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A Novel of Father and Son

Ferdinand Bordewijk - Translated by E. M. Prince

This affecting story is the basis of the Academy Award—winning film Character, named the best foreign film of 1998. In reviewing the film, Roger Ebert called the tale “dark, bitter, and fascinating—about hatred so deep that it can only be ended with a knife...It evokes some of the darker episodes of Dickens and also, in its focus on the grind of poverty and illegitimacy, reflects the twisted stories of family secrets by that grim Victorian, George Gissing. It is essentially the story of a young man growing up and making good, by pluck and intelligence, but all of his success comes out of the desire to spite his father.” Ferdinand Bordewijk's protagonist is an illegitimate child, raised in a Rotterdam slum by an independent, self-respecting, and austere mother. The boy's father is a force of nature—violent by design, grasping, and ruthless. Thye young man's rise is a quietly powerful saga. Bordewijk moves the reader because the facts in his novel—the facts of life—are arresting, pungent, and memorable. « less more »
Ivan R. Dee
Pages: 288Size: 5 1/8 x 7
978-1-56663-227-0 • Paperback • February 1999 • $19.95 • (£13.95)
Ferdinand Bordewijk, who was awarded the Dutch State Prize for literature, wrote more than forty books. Character, the best known of his novels, appears to reflect much of Bordewijk's own experience in the law.
The Oscar-winning story of a son against his father