Man on the move
The story of Rob’s life is told in spare prose. Not for him a predictable existence in bourgeois Holland; he heads out into the world, in search of action and adventure. But he walks into the trap of historical events that he cannot hope to influence.
The mines of South Africa are followed by a Japanese prisoner of war camp and the Burma railroad. After the war he fleetingly considers returning to Holland, but no. In this novel escape proves impossible, from the war and especially from character and memory. His childhood, his parents, it all continues to dog him, as do memories of Guus, the man with whom he spent part of the war. Rob feels Guus led the life he had failed to lead, studying and becoming a man of the world before ultimately, like he did, falling into a trap. Man on the move is an impressive novel that leaves the reader wiser if more sombre.