Thomas Rosenboom: Publieke werken [Public Works]


The latest addition to my website is Thomas Rosenboom‘s Publieke werken [Public Works]. Thomas Rosenboom won the prestigious Dutch Libris Prize for this work but, sadly, it has yet to be translated into English. It is a historical novel set in late nineteenth century Netherlands and involves some poor Jewish peat diggers, a rural pharmacist and his cousin, a violin maker, living in Amsterdam, who is both affected by and very much interested in the building boom going on in Amsterdam. When he learns that a large hotel is to be built where his house is, he tries to hold out for a large payment for the house. With the money he expects to get, he plans to invest in an emigration project for the poor peat builders. With a complicated plot, which leads to things going wrong for several of the main characters, Rosenboom tells a first-class, fast-paced story as well as giving us a vivid picture of the Netherlands of the period.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Marian Macville

    Please hurry up with The translation of Thomas Rosenboom, novel:”Public Works”. The titel is already there!
    Best Regards , Marian Macville

  2. Ian Bersten

    I have just seen the film. Is there any basis in fact for this novel?

    1. tmn

      I am afraid that I have no idea whether there is any factual basis though I suspect some of it is based on fact

  3. Jaap van der Straaten

    Look up the Victoria hotel opposite of Central Station Amsterdam on Google Earth and look at the facade facing the station. You will see that at least part of the story is based on actual events! (For those who love this kind of books I recommend Russell Shorto’s ‘The Island in the Centre of the World’ (about Manhattan under Dutch ‘rule’), and ‘Amsterdam. The Most LIberal City of the World’.)

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