A novel about history as entertainment and the hunt for the perfect enemy
The mysterious death of a prominent professor of Hitler Studies marks the start of a humorous and intellectually-challenging book, a combination of campus novel and spy thriller.
We follow the adventures of Friso de Vos, a young academic who, after the death of his legendary mentor, Josip Brik, becomes embroiled in a battle for the man’s legacy. His most important rival is a contemporary by the name of De Vries (!) who soon reveals himself to be a frightening doppelgänger.
With obvious pleasure and at a considerable pace, Joost de Vries creates an absurd academic universe in which scholars study the image of the Second World War in general and ‘things that look like Hitler’ in particular. At the same time he depicts an insecure young man trying to find his way in a dangerous world, who is forced by harsh experience to recognize that true love is the only armour.