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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest post-war European novel?
Cees Nooteboom's The Following Story is a miraculous book. Waking one morning in a hotel room in Lisbon having fallen asleep in his house in Amsterdam, the novel's central character - classical scholar, schoolteacher, writer of pot-boiler travel guides - narrates the events that lead, through affairs and hearsay, to a conclusion that is almost silent in its prosaic...
Published on 28 Dec 1998

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3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated
There's a lot of hype for this short novella, at least on the book cover and in the introduction, and although I read the book quickly and without ever struggling to finish it or feeling that it was boring, I didn't think it was anything special.
The writing is good but not exceptional, and the story, what there is of one, is confusing. Is the author writing from the...
Published 8 months ago by Phil O'Sofa


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest post-war European novel?, 28 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Following Story (Harvill Panther) (Paperback)
Cees Nooteboom's The Following Story is a miraculous book. Waking one morning in a hotel room in Lisbon having fallen asleep in his house in Amsterdam, the novel's central character - classical scholar, schoolteacher, writer of pot-boiler travel guides - narrates the events that lead, through affairs and hearsay, to a conclusion that is almost silent in its prosaic devastation. The prose, throughout, is lucid and evocative, humorous and profound. Nooteboom weaves a magical yarn of death and love and the smallness of everyday occurances. And at barely 100 pages perhaps the essence of the modern novel
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars concise and enigmatic story, 16 Nov 2007
This review is from: The Following Story (Harvill Panther) (Paperback)
This book is beautifully written/translated. It's mysterious and yet the language is precise and the plot carefully structured. A short novel, but probably best read in quiet sittings. Allow yourself the time to go back and re-read passages, soak it in slowly. Lovely reading experience!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Discovering Cees Nooteboom, 19 Nov 2010
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This review is from: The Following Story (Harvill Panther) (Paperback)
The author is best known in his home country, the Netherlands, and is best known outside the Netherlands for his book Roads to Santiago.
I met the author very briefly in Menorca in October 2010 and was stimulated to buy this book. He has an opinion on everything I think...
The book is short, at less than 100 pages, but is excellent.
The opening line is great: "I have never had an exaggerated interest in my own person, but unfortunately this did not imply I could not stop thinking about myself at will, from one moment to the next".
The book is dream-like almost an educated ramble in part. A tad offbeat but I liked it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, 16 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Following Story (Harvill Panther) (Paperback)
There's a lot of hype for this short novella, at least on the book cover and in the introduction, and although I read the book quickly and without ever struggling to finish it or feeling that it was boring, I didn't think it was anything special.
The writing is good but not exceptional, and the story, what there is of one, is confusing. Is the author writing from the dead, or not? I still can't answer that question. Is he Socrates reborn, as hinted? Surely not. To me the whole thing comes across as a pretentious mixture of reality and fantasy, with all its references to Greek mythology and the `beauty' of the Latin language. Still, it's short enough, so maybe worth giving a go.
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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous in the true sense, 23 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Following Story (Harvill Panther) (Paperback)
Read it again and again and again
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The Following Story (Harvill Panther)
The Following Story (Harvill Panther) by Cees Nooteboom (Paperback - 6 Jun 1996)
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