It is the winter of , the last dark days of World War II in occupied Holland. A Nazi collaborator, infamous for his cruelty, is assassinated as he. The Assault by Harry Mulisch – book cover, description, publication history. A review and a link to other reviews of The Assault by Harry Mulisch.

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At the time it seemed an arbitrary act. En nog schuldiger is het toeval, het redeloze lot, de volkomen irrationele samenloop van idiote en Anton aanvankelijk ook volkomen onbekende omstandigheden die tot dit alles hebben geleid.

The details of the tragedy, which is partly based on a true story, are not important, not in relation to this review, anyway. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Anyone know of any others? I was able to hear and see from its whispered breath on my mirror that indeed the language was flattened and slowed th to the craftsmanship of Mulisch. PaperbackFirst American Paperback Editionnulisch. Anton Steenwijk, a 12 year old boy, and his parents and older brother were spending a quiet evening at home, huddled around a lantern to keep warm and trying to keep hunger out of their minds.

He shares what he knows with Takes, whose own knowledge of that night has just as many gaps as Anton’s. He winds up in Amsterdam, where an uncle is called to pick him up the next day. In terms of form, the novel starts with a prologue depicting the assault and the ensuing massacre.

Apr 27, Gumble’s Yard rated it really liked it. Most of our demons, though, are garden-variety. Quotes from The Assault. Obviously this is a assau,t star book. An interesting tidbit from The Assault shows that things are not much different in other parts of the world: Then the waves bounced back and formed an inverted V, which interfered with the original Assaulh, reached the opposite shore transformed, and bounced back again — until all across the water a complicated braiding of ripples developed which went on changing for several minutes, then finally smoothed out.

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How do I know that one lives with tragedy long after the event, that it becomes fhe of you? At moments how it stands still. Induring anticommunist demonstrations he runs into Fake Ploeg Jr. He is probably the most boring character I have ever read abut.

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THE ASSAULT by Harry Mulisch | Kirkus Reviews

Anton is taken away from the scene. A local collaborator, the chief of police, is shot outside the Steenwijks’ house.

A detective mystery crafted like a Greek tragedy, of a clarity and a profundity that make it exhilarating to the intellect. He runs into Fake Ploeg, Jr. En in die zin duidt A. Zoals bekend is “De aanslag” het verhaal van een absurde gebeurtenis, die zeer van invloed is op het leven van hoofdpersoon Anton Steenwijk.

Only occasionally do his emotions overwhelm him. He is haunted by the events of that fateful evening, and although his future is a bright one with a beautiful young wife and child his view is to the past, as he desires to learn what happened to his parents and brother, and to find out more about the events that led up to the Inspector’s shooting.

The Assault is one of the best novels I have read, in fact it is one of the finest examples of European postwar fiction. Dat alles betekent in mijn beleving niet dat Mulisch daadwerkelijk geloofde in magie en alchemistische transmutatie, maar wel dat hij daar inspiratie aan ontleende voor een soort onconventionele verbeeldingskracht die tast naar duistere betekenislagen onder of in de kenbare werkelijkheid.

View all 6 comments. I recently read a Syrian book called, “Cinnamon” the English translation of which has been out for years, but it is only …more I hate when that happens!


The boy is not killed and is raised by an aunt and uncle. Maar tegelijk wordt daarmee ook iets onbevattelijks en onvertelbaars aangeduid, want hoe kunnen wij dit gegeven ooit begrijpen en hoe zal Anton dat ooit kunnen?

Time to go clean up mirror until next time. I would love to read everything he’s written. Intelligent, well-crafted, gripping story, beautifully translated. When I think about human existence it strikes me as overwhelmingly random. A novel by a prominant Dutch writer that trades in old traumas, delayed reactions, drawn-back layers of truth.


Sep 15, Michael rated it really liked it. Anton is taken to the police station in Heemstede, where he is placed in a pitch-dark cell with a young woman. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

He learns more details through a series of chance encounters, not by seeking out witnesses and survivors. In their conversation Ploeg argues that his father was as innocent as Steenwijk’s parents, that his own loss was as great as Anton’s, suggesting a different measure of guilt and innocence.

Die bevrijdende wedergeboorte betekent in mijn beleving niet dat hij nu alles heeft begrepen en ontraadseld.

The reader also learns how the event and individual perceptions thereof shape the destinies of those involved. Along the way there are lovely passages as he reflects on disparate issues and seemingly unrelated features of his world.

The Assault

It was as if everything grew radiant with the passage of time, assau,t pebbles at the bottom of a brook. Peter, Anton’s brother runs out to move the body elsewhere, but it is too late. A more serious complaint would be that there is a hell of a lot of contrivance, or coincidence in the book.

But it all serves a grand purpose, and Mulisch’s calculating dolings come in speedier succession, capped with a rapid series in the final pages that demystify barry story while mystifying its overall meaning.

The Long Trail to an Oscar”. Niet voor niets loopt De Rover in zijn eerder genoemde boekje bladzijden lang leeg over tientallen verschillende soorten motieven, en over verschillende verhaalniveaus.