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This title in other editions

The Twin

by

The Twin Cover

ISBN13: 9780980033021
ISBN10: 0980033020
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

    Congratulations to Gerbrand Bakker and Archipelago Books for winning the 2010 IMPAC Dublin Award, the largest prize for a single novel, organized by Dublin City Libraries, on behalf of Dublin City Council and sponsored by IMPAC. (For more information about this prestigious award, visit Archipelago Books.)

    And, we're proud to point out that Powell's featured a signed and numbered special edition of The Twin in Volume 11 of Indiespensable, our book subscription club. Only 850 special edition, signed jackets were produced exclusively for Indiespensable subscribers! So, don't miss out on another extremely valuable collector's item, sign up for Indiespensable today!

  1. Read about this shipment on our blog!
  2. View all of our past Indiespensable volumes.

Publisher Comments:

Helmer van Wonderen was born a few minutes before his identical twin, Henk, but throughout their youth, Henk seemed more like the older brother. Henk was more popular, the better athlete, and their father's favorite; it went without saying that Henk would take over the family's small dairy farm, and it was no surprise when the beautiful Riet chose to marry Henk instead of Helmer. The van Wonderen farm was far too small to support two families, so Helmer sought to begin a separate life and enrolled in university in Amsterdam.

Months before their wedding, Riet skids off the road and drives into a lake, with Henk in the passenger seat. She makes it out without a scratch; Henk drowns. Old Mr. van Wonderen banishes Riet from his sight, then utters these life-changing words to Helmer: "You're done there in Amsterdam." Helmer withdraws from university, resigning himself to becoming Henk and spending the rest of his days with his head under a cow.

The novel begins thirty years later with Helmer moving his invalid father upstairs to have him out of the way. Helmer has grown up to become a gruff bachelor with a sharp memory, wedded to his routines and the rhythms of the farm. Then one day Riet reappears, recently widowed, with her directionless eighteen-year-old son, who is named after Henk. She thinks that hard work will do Henk some good, and Helmer reluctantly agrees to take him on as a farmhand.

Ostensibly a novel about the Dutch countryside, The Twin is ultimately about the possibility or impossibility of taking life into one's own hands, the strange bond between family and love, and the difference between being lonely and being alone. It chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity, is culturally apart, and is yet riven with romantic longing.

Review:

"A novel of restrained tenderness and laconic humour." J.M. Coetzee

Review:

"Human dramas are offset by landscape and animals feelingly delineated, and David Colmer's translation is distinguished by an exceptional (and crucial) ear for dialogue." Paul Binding, The Independent

Review:

"Stealthy, seductive story-telling that draws you into a world of silent rage and quite unexpected relationships. Compelling and convincing from beginning to end." Tim Parks

Review:

"One of those rare works of fiction that everyone should read. It is full of life and truth, all conveyed through a narrative voice that refuses to allow the reader to turn away for a moment." Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

Synopsis:

When his twin brother dies in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to return from university life to take over his brother’s role on the small family farm, resigning himself to spending the rest of his days with his head under a cow.

Thirty years later, Helmer moves his invalid father upstairs to have him out of the way. Soon after, Riet, once engaged to marry Helmer’s twin, appears and asks if she and her troubled eighteen-year-old son could come to live with them on the farm.

Ostensibly a novel about the canals, the green fields, and the unrelenting flatness of the Dutch countryside, The Twin ultimately opens itself to the possibility or impossibility of taking life into one’s own hands. It chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity and is culturally apart, yet is riven with longing.

Synopsis:

A lyrical, deeply human account of a twin brother, now solo in midlife, finding fulfillment.

Synopsis:

When his twin brother is killed in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to give up university to take over his brothers role on the small family farm, resigning himself to spending the rest of his days "with his head under a cow." The novel begins thirty years later with Helmer moving his invalid father upstairs out of the way, so that he can redecorate the downstairs, finally making it his own. Then Riet, the woman who had once been engaged to marry Helmers twin, appears and asks if her troubled eighteen-year-old son could come live on the farm for a while. Ostensibly a novel about the countryside, The Twin ultimately poses difficult questions about solitude and the possibility of taking life into ones own hands. It chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity, a world culturally apart yet laden with familiar longing.

Synopsis:

Have you ever wanted to disappear and make a new life for yourself where no one knows your name?

Ten White Geese is the eagerly anticipated, internationally bestselling new novel by the winner of the world's richest literary prize for a single work of fiction.

 

A woman rents a remote farm in rural Wales. She says her name is Emilie. An Emily Dickinson scholar, she has fled Amsterdam, having just confessed to an affair. On the farm she finds ten geese. One by one they disappear. Who is this woman? Will her husband manage to find her? The young man who stays the night: why wont he leave? And the vanishing geese?

Set against a stark and pristine landscape, and with a seductive blend of solace and menace, this novel of stealth intrigue summons from a womans silent longing fugitive moments of profound beauty and compassion.

