Thijs Goverde

The Revenge of the Master Thief

‘I’m going to tell you the story of my life. A story full of strange coincidences, exceptional valour and unprecedented skulduggery. If you don’t want to believe it, then you can just shut the book. Because if you don’t want to believe me, you can’t be my friend. And I only tell friends the story of my life.’ These are the words of Falco, a boy with a rich imagination and a head full of stories. Full of enthusiasm, he relates the story of how he is born from an egg, taken by a child snatcher and later succeeds in becoming a master thief and the richest man in the world.

His adventures take place in the city of Thumb, an incredible conglomeration of houses on the most westerly peninsula of a continent called Hand. The city is so unfeasibly huge that the northern districts are always freezing, while the parks in the south are scorching deserts. Some of the parks are so vast that you could get lost in them and never be found again.

De wraak van de meesterdief is the first part of a trilogy, in which Thijs Goverde demonstrates that he has mastered the art of hyperbole, right down to the finest details. At breakneck speed, he dishes up the adventures of this fantasist à la Baron Münchhausen, immersing the reader in a waterfall of fabrications where the leading roles are played by beggars, robbers, bird-sellers and master thieves. He takes such delight in storytelling that he often has to interrupt his own story to make comic asides; digressions in which he doles out anecdotes about Falco’s family or has his say about issues such as small-mindedness and moustaches. Goverde lends a touch of the grotesque to everything and his gruesome imagination is strongly reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s. To use his own words: Falco’s story is the most extraordinary one you could imagine.

Goverde’s fairytale images are refreshingly original and his language bounces with pleasure over the pages.

NRC Handelsblad

Endless exaggeration can be a fine quality in little boys with too much imagination.

De Volkskrant

Thijs Goverde

Thijs Goverde (b. 1971) studied philosophy and made his debut as a children’s author in 1998 with De purperen koningsmantel, a story about a colourful prince in a country where everything is grey. He has written eight fairytale children’s books about child witches, high priests, kings and…

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De wraak van de meesterdief (2007). Children's books, 127 pages.

Illustrations: Elly Hees
Age: 10+

Sample translation

English (PDF document)



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NL-2011 CM Haarlem
The Netherlands
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