A Brief History of Deceit

From a young age Herman Koch recognises the necessity of stretching the truth. The fact is, stories are more authentic if you embellish them. The boundary between credible lies and false truths fades and Koch plays a game with them to his heart’s content. In a few well-chosen sentences he manages to evoke an atmosphere that is sometimes melancholic, sometimes witty and full of irony. Stories about the art of deceit, about characters who do not belong or desperately try to be authentic, about his youth and about football.

‘Anyone who really wants to understand Koch’s popular novels should start with these stories.’ NRC Handelsblad
‘This book delivers a wonderful mix of emotion and humour. From merciless to merciful and back again.’ De Morgen
to merciful and back again.’ De Morgen ‘I cannot think of another Dutch writer who can get so entertainingly, so refreshingly worked up - without ever becoming bitter or cynical.’ HP/De Tijd
‘Enjoyably true to life with Koch's flowing, ironic style as the familiar background music.’ BOEK
‘Fiction or reality, lie or truth, autobiographical or otherwise, Koch has certainly convinced us of his talent with this collection of short stories.’ Cutting Edge
‘We think Koch is a great writer. A fantastic anthropologist. He knows our quirks and our weaknesses, our desires and our fears, our poses and our hypocrisy. He has an eagle eye for the small, all-revealing gesture. He has the gift of plain language and, perhaps more importantly, the talent to capture the madhouse he believes the world to be and the pointlessness that he sees all around him in prose that almost always surprises and, yes, very often makes you laugh. That is pretty unique.’ De Standaard


The Herman Koch collection.

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