Wednesday, April 7, 2010

De Stolp (The Bell): the new novel by Jeroen Theunissen

(Jeroen Theunissen, seen by Koen Broos.)

De Stolp (The Bell): a novel about truth and fabrication, love and reality TV.

Most of us will remember the year 2003 because of the heat wave that struck Europe from July to September. It was also the year of ‘the bell’. This educational reality programme drew a record number of viewers in September and October. The fact that fifteen youngsters lived and played in a bell for six weeks created quite the controversy. What will youngsters do when they are locked up in a micro-world? How will they interact? What will be the first signs of tension between them? What will they share and what makes them different from one another? And who will win the first prize, an exotic trip? Jeroen Theunissen shows us what is going on in the heads of the contestants and the viewers. The book zaps from one person to another, creating a kaleidoscopic image of the game: fun at first, but gradually becoming more gruesome.

About Jeroen Theunissen’s work:

‘Sparkling prose that makes you wonder whether you should laugh or continue reading with a solemn look on your face.’
De Groene Amsterdammer

‘His books are written with great lucidity and charming intuition. They are all the more remarkable since Theunissen shows clear involvement in a very recognizable modern world.’
De Standaard

‘In Een Vorm van Vermoeidheid (Some Kind of Tiredness), Theunissen shows how literary seriousness can have it over facility.’
NRC Handelsblad

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