The Twin

The Twin

3.86 (3,025 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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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 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 18mm | 202g
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 009951687X
  • 9780099516873
  • 64,825

Review Text

This is a quiet book, humble in tone, with a fine, self-deprecating humour... It leaves the reader touched and with the impression of having seen and smelled the ever-damp Dutch platteland
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Review quote

[An] unusual, memorable novel... Loneliness, combined with the beauty of the landscape, creates an atmosphere of inchoate yearning * Guardian * This is a quiet book, humble in tone, with a fine, self-deprecating humour... It leaves the reader touched and with the impression of having seen and smelled the ever-damp Dutch platteland * TLS * Bakker's outstanding debut novel, set in the Dutch countryside, is one of those rare works of fiction that everyone should read * Irish Times * The pages are infused with the sights and sounds of the Dutch land. You can almost smell the donkeys and wet lambs that he portrays in his sparse, simple language * Time Out * It could so easily be a bleak tale of regret but Bakker's spartan prose eloquently conveys humour * Financial Times *
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About Gerbrand Bakker

Gerbrand Bakker worked as a subtitler for nature films before becoming a gardener. The Twin is his prize-winning debut novel and will shortly be made into a film.
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Rating details

3,025 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 25% (770)
4 44% (1,346)
3 22% (680)
2 6% (177)
1 2% (52)
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