Hendrik Groen: Pogingen om iets van het leven te maken. Het geheime dagboek van Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 jaar (Attempts to Make Something of Life. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old)

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The latest addition to my website is Hendrik Groen‘s Pogingen om iets van het leven te maken. Het geheime dagboek van Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 jaar (Attempts to Make Something of Life. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old). This is a hilariously funny diary by an elderly Dutch man in a care home in North Amsterdam. For a long time, the real identity of the author was unknown and various hypotheses were proposed, including Arnon Grunberg, Stijn Aerden, Marcel Verreck, Marcel van Roosmalen, Sylvia Witteman, Remco Campert, Nico Dijkshoorn, Carel Helder, Robert Vuijsje, A.L. Snijders and Youp van ‘t Hek. However, it has since been learned that he is a librarian, born in 1955, who lives in North Amsterdam, called Peter de Smet. Groen claims to be friendly and helpful and often is, but he is very much opposed to the authorities, and mocks them ceaselessly, including the care home management, the government and the police. He is happy to subvert in a way reminiscent of the UK TV programme Waiting for God (shown on PBS in the USA). He and his friends, particularly Evert, are determined to go out with their heads held high, which means both having a good time and causing minor sabotage in the home. Above all, this book is very funny and shows that old age and approaching death can and should be treated light-heartedly and that one does not have to succumb to sitting quietly in the care home chair when one is nearly eighty-four years old