HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

On the Bright Side: The New Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 85 Years Old (2016)

by Hendrik Groen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1917114,559 (3.99)10
"THE MALE ELENA FERRANTE" -- New York Post In the acclaimed follow-up to the #1 international bestseller The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, everyone's favorite curmudgeon is back and as funny and charming as ever with the newest adventures of the Old-But-Not-Dead Club -- for fans of Frederik Backman and Graeme Simsion. Everyone's favorite octogenarian is back and, together with his pals in the Old-But-Not-Dead Club, he is more determined than ever to wreak havoc and turn a twinkly eye on the brighter side of life. After a year spent mourning the death of his beloved friend Eefje, Hendrik may be older and a little more wobbly, but his youthful appetite for mischief hasn't diminished. When fears arise that the home is set for demolition, it's up to Hendrik and the Old-But-Not-Dead Club to intervene.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

English (5)  Dutch (2)  All languages (7)
Showing 5 of 5
Many thanks to Penguin for remembering to send me an ARC of the second installment of Hendrik Groen's secret diary via NetGalley.

What a wonderful note on which to end 2017: Hendrik Groen is back, and so is the Old-But-Not-Dead Club! After a year's pause, the eighty-five-year-old is back to delight us with the daily goings-on in Amsterdam's most written about care home for the elderly.

Unforgettable characters emerge and re-emerge, whether it is the stern Stelwagen or Mrs Schadenfreude Slothouwer, both ever determined to put obstacles in the way of our heroes, the mouthy Mr Bakker, never lacking in things to rant about, or Mrs Schansleh and her fascinating homemade proverbs and idioms ("Time is slipping through my fingers like a ripe banana"). The gallery of memorable personages and their endearing or annoying quirks (depending on whom you ask) make for a swift page-turning experience, punctuated with the appropriate number of chuckles per page.

Mr Groen's talent as a chronicler lies in the ability to excite both giggles and tears, often in the same breath:

"I used to wonder what the siren sounds like from inside the ambulance. I finally had a chance to find out, but I forgot to pay attention."

The practically perfect English translation was well worth waiting for in order to join the lovely squad of lively seniors in another year of defying the system, consuming culinary delicacies and courageous amounts of alcohol to wash it all down. It really is a marvel to follow them in their attempts to keep up with the times, like when they try to order "the house wine" at McDonald's.

When you and all your friends are older than seventy or eighty, it's difficult to turn your back to the fact that the end might be just around the corner. The year 2015 brings its share of both laughter and loss for the closely-knit Club, and with that also a valuable lesson: time stops for no man or woman, and we can't afford to spend a single day as sad sacks. Get up, buck up, get this show on the road. As long as there's life. ( )
  ViktorijaB93 | Apr 10, 2020 |
We leerden Hendrik Groen kennen door zijn dagboek Pogingen iets van het leven te maken. Samen met zijn vriend Evert en de andere leden van de Oud-maar-niet-dood-club probeert Hendrik zijn laatste levensjaren in een verzorgingshuis in Amsterdam-Noord zo aangenaam mogelijk te maken.

Van tijd tot tijd valt het Hendrik zwaar om de moed erin te houden. Gelukkig heeft hij de pen weer opgepakt. Met de hem zo kenmerkende charmante humor neemt hij de medebewoners, de directie, zijn vrienden en de ouderdom in het algemeen op de korrel, waarbij hij zichzelf zeker niet spaart.
  Langshan | Dec 10, 2019 |
I 'met' Hendrik Groen in his first book - 2017's The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old. The follow up to that book is On The Bright Side: The New Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 85 Years Old.

Hendrik resides in a nursing home in Amsterdam. We met many residents in the first book, but the focus is on the residents of the Old But Not Dead Club.

On the Bright Side is told in a series of journal entries over the course of a year. I love epistolary novels - they're quite intimate, letting us into the private world of a character. Through Hendrik's diary entries, we experience the highs and lows of living in a senior's care facility - the conflicts, the friendships, the day to day interactions, the worries, some shenanigans, memories, regrets, hopes and more. And though it's been done before - the us vs. them of management vs. seniors will have the reader cheering for the senior's 'team'.

Hendrik is such a wonderful character - he's kind and thoughtful, has a wry sense of humor and is determined to enjoy what time is left to him. The supporting cast is just as well drawn. The irreverent Evert is a personal favourite of mine.

On the Bright side explores the frailty and worries of being eighty five. But it also celebrates the joys of the simpler things in life - most importantly friendships. But, yes, you may need a tissue or two.

Hendrik's observations will perhaps encourage readers to stop and listen a little more carefully to those nearing the end of their lives. And spend time with them. Perhaps they'll also envision what they want their own later years to look like. While this novel is a picture of aging in the Netherlands, the emotions and thoughts expressed are universal. ( )
  Twink | May 2, 2019 |
I read the first book and laughed all the way through, but listened to an audiobook of the second book and was very disappointed. Don't know if it was the narrator's lack of comic timing or the book is just dull, but what a difference! ( )
  kerryp | Apr 30, 2019 |
Still living his old people’s home outside Amsterdam, Hendrik Groen is a little older but not necessarily wiser or well-behaved. After the death of his close friend Eefje, Hendrik throws himself into the ‘Old but not dead club’ and their new outings to restaurants around the world. Meanwhile on the home front there are concerns about the future of the home in the wake of social changes in Holland and Hendrik’s best friend has had some bad news.

Again, like its predecessor, this book is laugh out loud funny and a philosophical look at life from the perspective of a man of extreme years. There is both humour and pathos a plenty in the book as well as a view on the major world events of 2015. Hendrik has a wonderfully sly sense of humour and whilst there are lots of scatalogical jokes, the balance is wonderful as well as a testament to ageing. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jan 24, 2018 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Volgens de statistieken heeft een man van vijfentachtig op deze laatste dag van het jaar ongeveer tachtig procent kans om 31 december 2015 te halen.
Quotations
Last words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

"THE MALE ELENA FERRANTE" -- New York Post In the acclaimed follow-up to the #1 international bestseller The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, everyone's favorite curmudgeon is back and as funny and charming as ever with the newest adventures of the Old-But-Not-Dead Club -- for fans of Frederik Backman and Graeme Simsion. Everyone's favorite octogenarian is back and, together with his pals in the Old-But-Not-Dead Club, he is more determined than ever to wreak havoc and turn a twinkly eye on the brighter side of life. After a year spent mourning the death of his beloved friend Eefje, Hendrik may be older and a little more wobbly, but his youthful appetite for mischief hasn't diminished. When fears arise that the home is set for demolition, it's up to Hendrik and the Old-But-Not-Dead Club to intervene.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.99)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5 1
3 2
3.5 7
4 31
4.5 3
5 7

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 166,212,040 books! | Top bar: Always visible