About the Author

Gerbrand Bakker studied Dutch literature and worked subtitling nature films before becoming a gardener. The Twin, his first novel, appeared in Dutch in 2006 and was awarded the Golden Dog-Ear Prize for the best-selling literary debut in the Netherlands.

David Colmer is a writer and translator. He is a two-time winner of the David Reid Poetry Translation Prize.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Gold Gato, April 20, 2013 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
A lifelong bachelor farmer deals with sudden changes in his life, and it becomes quickly obvious he is not a man who would be called a change agent. Bitter but patient, the protagonist in this story lives his life amid the vagaries of Dutch weather, always yearning to see Denmark, symbol of his need for breaking the bonds of a life he never wanted.

"Drizzle isn't much more than mist with delusions of grandeur..."

Spare. Modest. Melancholy. Affirming. Clear. Concise. This is a book that made me frequently turn back the pages to get a better feel for Helmer, who grows into a new man by the time he sorts out his world. Farm life is portrayed through the winter and spring, and I became completely absorbed in the simple but straightforward sentence structure, as I woke up each day to time my reading with the farmer's early morning feeding of his donkeys and milking of the cows.

The English translation by David Colmer is spot-on...I felt the drizzle on my face and the warm breath of the sheep on my neck. And that, my friend, is writing.

Book Season = Winter (don't know what we want)
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Alan Soles, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Alan Soles)
Very quiet, understated book. No high climax, no formula... just a beautiful character study. This is a book to savor.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Teresa Borden, April 22, 2010 (view all comments by Teresa Borden)
Though some think this a sad, bleak tale, I disagree. At first, the narrator's life does indeed seem stagnant and boring, stuck on a farm in the Netherlands for most of his life, thwarted from completing his studies in Amsterdam years before; but the deft way that Bakker weaves in the back story of the instigating tragedy that occurred is suspenseful storytelling at its best. And the slow yet inexorable journey of the main character, Helmer, as he moves toward and through a never anticipated transformation and redemption is exquisite. The final scenes are glorious.
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(13 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780980033021
Author:
Bakker, Gerbrand
Publisher:
Archipelago
Translator:
Colmer, David
Author:
Gerbrand Bakker
Author:
Colmer, David
Author:
Bakker, Gerband
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Farm life
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090313
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
343
Dimensions:
7.4 x 6.2 x 1.1 in 17 oz
Age Level:
from 18

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The Twin Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 343 pages Archipelago Books - English 9780980033021 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A novel of restrained tenderness and laconic humour."
"Review" by , "Human dramas are offset by landscape and animals feelingly delineated, and David Colmer's translation is distinguished by an exceptional (and crucial) ear for dialogue."
"Review" by , "Stealthy, seductive story-telling that draws you into a world of silent rage and quite unexpected relationships. Compelling and convincing from beginning to end."
"Review" by , "One of those rare works of fiction that everyone should read. It is full of life and truth, all conveyed through a narrative voice that refuses to allow the reader to turn away for a moment."
"Synopsis" by , When his twin brother dies in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to return from university life to take over his brother’s role on the small family farm, resigning himself to spending the rest of his days with his head under a cow.

Thirty years later, Helmer moves his invalid father upstairs to have him out of the way. Soon after, Riet, once engaged to marry Helmer’s twin, appears and asks if she and her troubled eighteen-year-old son could come to live with them on the farm.

Ostensibly a novel about the canals, the green fields, and the unrelenting flatness of the Dutch countryside, The Twin ultimately opens itself to the possibility or impossibility of taking life into one’s own hands. It chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity and is culturally apart, yet is riven with longing.

"Synopsis" by ,
A lyrical, deeply human account of a twin brother, now solo in midlife, finding fulfillment.
"Synopsis" by , When his twin brother is killed in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to give up university to take over his brothers role on the small family farm, resigning himself to spending the rest of his days "with his head under a cow." The novel begins thirty years later with Helmer moving his invalid father upstairs out of the way, so that he can redecorate the downstairs, finally making it his own. Then Riet, the woman who had once been engaged to marry Helmers twin, appears and asks if her troubled eighteen-year-old son could come live on the farm for a while. Ostensibly a novel about the countryside, The Twin ultimately poses difficult questions about solitude and the possibility of taking life into ones own hands. It chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity, a world culturally apart yet laden with familiar longing.
"Synopsis" by ,
Have you ever wanted to disappear and make a new life for yourself where no one knows your name?

Ten White Geese is the eagerly anticipated, internationally bestselling new novel by the winner of the world's richest literary prize for a single work of fiction.

 

A woman rents a remote farm in rural Wales. She says her name is Emilie. An Emily Dickinson scholar, she has fled Amsterdam, having just confessed to an affair. On the farm she finds ten geese. One by one they disappear. Who is this woman? Will her husband manage to find her? The young man who stays the night: why wont he leave? And the vanishing geese?

Set against a stark and pristine landscape, and with a seductive blend of solace and menace, this novel of stealth intrigue summons from a womans silent longing fugitive moments of profound beauty and compassion.

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