The Twin

The Twin

Book - 2008
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When Henk's twin brother dies in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to return to the small family farm. He resigns himself to taking over his brother's role and spending the rest of his days 'with his head under a cow'. After his old, worn-out father has been transferred upstairs, Helmer sets about furnishing the rest of the house according to his own minimal preferences. 'A double bed and a duvet', advises Ada, who lives next door, with a sly look. Then Riet appears, the woman once engaged to marry his twin. Could Riet and her son live with him for a while, on the farm? The Twin is an ode to the platteland , the flat and bleak Dutch countryside with its ditches and its cows and its endless grey skies. Ostensibly a novel about the countryside, as seen through the eyes of a farmer, The Twin is, in the end, about the possibility or impossibility of taking life into one's own hands. It chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity, is culturally apart, and yet riven with a kind of romantic longing.
Publisher: Carlton North, Vic. : Scribe, 2008.
ISBN: 9781921372254
Branch Call Number: FIC BAKK
Characteristics: 283 p. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Colmer, David


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Feb 24, 2015

So far, so good. I like an episodic novel every now and again.

Jan 30, 2013

Boring story about a dull life of a dull person interacting with other equally colourless characters..
I kept hoping it would get to the point or at least make a point
but it started nowhere interesting
went nowhere interesting and was uninteresting in-between.
It was like watching paint dry
and at the end of the day
all you had for your trouble
was dry paint.

Aug 01, 2012

A story of identical twins. When one dies, the other leaves university to take on his brother's role on a farm. Old world setting. This book is about solitude and the possibility of taking one's life in one's hand. Unusual but good.

brianreynolds Oct 02, 2011

I'm always flattered when an author doesn't interpret her/his work for me, doesn't tell me how to feel or even what his characters might be feeling. I was taught to "show not tell" in fiction. Maybe that's why right from the start Bakker's The Twin had me "watching" it (directed by Ingmar Bergman, I think) in black and white perched on the edge of my chair. This was a two day marathon. And in the end I was awarded a quiet day of contemplation about what had happened and why, its reality and its mythos.

The cover praise fit this time: It was indeed "moving and compelling," tender and occasionally quite funny, not so much a "bleak tale of regret" as one of hope. "Spartan," yes. I hope it won't be giving away too much to describe it as a "coming of age" novel about a old bachelor farmer of 56. There's no need to say more. Bakker traps you on the first page and doesn't let go until the final, illuminating sentence. See: " I've put Father upstairs. I had to park him on a chair first to take the bed apart. He sat there like a calf that's just a couple of minutes old, before it's been licked clean, with a directionless, wobbly head and eyes that drift over things... "

Bekkar has created something that tugs at the heart and the brain at the same time. Fiction!

Feb 04, 2011

Interesting story that takes place in Holland. The description on the landscape and how it is written bring me back there. The story is about a twin where his brother died close to forty years ago and how he is dealing with it, as well as, a dying father. Some of his past come back to his current life and throws some twists to his regimented life.

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