First Lines: Drie verschrikkelijke dagen

Drie verschrikkelijke dagen is a 1976 novel by Dutch author Guus Kuijer, who is mostly known for his books for younger readers. Nowadays, we would perhaps lump this book on the Young Adult pile: there’s this fifteen year old boy, who tries to impress this seventeen year old girl. So he steals his father’s car, which is the beginning of three terrible days, in which he learns a lot about growing up, his parents, relationships, and all that.

I first read this book years ago, when I was in secondary school, but that was over twenty years ago. Since then, I read some of Kuijers’ non-fiction (taking down Luther a notch or two, and about how the little gods of religious extremists have killed capital-G god), and his excellent Het boek van alle dingen, a children’s book that’s delightfully irreverent of religion.

This book is nothing like that. It’s clearly written for at teenagers, with A Big Message, and I daresay that it has aged quite well. Thematically, at least. Probably because Kuijers’ style remains a joy to read.

Book read
Guus Kuijer — Drie verschrikkelijke dagen
First line
Ze huilde.