|Hero by profession|
Sam tries to cope with a mother that is drifting away from him, a father that doesn't know what a family is, and three older sisters that each have their own brand of hysteria.
Luckily, Sam is a fabulous swimmer. He finds succour in the stil blue waters of the swimingpool, and practices what his mother taught him: how to swim above the water.
Each day, he begins a new search for The Swimmingpool That Never Ends, the pool where you can always keep swimming and nobody ever comes to tell you you time is up.
Hero by profession won the Halewijn Literary Award as best novel of the year, and was nominated for the prestigious AKO Award and Libris Literature Award.
Dutch and Belgian press raved about Hero by profession (Held van beroep) by Adriaan Jaeggi (Prometheus/Bert Bakker 1999)
'This heart-wrenching 15-year old has his predecessors in literature. Salingers adolescents, for instance. Or the main character from Portnoy's complaint, in the racier parts.'
'Hero by profession is exactly right. The story is solid gold and its tone is light and transparant, clear as water.'
Dagblad De Limburger
'A deceptively simple style of writing.'
'Fabulous tragic comedy about a young water-buff, Samsom Fittipaldi.'
'What stays with you after finishing it is the enormous sense of loneliness that permeates this book.'
'Mr. Jaeggi keeps a nice balance between symbolism and sentimentalism. (-) Like Salingers Holden Caulfield he speaks to the reader; he looks at his surroundings with ironic distance and fumes about the hypocrisy of grown-ups.'
'Absurd? Yes. But so brilliantly done! A sublime novel. A must-read!'
'Mr Jaeggi's second novel, Hero by profession, is a sometimes moving and melancholy, sometimes downright hilarious book.'
'I've taken Samson Fittipaldi, monopolyplayer, modest swimming champion and especially: sharp observer of his own family, into my heart. The light, elegant prose, drenched in nostalgia and longing, makes one think of, here he comes again, Salinger.'
Annemarie Oster, Woman of the world
'A style so precise it takes your breath away.'
'An accomplished mix of laughter and tears.'
'How much heroics can the modern novel take? The convincing answer to that question is now in the bookstore, and its title is Hero by profession.'
'Hero by profession, because of its suggestive style and the immense empathic capabilities of its author, is a remarkable novel which, I hope, will atrract the attention of many a jury for literary awards.'
De Morgen (Belgium)
'A wonderful, touching novel (-) proof of a major talent.'
Cowboys hebben het maar makkelijk, poetry, Thomas Rap, Amsterdam, 1995
De tol van de roem, novel, Prometheus, Amsterdam, 1995
Held van beroep, novel, Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, 1999
Sorry dat ik het paard en de hond heb doodgeschoten, poetry, Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, Summer 2001.
Luxeproblemen, stories and columns, Prometheus, Amsterdam, 2004. Appears 8th april.
Uitgeverij Prometheus/Bert Bakker