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A.F.Th. van der Heijden

Author of Tonio een requiemroman

65+ Works 4,097 Members 81 Reviews 16 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: A.F.Th van der Heijden


Works by A.F.Th. van der Heijden

Tonio een requiemroman (2011) 371 copies
Weerborstels (1992) 340 copies
Advocaat van de hanen (1990) 300 copies
Vallende ouders (1983) 274 copies
De slag om de Blauwbrug (1983) 250 copies
Het leven uit een dag (1998) 208 copies
De gevarendriehoek (1985) 198 copies
Asbestemming (1994) 191 copies
De Movo tapes (2003) 187 copies
Het hof van barmhartigheid (1996) 170 copies
De sandwich : een requiem (1986) 139 copies
De helleveeg (2013) 119 copies
Kwaadschiks (2016) 84 copies
De draaideur (1979) 71 copies
Mim, of De doorstoken globe (2007) 62 copies
De ochtendgave (2015) 54 copies
Drijfzand koloniseren (2006) 50 copies
Mooi doodliggen (2018) 48 copies
Stemvorken (2021) 34 copies
Doodverf : roman (2009) 31 copies
Uitverkoren (2014) 25 copies
Hier viel Van Gogh flauw (2004) 25 copies
Gentse lente (2008) 21 copies
De requiems (2003) 17 copies
De liefdesbaby (2008) 14 copies
Uitdorsten (2007) 13 copies
A. F. Th. — Editor — 3 copies
Zogkoorts 2 copies
Sabberita 2 copies
De andere deur : vier nieuwe verhalen — Contributor — 1 copy
Zogkoorts 1 copy
De vijftiende deur — Author — 1 copy
Niets gaat voorbij. Drie verhalen — Contributor — 1 copy
De sandwich 1 copy

Associated Works

Titaantjes waren we... : schrijvers schrijven zichzelf (2010) — Contributor — 56 copies
Lezen met ALS literatuur als levensbehoefte (2015) — Afterword, some editions — 31 copies
De helleveeg (2016) — Writer of the book the film is based on — 2 copies
Elle Literaire Verhalen Special — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge



Ik heb gehuild tijdens het lezen van dit boek. Wat van der Heijden en zijn vrouw overkomen is, is vreselijk en ik leefde erg met hem mee.

Helaas maakt dit 'Tonio' nog niet een goede roman. Het boek is erg ongestructureerd en bevat erg veel herhalingen. De schrijfstijl van Van der Heijden is erg barok. Hij gebruikt lange zinnen, veel bijzinnen en uitgebreide vergelijkingen. Persoonlijk hou ik hier niet van. Wat me ook irriteert is dat Van der Heijden vaak pretentieus lijkt te zijn. Hij verwijst meerdere keren naar bekende Nederlanders die hij kent (Kluun, Robin van Persie) en verwijst uitgebreidt naar kunstenaars, schrijvers en artiesten.

'Tonio' is een persoonlijk document. Ik denk dat Van der Heijden, verblind door zijn verdriet, niet kritisch genoeg heeft kunnen zijn op zijn werk. Mijn hart gaat naar hem uit en naar iedere ouder die een kind heeft verloren.
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Twisk | 20 other reviews | Oct 2, 2023 |
Van der Heijden's novel Mooi doodliggen is a story of deception and betrayal. Journalist Grigori Moerasjko stages his own death, but for unclear reasons breaks this deception the following day by showing up again. However, having failed to warn his wife in advance, the deceipt is the death blow for his marriage with Yulia. She kicks him out and Grigori finds refuge with his friend Natan Haandrikman. The story is not entirely chronological. It starts with Nathan hearing in New York that Moerasjko has been murdered.

Although the story is fairly simple, Van Der Heijden has written a book of more than 360 pages. In fact, many of his books are much bulkier. Much of the volume of the books is spent on describing all sorts of irrelevant details, while the whole of it is written in Van der Heijden's typical exuberant shit-sex-snot-drool style which makes his novels so sensational, i.e. give you shivers, flush and disgust while reading.

