Rob van Essen

The Good Son

Two men on a quest for salvation and obscurity are assisted by ironic robots and chatty self-driving cars.

This critically acclaimed novel is not only a compelling account of a journey through a labyrinth of strange events, it’s also a surprising autobiographical tale of a son taking stock of his life after his mother’s death.

The protagonist’s alienation has a profound effect on the reader of this rich, wonderful book.

NRC Handelsblad

The Good Son is written from a fundamental and recognizable feeling of displacement. What exactly has changed remains unclear, but that the civilization that was supposed to protect us from ignorance, violence, and the lust for power is rapidly disappearing (see Trump, Brexit, etc.) is an irrefutable fact.

De Standaard

His work reminds us of that of Murakami and Paul Auster, and sometimes of James Bond with all its bizarre fantasies, conspiracies, self-running backpacks, sex-supplying cars and the all-levelling basic income. A novel of ideas, about life, about art. Very special.


Rob van Essen

Rob van Essen (b. 1963) is an established Dutch writer and translator. He is also a reviewer of English-language literature for NRC Handelsblad. His debut, Reddend zwemmen, was released in 1996. His style is characterized by a dry but telling sense of humour, with now and then a laconic undertone.…

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De goede zoon (2018)., 338 pages.


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