A blisteringly powerful classic war story from one of the Netherlands' greatest writers
WITH AN AFTERWORD BY CEES NOOTEBOOM
'The Dutch have hailed him as their greatest novelist, and now, slowly, Europe is getting to know him' Milan Kundera, Le Monde
'Bleak, hilarious, angry, ruthless... Hermans is as alarming as a snake in the breadbin... hugely entertaining' Scotsman
Towards the end of the Second World War, a weary partisan fighting with the Red Army in Germany comes across a grand, abandoned house, seemingly untouched by the devastation sweeping the country. Exhausted, he falls asleep in the living room, but wakes to find a German patrol marching up the garden path. His only hope is to pose as the house's owner, but how will he keep up the pretence when the real owner returns?
Dazzling, dark and scorchingly violent, with the breakneck pace of a thriller, this timeless classic is a vivid depiction of what happens when the mask of decency is cast aside in the savagery of war.
'A literary tour de force' Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
'A violent climax without equal in modern literature' Cees Nooteboom
Willem Frederik Hermans (1921-1995) was one of the most prolific and versatile Dutch authors of the twentieth century. In 1977 he received the Dutch Literature Prize - the most prestigious literary prize in the Netherlands. He is considered one of the three most important authors in the Netherlands in the postwar period, along with Harry Mulisch and Gerard Reve.