However, it is the backdrop of the story which makes the book more interesting. Van der Heijden is an unusual writer in the sense that many of his novels are part of series. These series are fairly open-ended. The book series are operatic in their conception. They are multi-volumes, designated as Volumes, but a novel designated as a "volume" can have two parts. A "part"can have its own title and be a 700+ page novel. Yet, the author also publishes small occasional works, which may thematically be related to a series, which may be published as a prologue, an intermezzo, or with a different designation. Thus, each novel series becomes an almost symphonic, and organic creature. In the overall conception, the sum of the parts is also greater.

So far, Van der Heijden has been working on two series. The first of such series had the overall title De tandeloze tijd. It was orginally conceived as five volumes, while volume 3 consists of two parts. The first four volumes were published reasonably fast, while readers had to (have been) wait(ing) for the final, fifth volume for many years. Over time, other works were added in the form of a prologue and an intermezzo. And recently, the author has shown an extended outline, and plans to add several more volumes to the series. In the other series, only two volumes have appeared, while the rest of that series seems to have stalled.

Based of the authors statements, it is conceivable that Mooi doodliggen is a volume in a new series. Mooi doodliggen was published in 2018, and the story of the novel develops against the background of the Russian agression against Ukraine. In the meantime, anno 2022, this agression has developed into fullfledged war.

The Netherlands has a closer, more direct involvement in the conflict than most other countries. On February 26, 2014 a Malaysian passenger plane, MH-17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Ukraine by Russian-backed separatists from the Donetsk region. There were no survivors, and most of the victims were Dutch, with some Australians, Maylaysians and passengers of other nationalities.

In Mooi doodliggen Grigori Moerasjko is a Russian journalist who has fled Russia. He is investigating the catastophe of the MH-17 plane. He lives with his wife Yulia in Kiev, and the his murder was staged by the Ukranian secret service to loose the Russians off his trail. However, the novel is only in auxiliary about the MH-17 disaster, which Van Der Heijden calls MX-17. It seems the author is planning to write a different novel dedicated to the MH / MX-17 case. Mooi doodliggen could be a prologue to such a novel.

Van Der Heijden's novel Arkadi Babtsjenko is a fictionalized story of real events. In fact, the story of Grigori Moerasjko is but a thinly veiled version of the lifestory of the Russian journalist Arkadi Babtsjenko who staged his own death in the same way in May 2018. Other historical, real people appear in the novel under this disguise. For example, President Putin appears as "President Czar", and Trump appears as "Trumpet".

Calling Putin a "Czar" shows the concurrent value of the novel. While Mooi doodliggen is perhaps not such a spectacular novel on its own, the way it is published now, it may take on more significance when other related stories or novels are published.
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edwinbcn | 2 other reviews | Nov 5, 2022 |
Aborted at p. 132. This is too boring to continue, too much meandering. Even the language is a mishmash of Vesdijkian clause-filled sentences amidst shorter Elschotian outbursts. Didn't grab me.
JoekRoex | 3 other reviews | Sep 19, 2022 |
During the opening chapter of this second part of the "Tandeloze Tijd" sequence, we see perpetual student Albert holed up in his parents' home in Geldrop and at last preparing for his final exams. But it's a false dawn, unfortunately: A.F.Th. plays his Proustian joker and whisks Albert back to his earliest childhood memories, and it takes a good 450 pages to get him back to the point where we came in at the start of the previous volume. A small bonus is that we learn how some of the previously unexplained characters fit in, but I suspect most readers will by now be despairing of the Sisyphean task of attacking the remaining six parts of this autobiographical roman fleuve...

The "danger triangle" of the title defines the bounds of the Geldrop neighbourhood where Albert spent his early years, cut off from the rest of the world by a main road, a canal and a railway line. But it also refers to another kind of triangle that features in Albert's nightmares about his "sexual inadequacy", a problem he spends most of the second part of the book trying to rectify. It's difficult to say whether Albert's relationships with his various vulnerable girlfriends are more disturbing than the drunken violence and the hecatomb of domestic animals that between them dominate the first half of the book, though.

Strangely, despite the very unappealing characters and subject-matter, this is a book that does suck you in, and once I'd actually opened it I kept on reading with a kind of revolted fascination. Van der Heijden is a clever and vivid story-teller, and he knows what he's doing. Improbable as it all is, you feel as if you're getting a realistic picture of working-class life in the Eindhoven suburbs of the fifties and sixties.
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thorold | 2 other reviews | Apr 3, 2022 |



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