A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
By the author of The Evenings
‘An enfant terrible of Dutch Genius’ Tim Parks, Guardian
There will be a club. Important messages have been sent already. If anybody wants to ruin it, he will be punished.
Eleven-year-old Elmer inhabits a childhood of superstition, private lore and secret societies that only certain friends can join (and of which he is always president). When a new boy, pale, spindly Werther, arrives in the neighbourhood, a subtle game of fascination and persecution begins.
In wartime Amsterdam, a young boy watches as Germans occupy the city. At first his parents’ friends, the Boslowits family, think they have little to fear. Then, slowly, terribly, their fate is sealed.
In these two haunting novellas from the acclaimed author of The Evenings, the world of childhood, in all its magic and strangeness, darkness and cruelty, is evoked with piercing wit and dreamlike intensity. Here, the things seen through a child’s eyes are far from innocent.