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The Following Story (Harvest in Translation)by Cees Nooteboom
Synopses & Reviews
"A subtle gem of European letters as flawless, to my mind, as The Turn of the Screw or Heart of Darkness." —from the foreword by David Mitchell
What happened to Herman Mussert? He went to bed last night in Amsterdam, thinking of outer space and its lifeless planets, and now he wakes in Lisbon, with Portuguese money in his wallet. If he is himself, he is a bachelor, a former teacher of Latin and Greek who looks like Socrates and who spends all his time reading. But is he himself? Or is he dead? If he is dead, what is he doing in a Lisbon hotel, in a room where he slept with another man's wife more than twenty years ago?
With lyrical, precise, sardonic prose braided with myth and symbol, Cees Nooteboom tells the story of a funny-looking man who loved beauty. Of a proud, spiritual soul who all his life was intrigued by transfiguration and who despite himself became a player in a drama of jealousy and revenge.
A classic novel, with a new foreword by David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
“Nooteboom's brilliant fable is marked by such subtlety and deceptive lightness that not until the end do we realize its power, and the full weight of the ideas it explores. From the meaning of identity and memory to discussions of the soul's journey, The Following Story is like a Borges text—fleeting in its sardonic humor and lightness of touch and deadly in its abilities to reveal powerful ideas and emotions." —Philadelphia Inquirer
Cees Nooteboom, one of Holland’s most popular and most translated writers, was born in 1933 in The Hague. He is a poet, novelist, and travel writer. He lives in Amsterdam.
In lyrical and precise prose braided with myth and symbol, one of Holland's most popular authors tells the story of a funny-looking man who loved beauty; of a proud, spiritual soul who, all his life, was intrigued by transfiguration and who, despite himself, became a player in a drama of jealousy and revenge.
Herman Mussert went to bed last night in Amsterdam and wakes in Lisbon in a hotel room where he slept with another mans wife more than twenty years ago. Winner of the European Literary Prize for Best Novel, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Translated by Ina Rilke. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
About the Author
CEES NOOTEBOOM was born in 1933 in The Hague. He has published nine novels and over a dozen collections of travel writing, including Roads to Santiago. He lives in Amsterdam and Spain.
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