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De grot
Tim Krabbé
publisher: Bakker, 2001

translated as:
The Cave
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 2000
translation: Sam Garrett

refered to by:
City of Glass
Paul Auster

[De ruimte van Sokolov]
Leon de Winter


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Krabbé, a Dutch writer living in Amsterdam, published a sophisticated horror novel, The Golden Egg, seven years ago, which was made into a movie, The Vanishing. His second novel is likewise a cleverly wrought tale of death and suspense, but it's one that falls outside the ordinary formulas of horror or suspense fiction. It tells the psychologically fraught story of three individuals who meet as adolescents and whose lives intertwine in various ways. The linchpin of the tale is Axel van de Graaf, who from childhood is the kind of unpleasantly charismatic figure who attracts people against their will and better judgment. As a child, Axel is an independent daredevil; as an adult, he becomes successful in the violent underworld of international drug smuggling. He befriends the novel's protagonist, Egon Wagter, at summer camp in Belgium. It's a strange relationship from the outset: Axel seems to love and admire Egon, who is at best boring and unimaginative. Egon is drawn into orbit around Axel at camp, and in later life is unable to break loose. Eventually, Egon's modest life falls apart. His wife leaves him (she also once was drawn to Axel's more vivid existence), and he proves to be a failure as a geologist. When the opportunity for adventure presents itself, he eagerly seizes the chance to travel to South America with a scientific expedition. But he needs money to participate, so Axel agrees to let humdrum Egon act as a drug courier to a Southeast Asian country, where capital punishment for drug offenses is common. There Egon meets an American woman to whom he is as spookily drawn as he has always been drawn to Axel. Her story unfolds from the novel's midpoint onward, and in a surprising finish, Krabbé draws the strands of his tale together in the novel's eponymous cave.

- Publisher's Weekly

bookweb    
ON TIM KRABBé'S BOOKSHELF

'DE ZEVENTIGERS'
[Kleine stukjes om te lezen]
Hans Vervoort, 1970
A collection of short and very short stories by Dutch author Hans Plomp, one of the 'Zeventigers' (self-proclaimed 'writers of readable texts' steeped in melancholy realism).

[Het Amsterdams dodenboekje]
Hans Plomp, 1970

DOSTOYEVSKY
Crime and Punishment
Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky, 1866

NABOKOV
The Luzhin Defence
Vladimir Nabokov, 1930

Laughter in the Dark
Vladimir Nabokov, 1933

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
Vladimir Nabokov, 1941

THE FANCIFUL TALE
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Edgar Allan Poe, 1833-1849

[Fantastische vertellingen]
F. Bordewijk, 1919 / 1923 / 1924

[Bevroren vuurwerk]
Belcampo, 1962

WILLEM FREDERIK HERMANS
[De tranen der acacia's]
Willem Frederik Hermans, 1949

Beyond Sleep
Willem Frederik Hermans, 1966

BOOKS BY TIM KRABBé:

The Cave
2001
Can a single encounter with evil poison an entire life?
WHAT TO READ AFTER THE CAVE

DECISIVE CHILDHOOD FRIENDSHIPS
[Terug naar Ina Damman]
S. Vestdijk, 1934

Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn Waugh, 1945

Our Game
John Le Carré, 1995

END TO BEGINNING
Betrayal
Harold Pinter, 1978

Time's Arrow
Martin Amis, 1991

[Het rookoffer]
Tessa de Loo, 1987

FATE AND CHANCE
The Fall
Marga Minco, 1983

Snow Falling on Cedars
David Guterson, 1994

Oracle Night
Paul Auster, 2003

The Assault
Harry Mulisch, 1982

The Vanishing
1984
Young lovers Rex and Saskia pull in at a service station on their way to a holiday in the South of France to refuel. Saskia goes off to buy a couple of cold drinks and vanishes.
Delay
1994
When Jacques Bekker's plane is delayed in Sydney, he decides to look up an old girlfriend - his first love.
[De paardentekenaar]
1995

[Kathy's dochter]
2002

The Rider
1978
The Rider describes one 150-kilometre race in just 150 pages.
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The Ledge
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht, info@the-ledge.com
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
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