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The Discovery of Heaven [Paperback]

Harry Mulisch
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Feb 1998
On a cold night in Holland, Max Delius - a hedonistic, yet brilliant astronomer who loves fast cars, nice clothes and women - picks up Onno Quist, a cerebral chaotic philologist who cannot bear the banalities of everyday life. They are like fire andwater. But when they learn they were conceived on the same day, it is clear that something extraordinary is about to happen. Their worlds become inextricably intertwined, as they embark on a life's journey destined to change the course of human history. A magnum opus that is also a masterful thriller.


Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (26 Feb 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140272380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140272383
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Harry Mulisch was born in Holland and is author of the international best-seller THE ASSAULT, which has been translated into 22 languages and an award winning screenplay. He lives in Amsterdam.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
At the stroke of midnight I contrived a short-circuit. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dutch treat 6 Dec 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Being Dutch, I was able to enjoy this novel in its original language, and I loved it. You may not know this but, in Holland Harry Mulish is regarded as one of the best writers of our time. It is pleasing to see that this book brings Dutch literature to the attention of the international public. It certainly derserves the credit. Check out other Dutch writers, such as Hella Haasse, Tim Krabbé, Margriet de Moor or Leon de Winter. Enjoy.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A singularly Dutch novel of philosophical ideas. 15 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
There is enough material in The Discovery of Heaven to fill several books, and a writer of lesser integrity might have split the phases of Ada, Max, Onno, Sophia and Quinten's lives into separate volumes. Instead, Mulisch expertly, if sometimes jarringly, even violently, welds them together using what would otherwise have been cliffhanger endings as startling links between episodes of quite different flavours. This literary device is crucial to the plot; it reflects the experiences and informs the reactions of the characters with precision. It is only one aspect of this intelligent novel which delights, intrigues and challenges at all levels.
It is a very Dutch story and I was repeatedly reminded of my several Dutch friends throughout. I was especially pleased with Max's humanity -- as an astronomer myself, it was refreshing to find such a character with infinitely more depth than an inappropriate white lab-coat.
The story is a fantasy of grand design, set in a tangibly real world with convincing, larger-than-life characters, resulting in fiction which carries more truth than its fair share. There are no mundane details and the character's every act is touched with subtle significance. A read to add richness to any life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weighty but worthwhile! 12 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
Although some readers think it is a big, weighty tome, covering the big themes (philosophy, sex, the holocaust, politics) it is absolutely worth one's time and effort. This is a superb book, and I recommend it highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 10 Dec 2009
By Sharad
Format:Paperback
I picked up a second hand version of this book off Amazon on the recommendation of a Dutch colleague.

The Discovery of Heaven is a remarkably well written book about nothing in particular. There is, of course, a long winding plot that links the characters and chapters together but it didn't matter to me that the plot was somewhat weak. Still, parts of this book were so beautifully written that i found myself folding the corners of the pages so i would be able to re-read those passages whenever i wanted.

Read this one for Onno and Max, and their wonderful friendship.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read 13 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Tragic and funny and deeply thought provoking in eaqual measur
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book 26 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The discovery of heaven is a fantastic book, not only because it handles almost everything on earth (religion, astonomy, literature and much much more), but also because it reads very fluently, it's never boring. I wish I knew books as good as this one, but unfortunately, I don't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bewildering, Mysterious. 2 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I consider myself an avid reader. Harry Mulisch's "De Ontdekking van de Hemel" seized my attention like no other work of 20th century European fiction, except perhaps Thomas Mann's "Der Zauberberg". Not bad company.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That old man can write a book! 22 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
There is only one thing that I want to say about The Discovery of Heaven... Read it!!!! And when you finished it, start with The Procedure. Greetings, Take
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, well-developed and a wonderful read
First off, this book is not for you if you can only handle light literature along the lines of fantasy books, Coelho, and others of those lines. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Teresa Inskip Diez
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard work
This book might appeal to a philosopher or well-read academic. It is not a hard-to-put-down book, rather a hard-to-continue book. I am persevering in my discovery of heaven?
Published 10 months ago by KERNOW
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
A great book.

After finishing it I went out a bought the Torah -- which I read cover to cover.
Published on 22 Sep 2010 by Kirk
2.0 out of 5 stars Overstuffed with disparate themes
The fullest review I have read of this book on Amazon is by Damian Kelleher (22 October 2007), and I suggest you read his review before you read mine, for that saves me from having... Read more
Published on 15 July 2009 by Ralph Blumenau
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich in ideas and culture, but ultimately disappointing
The Discovery of Heaven is packed with felicitous turns of phrase, insights, and cultural allusions. Read more
Published on 13 May 2008 by James Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars The Discovery of Heaven
Two angels are conversing. Apparently, Francis Bacon - the 16th century scientist credited with establishing, among other things, the scientific methodology known as the 'Baconian... Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2007 by Damian Kelleher
5.0 out of 5 stars An philosophical exploration and epic journey!
This is a great novel and, for me, everything that a novel should be; characters that develop within an immense plot, an epic journey and an exploration of philosophy, pyschology... Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2006 by MEB
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever
This is probably the best book I have ever read. I had always been rather hesitant to start this book because of its size and the prospect of it being a very complex book as Mulish... Read more
Published on 7 April 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid magic-realistic dutch novel
As other customers already mentioned, I agree that this novel reminds me to the works of Umberto Eco. Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favorite read ....
Somehow I initially struggled to get into this one, much in the manner of rather weighty books with small typeface and a 'relatively' slow start. Read more
Published on 8 Jan 2002
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