De avonden

De avonden A modern masterpiece voted the best Dutch novel of all time I work in an office I take cards out of a file Once I have taken them out I put them back in again That is it Twenty three year old Frits

  • Title: De avonden
  • Author: Gerard Reve
  • ISBN: 9789020422115
  • Page: 149
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A modern masterpiece, voted the best Dutch novel of all time I work in an office I take cards out of a file Once I have taken them out, I put them back in again That is it Twenty three year old Frits office worker, daydreamer, teller of inappropriate jokes finds life absurd and inexplicable He lives with his parents, who drive him mad He has terrible, disturbingA modern masterpiece, voted the best Dutch novel of all time I work in an office I take cards out of a file Once I have taken them out, I put them back in again That is it Twenty three year old Frits office worker, daydreamer, teller of inappropriate jokes finds life absurd and inexplicable He lives with his parents, who drive him mad He has terrible, disturbing dreams of death and destruction Sometimes he talks to a toy rabbit.This is the story of ten evenings in Frits s life at the end of December, as he drinks, smokes, sees friends, aimlessly wanders the gloomy city streets and tries to makes sense of the minutes, hours and days that stretch before him.Darkly funny and mesmerising, The Evenings takes the tiny, quotidian triumphs and heartbreaks of our everyday lives and turns them into a work of brilliant wit and profound beauty.Gerard Reve 1923 2006 is considered one of the greatest post war Dutch authors, and was also the first openly gay writer in the country s history A complicated and controversial character, Reve is also hugely popular and critically acclaimed his 1947 debut The Evenings was chosen as one of the nation s 10 favourite books by the readers of a leading Dutch newspaper while the Society of Dutch Literature ranked it as the Netherlands best novel of all time.

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    1 thought on “De avonden”

    1. ‘The potatoes are very good,’ her mother said making prolonged eye contact with me. I looked down at my plate. The potatoes were fine, but very good seemed like an exaggeration. This thought lay wriggling on my tongue, but I managed to swallow it and instead make an unconvincing noise of agreement. ‘It’s warm in here, isn’t it?’ her father said to no one in particular. ‘It is,’ I felt compelled to reply, and immediately regretted it. Her mother pursed her lips. Should I have said [...]

    2. (Nearly 3.5) This Dutch novel from 1947 appears in English translation for the first time. Twenty-three-year-old Frits van Egters lives with his parents, works at an office job, and spends his evenings wandering the streets of Amsterdam and visiting friends and relatives. His ennui comes through clearly in these 10 chapters set at the end of December 1946. Anyone who has been stuck in a dead-end job, living with their parents in their mid-twenties, will sympathize with Frits’s situation. I par [...]

    3. This is really not a me book. My initial impression as I started reading this is that it reminded me heavily of Kafka's Metamorphosis. Unfortunately for me, this did not change as the story went on. There's that minutiae and sense of futility and psychotic breaks that just drag. I know others love this, but not me. Fritz lives with his mother and father. She harps and complains and he longs for peace and calm. He is obsessed with baldness and death, and his powerlessness. He goes through the day [...]

    4. None of those other blurbs and reviews about boredom and comedy prepared me for the horrible creeping dread that underlies all of this. This moves and fails to move in all kinds of amusing rhythms and digressions, but the humor is, at heart, very dark. And there's a weight to the malaise that more recent literatures of ennui are less able to invoke. It's 1947, Europe is restored to reason. It's 1947, and no one will ever really recover. Brilliant and imperceptibly devastating.

    5. Frits looked at the clock. "All is lost," he thought, "everything is ruined. It's ten minutes past three. But the evening can still make up for a great deal.Gerard Reve's 1947 debut novel "De Avonden" is a classic of Dutch, indeed European, literature, for example ranked as the best Dutch novel since 1900 by the Society of Dutch literature.70 years later it has finally appeared in English, translated by Sam Garrett, also translator of the wonderful Tirza. See this LA Review of Books interview fo [...]

    6. 'Evenings' by Gerard Reve (translated by Sam Garrett)3.5 stars/ 7 out of 10I had not heard of the author before, despite reading a lot of fiction in translation, so I was interested to read a book by him.The translation of the novel flows easily. The novel describes 10 evenings in the life of the narrator, Frits van Egters. It has an unusual opening that gripped my attention.The level of detail of the humdrum nature of home life built up an atmosphere of boredom very effectively.I was impressed [...]

    7. What was I thinking? Aimlessness and ennui belie nothing but aimlessness and ennui. This book starts off, goes on and finishes in precisely one wayporifically. Or maybe several waysunexcitingly, pointlessly, uninterestingly. Nothing happens. Nothing. A 23 year old man lives with his parents, sleeps, dreams, eats, works and has conversations which come across as exchanges of particularly unexciting, pointless and uninteresting anecdotes. I'm all about reading internationally, but if this is reall [...]

