Author(s): Hendrik Groen; Hester Velmans (Translator)
A #1 international bestseller in the vein of Fredrik Bachman's A Man Called Ove: an irresistible, funny, charming, and tender-hearted tale about friendship, love, and an old man who is young at heart. "FUNNY AND FRANK...A STORY WITH A GREAT DEAL OF HEART."--Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of THE ROSIE PROJECT Technically speaking, Hendrik Groen is....elderly. But at age 83 1/4, this feisty, indomitable curmudgeon has no plans to go out quietly. Bored of weak tea and potted geraniums, exasperated by the indignities of aging, Hendrik has decided to rebel--on his own terms. He begins writing an exposé: secretly recording the antics of day-to-day life in his retirement home, where he refuses to take himself, or his fellow "inmates," too seriously. With an eccentric group of friends he founds the wickedly anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club--"Rule #3: No Whining Allowed"--and he and his best friend, Evert, gleefully stir up trouble, enraging the home's humorless director and turning themselves into unlikely heroes. And when a sweet and sassy widow moves in next door, he polishes his shoes, grooms what's left of his hair, and determines to savor every ounce of joy in the time he has left, with hilarious and tender consequences. A bestselling phenomenon that has captured imaginations around the world, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is inspiring, charming, and laugh-out-loud funny with a deep and poignant core: a page-turning delight for readers of any age. *Includes reading group guide*
~ Author John Boyne comments and I agree; "when I get old I want to be like Hendrik Groen".
At the age of 83 he starts, on the 1st of January, a diary where he notes down the events and thoughts of the day.
The therapy gained by doing this is apparent as he makes his way through to 31st December and the culmination of this book. It is an intimate insight into what the elderly go through in a retirement village in Holland.
Hendrik is a wise old bugger and he and his mates form a club and go for outings together. The rest of the village don't like it much. This novel is hilarious, touching and beautifully sad. David
'A great deal of heart' Graeme Simsion 'Praised for its wit' BBC Radio 4 Front Row 'When I'm an old man, I want to be Hendrik Groen' John Boyne 'I laughed until I cried' David Suchet 'Thoughtful, anxious and gruff... Laced with humour' Mail on Sunday 'Amusing [and] wickedly accurate' Sunday Express - A story with a great deal of heart, it pulled me in with its self-deprecating humour, finely drawn characters and important themes. Anyone who hopes to grow old with dignity will have much to reflect on -- Graeme Simsion, author of international phenomenon The Rosie Project Thoughtful, anxious and gruff... Laced with humour -- The Best New Fiction Mail on Sunday Full of off-beat charm and quirky characters -- Cathy Rentzenbrink Stylist A joy to read, as much concerned with friendship and dignity as it is with the debilitating effects of aging ... An entertaining and uplifting story of a man in the winter of his days, stoic in the face of bureaucratic nonsense and an unabashed need to wear a nappy. Imagined or not, this is the diary of someone who wants nothing more than to be allowed see out his days with dignity and respect. It's not too much to ask, really, is it? -- John Boyne Irish Independent Amusing [and] wickedly accurate ... I was constantly put in mind of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, another comi-tragedy concerning the tyranny of institutions of the unwanted. Enjoy Groen's light touch but do not be fooled by it. We live in an ageing society. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is a handbook of resistance for our time. ***** FIVE STARS Daily Express Hendrik Groen is king -- Ray Kluun Highly entertaining ... a delightful and touching saga of one man's way of coping with old age ... we may assume that Hendrik Groen is a character of fiction. But it is a fiction so closely based on the observation of real life that it is utterly convincing Daily Express Hendrik pens an expose of his care home, sets up the Old-But-Not-Dead club and relishes the arrival of a new female resident. This geriatric Adrian Mole made me laugh and think. Terrific -- Fanny Blake Woman and Home
Hendrik Groen started his diary on the literary website of Torpedo magazine. He says about his novel: 'There's not one sentence that's a lie, but not every word is true.' The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old has been translated into over thirty languages.