Thousand & I

From the very first page of this book, you can tell that there is something unusual about the protagonist, who, according to the computerised voice that comes through a speaker in the wall above her bed, is called Eight. But what is going on? Who is this girl who lives in the skyscraper city of Surdus, surrounded by ‘the Wall’, with the sea beyond, who travels with her fellow citizens every morning to ‘the Terminal’, where she sits all day at a screen, answering apparently meaningless questions to avoid ‘termination’? Who is this girl, who, from the moment on the train when she looks straight into Thousand’s eyes, is determined to go with her to see the sea?

Original title
Duizend & ik
Author
Yorick Goldewijk

Subtly playing with the ambiguity of his fictional world, Goldewijk sends the reader down some very interesting paths. Does Thousand really exist? Or did Eight just see her own reflection in the window of the train carriage? Does Thousand represent her desire for freedom and intimacy, for what makes us human? ‘Where am I? What am I?’, Eight asks herself.

Goldewijk writes in a vivid, evocative style and, coupled with Yvonne Lacet’s illustrations, this creates a claustrophobic atmosphere that inexorably draws the reader in. The big reveal takes a while to come, which only serves to ratchet up the tension of this immersive reading experience. This is a book that is both currently relevant and full of suspense.

Yorick Goldewijk
Yorick Goldewijk (b. 1979) is a newcomer to Dutch children’s literature. He has composed music for advertisements, films and games and made his debut as an author in 2019 with the adventure 'Billy Extra Plankgas', for children of 8 and up.
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