The Twin

The Twin

Book - 2008
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When his twin brother is killed in a car accident, Helmer is obliged to give up university to take over his brother's role on the small family farm, resigning himself to spending the rest of his days "with his head under a cow." The novel begins thirty years later with Helmer moving his invalid father upstairs out of the way, so that he can redecorate the downstairs, finally making it his own. Then Riet, the woman who had once been engaged to marry Helmer's twin, appears and asks if her troubled eighteen-year-old son could come live on the farm for a while. Ostensibly a novel about the countryside, The Twin ultimately poses difficult questions about solitude and the possibility of taking life into one's own hands. It chronicles a way of life that has resisted modernity, a world culturally apart yet laden with familiar longing.
Publisher: London : Vintage, 2008.
ISBN: 9781935744047
9780099516873
009951687X
Branch Call Number: FICTION BAK
Additional Contributors: Colmer, David 1960-

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d
djharris84
Feb 24, 2015

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

e
eplmaybelle
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.

u
uncommonreader
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!

v
vwruleschick
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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