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04 October 2010 @ 09:14 pm
R.I.P. Challenge book #2  

When I received it as a free book at the time, the only thing I knew about De grot (The Cave) by Tim Krabbé was that the plot involved drug smuggling. Not a subject that holds great appeal to me, and so the book sat unread on my shelf for almost 13 years, until I picked it up for this year's challenge.

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I already knew from Het gouden ei (
The Vanishing) that Krabbé is capable of writing a blood-curdling thriller, but still I was surprised by the high ratings The Cave had received on Amazon, and looked forward to reading it.

I am glad I didn't read any actual reviews beforehand, because most of them turned out to be very spoilerish, and this way I could discover and appreciate the story and structure of the book for myself.

I think "thriller" is a misnomer here. The first chapter, in which a character whiles away the hours until a drug transaction is planned to take place, contains tension enough, but The Cave is actually more a psychological novel about destructive friendship, fate and coincidence, and ultimately very sad.

I didn't find it particularly enjoyable, nor do I intend to reread it at some point, but the last chapters were beautiful enough that they earned the book an extra star.


Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: Beg, steal or borrow - Ray LaMontagne
Mnemosyne: sad_lethe_ on October 5th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
It's difficult to explain. I'm glad I read it, I just don't think I'll ever want to read it again.

The writing was good, and I liked the way the story unfolded, the book was cleverly constructed. It just made me very sad.

Fate and coincidence are important themes, as they are in The Vanishing as well, another book of his I don't want to reread either, even though it is a great thriller.

I'd say if your library has it, borrow it. It is a quick read and you may feel differently about the sadness. And the translator has good credentials, I hear.

Edited at 2010-10-05 01:09 pm (UTC)