    8. 'De avonden' van Gerard Reve is misschien mijn favoriete Nederlandstalige boek tot nu toe. Reve maakt van de nietsheid van alledag 'iets': een verhaal dat kwelt, bedrukt en het leven in zijn afgrijselijke naaktheid toont. Waar Mulisch moet grijpen naar intellectualistische foefjes en een eindeloze stoet van feitjes, en waar Hermans een vervreemdende setting ('nooit meer slapen') nodig heeft, bereikt Reve genialiteit zonder de huiskamer te hoeven verlaten. Het werkelijk geniale aan 'de Avonden' z [...]

    9. Review copy courtesy of Pushkin Press and NetGalley, many thanks.A surprising experience. At first I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book but it became oddly enjoyable. 1946 Amsterdam. Peace has broken out in Europe and when you'd expect a young man to feel elated, Frits is underwhelmed. We don't have any information about how he spent the war years but we do know that, instead of picking up his studies where he'd been forced to suspend them and looking for a new way of life, he is living [...]

    10. as Friend Nate D reminds :: 1947 Dutch masterpiece finally sees itself into English.On its way in its very own English'ing by Sam Garrettplete-review/saloonTRANZ=late pleaZe!! Thank you!And Lydia Davis likes it too ::complete-review/saloon

    11. DNF.He rubbed his hands together and shuffled his feet."Still, I believe you're feeling a bit cold," the lady said. "Is it cold in here?" asked Joosje."No, I don't think so," he said, "it is only my feet. My shoes have rubber soles.""Are rubber soles that cold then?" the old woman asked."They are when you have sweaty feet," Frits said, "then you have to place your shoes behind the stove each night and hang your socks over the pipe. In fact, you need to wash your feet every night too, but that is [...]

    12. Hoewel ik veel tragischere boeken heb gelezen, heeft geen van die boeken me zo kunnen deprimeren als ''De Avonden''. Vergeet de slavernij en de Holocaust, een jongen die zich een hele week lang doodverveeld Dat is pas triest! Het ergste is wel, dat ik geloof dat er ook in onze tijd, aardig wat jonge mensen zijn die net zo een slepend, uitzichtloos leven lijden als de hoofdpersoon.De bronnen van entertainment zijn tegenwoordig een stuk minder schaars dan in de jaren '50, waarin met name in dit bo [...]

    13. Uit de kast geplukt toen ik zag dat enkele Nederlandse diehards de laatste 10 dagen van het jaar elke avond consequent een hoofdstukje lazen en het NRC er zelfs een luisterversie aan koppelde.Helaas liep ik zelf stevige vertraging op. Het leven is hier net wat tumultueuzer dan dat van de 23-jarige kantoorklerk Frits van Egters, maar ik heb 'oudejaarsavond' dan toch mooi op een eerder grijze zondagmiddag van 3 januari om 16u42 afgeklokt!Fijn nog eens te herlezen, maar 'jaarlijks' is toch meer iet [...]

    14. ‘Las noches’ es una novela escrita por el holandés Gerard Reve y publicada en 1947, cuando el autor tenía unos 23 o 24 años. El protagonista es Frits van Egters, un joven de 23 años, que vive con sus padres y que lleva una vida de lo más gris. Normalmente lo que sucede en este tipo de novelas es que el protagonista pasa por una experiencia que lo saca (aunque sea momentáneamente) de la rutina en la que vive, pero en ‘Las noches’ no pasa absolutamente nada. Y cuando digo “nada” [...]

    15. I read almost half of Gerard Reve's The Evenings before abandoning it. I would have given up sooner, but I had read that the tome was voted the favourite book of The Netherlands, and wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. The idea at the novel's core was interesting, but I did find it rather repetitive after a while, and quite difficult to get into. I'm unsure as to whether this was due to a translation issue, or something else. There is nothing really wrong with The Evenings; it just wasn' [...]

    16. Ik snap waarom mensen dit een goed boek vinden: Reve beschrijft het alledaagse op zo'n manier dat het interessant is en met een beetje goede wil zijn de perikelen zelfs vermakelijk. Maar ik vond het boek toch vooral saai, langdradig en gewoonweg niet boeiend, met onbeduidende personages en dialogen waar ik me dood aan ergerde. Blij dat ik m uit heb! Artikel over onder andere dit boek: thebookreview/the-book-life

    17. De Avonden is een oerklassieker van de Nederlandse letteren. In de lage landen trapte dit boek de naoorlogse literatuur op gang met een geeuw van verveling en origineel taalgebruik. Maar is het ook nu nog leesbaar of heeft dit boek zijn pensioengerechtigde leeftijd bereikt?Frits van Egters woont bij zijn ouders (aan wie hij zich ergert), heeft een soort van baan en gaat wel eens uit, maar niets schenkt hem voldoening en vreugde is hem vreemd. Hij wordt geplaagd door onrust en lijkt wel sociaal g [...]

    18. DNFIf this story had been half as enticing as the cover it would have been a stunner. Briefly, The Evenings is a meandering shopping list of the mundane, blandly verbalised by some chap called Fritz who appears to have no discernible purpose than recount the uneventfulness of his winter evenings.I wouldn’t be surprised if this book offers some phenomenal life-altering message that my impoverished intelligence simply couldn’t grasp. But I’m afraid its relentless stream of aimless wittering [...]

