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The Twin

By Gerbrand Bakker

(9)

| Paperback | 9780099516873

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Book Description

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 Continue

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.

2 Reviews

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  • 1 person finds this helpful

    impac-winner, summer-2010, published-2006, one-penny-wonder, dutch-root
    Read from July 01 to 05, 2010

    ** spoiler alert ** Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer.

    IMPAC winner 2010

    First line - I've put Father upstairs.

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    Bettie said on Apr 2, 2013 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Strange, Yet Compelling!

    I found this a very strange, yet compelling, story. It's about a man, Helmer, who lives on a farm in Holland. Helmer is in his 50's. He looks after a small flock of sheep, and cares for two donkeys. The only other person in the farmhouse is his dying ...(continue)

    I found this a very strange, yet compelling, story. It's about a man, Helmer, who lives on a farm in Holland. Helmer is in his 50's. He looks after a small flock of sheep, and cares for two donkeys. The only other person in the farmhouse is his dying father. At the beginning of the story Helmer decides to move his father to a room upstairs so as to be out of the way. He doesn't get on with his father, yet he washes him, toilet's him, and feeds him; though often with some reluctance. This strained relationship goes back to his youth. He had a twin brother. The father favoured the brother. The brother had a girlfriend. They intended to marry. The brother was killed. Now, years later, the girlfriend who disappeared completely after the funeral, phones Helmer. Now Helmer faces a different life. He has to change, and think about the past.

    The story is compelling due to the slow and gradual unfolding of the action. Not that that there is any action as we might generally understand the word. But I wanted to know what happened, I was curious as to what the story was all about. In the end it was not what I'd expected!

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    GraJon said on Feb 3, 2011 | Add your feedback

Book Details

  • Rating:
    (9)
    • 5 stars
    • 4 stars
    • 3 stars
  • English Books
  • Paperback 288 Pages
  • ISBN-10: 009951687X
  • ISBN-13: 9780099516873
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Publish date: 2009-05-07
  • Dimensions: 116 mm x 832 mm x 1,276 mm
  • Also available as: Hardcover , eBook
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