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Joe Speedboot by Tommy Wieringa
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Joe Speedboot (original 2005; edition 2017)

by Tommy Wieringa

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1043311,091 (3.74)21
Member:JanWillemNoldus
Title:Joe Speedboot
Authors:Tommy Wieringa
Info:De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam
Collections:Your library, Currently reading
Rating:***
Tags:N°04243, R0409, Acq.Paris-NCNL, 2018, Rnl, R21, Rnl21, Dutch novels, Coming of age, Irony, Friendship, Handicap, Art of writing, Riverscape

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Joe Speedboat by Tommy Wieringa (2005)

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» See also 21 mentions

Dutch (21)  English (11)  Danish (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Joe Speedboat really is Tommy Wieringa's tour de force. The book brims over with energy in an authentic and unparallelled way. The great atmosphere of this book is incomparable to anything else I have ever read. One of my most pleasant reading surprises. ( )
  Frans_J_Vermeiren | Jan 6, 2016 |
"Non è a questo che servono gli amici, a riconoscere in te cose che tu non avevi visto?" ( )
  barabarol | Jan 17, 2014 |
Wow, ik weet niet zeker waarom ik zo lang gewacht heb met het lezen van dit boek. Het past helemaal in mijn straatje, maar ik kon denk ik niet helemaal geloven dat een Nederlandse auteur dit soort werk geloofwaardig zou kunnen doen. Er gebeurt zo lekker veel. Een echte coming-of-age novel met echte helden en toch geen platte personages. ( )
  teunduynstee | Dec 27, 2013 |
Tommy Wieringa is one of the Dutch authors who has been doing very well recently, and found their books published with a great deal of success in English and other languages, in several editions. Part of that success comes on account of the fact that they write their books in a very different way from authors before them. Their books tend to be less ponderous, and written in an altogether freer style than much of Dutch books before them. While authors such as Tommy Wieringa, Herman Koch (author of The Dinner) and Dimitri Verhulst also have wide readership in the Dutch language community, serious readers find that their work is popularized and of a lower quality.

Joe Speedboot by Tommy Wieringa is a coming of age novel, that tells the story of two friends growing up, in the fictional village Lomark in the Netherlands. The plot is a fantastic roller-coaster of unlikely events. The story, which resembles books like Tom Sayer and Huckleberry Finn, is told in the form of the reminiscences of the main character. It opens as the main character, Fransje Hermans, aged 14, wakes from a coma of nearly 200 days. A new boy has moved to the village, and Fransje is impressed by this youngster who changes his name to Joe Speedboot. There are numerous unlikely plot elements, including the building of an airplane from scratch.

The novel is clearly influenced by other mainstream Dutch authors such as A. F. Th. van der Heijden, but the story is more superficial. The story is not entirely chronological, that is to say, the development over time is not even; in fact, the story is merely a string of unlikely, spectacular plot elements, that have no other function than being just simply spectacular, as they impress Fransje. As in previous novels novels by Tommy Wieringa, characters naming seems clumsy, often creating cross-references to historical characters, or of disconcerting clumsiness. Critics have suggested that the names of main characters are opportunistically chosen to facilitate translation of the novel into English: Fransje easily translates as Frankie, and Joe Speedboot as Joe Speedboat. In fact, the English forms of the names are more natural than the Dutch forms. ( )
  edwinbcn | Dec 17, 2013 |
Fourteen year old Frankie Hermans is just coming out of a coma of 200 days, during this time a new boy arrived in the small Dutch town of Lomark, Frankie's home. Coinciding with Joe's arrival are several bomb explosions in the town, the two are not unrelated, and Joe's abilities go beyond creating a bang, he proves capable of building his own airplane from scratch, and finds a good use for a redundant bulldozer, he is truly a creative mechanic and a free spirit.

Frankie's recovery leaves him with severe physical limitations, but he and Joe soon strike up a friendship, along with Christof and Engel, and later the beautiful and desirable P.J. While Frankie is restricted in mobility and speech, he has the use of his right arm, which develops remarkable strength; under Joe's guidance he successfully enters the world or arm wrestling.

The account is related by an older Frankie as he looks back at his teenage years. The friendship he describes with Joe is one of unselfishness and care, Joe unquestioningly will do whatever is needed for Frankie, and even their rivalry for P.J.'s affections does not interfere with their friendship. Joe Speedboat is an unusual, beautiful and touching story of friendship and growing up in a small provincial town. ( )
  presto | Apr 23, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Er wordt gezegd dat de samoerai
een tweevoudige Weg heeft,
van het penseel en de zwaard.

MIYAMOTO MUSASHI
Dedication
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Voor Rutger Boots
First words
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Het is een warm voorjaar, in de klas bidden ze voor me omdat ik al meer dan tweehonderd dagen van de wereld ben.
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Book description
When Frankie Hermans emerges from a coma after 200 days, he knows his life is never going to be the same again. For a start, he can't talk, he can't walk and it's a struggle even to wield a pen. And then there's Joe Speedboat - a boy who arrived in the sleepy village of Lomark like a blazing comet and who's been stirring things up ever since. Whether setting off bombs, racing mopeds or building a bi-plane, Joe has the touch of a magician and the spirit of a daredevil. He also sees a use for Frankie's good right arm beyond writing: as a champion arm-wrestler Frankie will be strong enough to impress his friends, and maybe even win the favour of the gorgeous, golden-haired girl who has them all in a spin. Full of vitality, verve and chutzpah, "Joe Speedboat" tells the fast-paced story of an unlikely friendship between two boys, and of their lightning dash towards adulthood.
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A crackingly entertaining story about two boys, one wheelchair, and a friendship that propels them headfirst into maturity.

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