    19. This book is supposed to be a classic, in the top ten favorites of Dutch literature. I have read other books by Dutch authors that are incredible, amazing, etc. This one was not one of themThe book info says: "Twenty-three-year-old Frits - office worker, daydreamer, teller of inappropriate jokes - finds life absurd and inexplicable. He lives with his parents, who drive him mad. He has terrible, disturbing dreams of death and destruction. Sometimes he talks to a toy rabbit."All I can say about it [...]

    20. When I finished The Evenings tonight, the phrase that bubbled to the surface of my mind was Shelley'sPinnacled dim in the intense inane.Its narrator, the 23-year-old Frits van Egters, spends his aimless evenings eating heavy meals with his parents; visiting, entertaining and insulting his friends; torturing his stuffed rabbit – completely possessed by a scabrous solipsism that offers no relief either to himself or his readers. The story is spectacularly boring, almost nothing happens (in this [...]

    21. Arguably the most pointless book I've ever read, and I absolutely loved it. Frits lives at home with his parents, who irritate him immeasurably, and obsseses about baldness, between fiddling with the radio, leafing idly through books and visiting his friends, which then causes him anxiety about maintaining conversations. Nothing of any note happens, but his life is laid so open, what's created is both hilarious and heroic. A genuine joy, and a searing look at the emptiness of life, as relevant t [...]

    22. ‘‘Tom te tom tom, tom te tom.’ zong Frits in zichzelf, ‘het gaat slecht, verder gaat het goed.’’De obligate eindejaars-herlezing van De Avonden stelt nooit teleur. Daar waar auteurs vaak in hoog tempo beginnen en dan verder met hun verhaal, en vooral met het einde van hun verhaal, geen blijf lijken te weten, doet Reve net het omgekeerde. Gestaag werkt hij toe naar het hoogtepunt (of dieptepunt?): het laatste hoofdstuk, met de schrijnende oudejaarsavond. De ultieme treurnis vertalen i [...]

    23. Een aanzienlijk aantal nederlanders leest ieder jaar met kerst op de bewuste dagen die in het boek genoemd worden die hoofdstukken. Hoewel het mij lichtelijk gaat kriebelen als ik aan zulke clichés denk, doen zij dat natuurlijk niet zomaar.De Avonden is een prachtig verhaal over eenzaamheid, doelloosheid en het geen raad weten met jezelf. Niet voor niets staat het nog altijd op bijna elke boekenlijst van de middelbare school.[return][return]NBD|Biblion: Frits van Egters. Deze jongeman in naoorl [...]

    24. Over de "na-oorlogse saaiheid" gaat dit boek niet: Frits en zijn vrienden gaan in tien dagen driemaal naar de film, ook de nachtvoorstelling, en bezatten zich in een club waar uitbundig gedanst wordt. Ja, aardappelen eten met zijn ouders, dat is saai, maar wie verwacht dat ouders dynamische soulmates zijn? Over een generatie-probleem gaat het ook niet, want met Frits' vrienden is weinig mis: lekker aan het fotograferen (Louis), gezinnetje stichten (Jaap), ijverig studeren (Victor).Het probleem z [...]

    25. This is probably the strangest book I've ever read, but contains virtually no redeeming qualities. It's a literary trope at its finest, the musings of a 23 year old with a fraying sense of sanity. I give it two stars because on a handful of occasions I admittedly found myself laughing at the protagonist's wildly unpredictable utterances which provided much needed transient reprieve from an otherwise disjointed plot and painfully repetitive themes. I feel like I'm supposed to give this book five [...]

    26. My only thought while reading: "Oh my God will you just stop whining please!" Glad it's finished. :)

    27. The Evenings by Gerard Reve focuses on something we’ve all experienced – wasted days. They’re the ones where you get up buzzing with plans to make the most of the day. But you can’t get going until you’ve had breakfast and at least one cup of tea/coffee, and a thorough read of the newspaper. Maybe even an attempt at the crossword. And so the pattern is established that will mean by bedtime, not a single thing from your list will have been completed. And you wonder what happened to all [...]

    28. “Valuable time, time irretrievable, have I squandered…”An inexplicably good read by the Dutch author Gerard Reve, very much comparable to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. The Evenings’ protagonist is a 23 year old clerk, Fritz, who lives with his parents. The story follows his ten mundane days, from 22nd of December through the New Years, spent in a pedestrian fashion with bickering, bantering, casual gossip and conversational relays that lead nowhere. Ennui of life in general is set in co [...]

    29. Longas jornadas noites adentroDurante o dia, Frits van Egters trabalha. E isso não lhe importa muito. Também não nos importa muito – foi o que decidiu Gerard Reve, criador do personagem e autor do romance THE EVENINGS, por isso, conforme indica o título acompanharemos, na vida dele, as dez noites dos que antecedem a virada de 1946 para 1947. O rapaz tem 20 e poucos anos – a mesma idade do autor quando publicou o livro – e leva uma vida de classe média na Amsterdã do pós-Segunda Guer [...]

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