOnRoam I hope you will join next year‘s challenge! 😘 3w
lele1432 Oooh I took a screenshot of this! These titles sound interesting! 3w
BarbaraBB @lele1432 Does that mean you‘re joining too? I hope so! 💕 3w
Kalalalatja Eline Vere sounds perfect! Thanks for putting it on my radar 👏 3w
BarbaraBB @Kalalalatja It was originally published as a feuilleton in the newspaper, so it consists of short chapters all with a sort of cliffhanger. It‘s soooo good! 3w
Librarybelle Awesome! 3w
LeeRHarry Thanks ! I think I have Herman Koch‘s The Dinner somewhere so I may read that one 😊 3w
lele1432 Yes I‘d love to join! 3w
batsy This great! Thank you all for the suggestions @Kalalalatja @julesG @Simona (And now I really wish Litsy has a way for us to save certain posts...) 3w
batsy @BarbaraBB Glad to hear there's a book about twins that's quiet and calm, very different from twins we've encountered via NYRB... 😂 3w
Freespirit Wow this is such a great post! Thank you I shall look out for some of these books😊 3w
erzascarletbookgasm @batsy I hear you! Meanwhile we have to be content with screenshots! And 😂 on the twins! 3w
BarbaraBB @lele1432 Thanks for signing up! Very happy to have you! 3w
BarbaraBB @batsy @erzascarletbookgasm I had to think about that immediately too 😉 3w
BarbaraBB @Freespirit You‘re very welcome. I hope they‘ll be easily available! 🤞 3w
CarolynM Thank you, that will be helpful.😘 3w
jveezer I really liked the Twin! First Dutch author I read, off the top of my head. 3w
AnneCecilie Thanks for the tips. I might read one of these. 3w
BarbaraBB @BookishTrish Here are some Dutch favorites of mine. In the comments above I describe them. I have a lot more of course. If you have a specific genre or subject you like I can help you! 1d
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The Twin | Gerbrand Bakker
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I really loved this quiet and subtle Dutch novel, of friendship, love late in life and the power of family ... very unlike anything I have read before. Grateful to Archipelago Books for bringing the world in translation to American readers. Highly recommended for something very off the beaten path.

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The Twin | Gerbrand Bakker
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Currently reading. 🦋