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About the book
  • Published: 3 March 2014
  • ISBN: 9780099582885
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 112
  • RRP: $19.99

The Following Story

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A slim, philosophical, beautifully-written novel by one of Europe's most brilliant living writers and winner of the European Literature Prize


One morning Herman Mussert wakes up in a hotel room in Lisbon, where twenty years previously he slept with another man’s wife. Yet he is quite certain that the night before he went to sleep as normal in his house in Amsterdam. And so Herman begins a physical journey and a metaphysical adventure, which will re-route him via past loves, through the pangs and pleasures of memory, and to the very heart of that crucial question: ‘who am I?’.

  • Pub date: 3 March 2014
  • ISBN: 9780099582885
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 112
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Cees Nooteboom

Cees Nooteboom was born in the Hague in 1933. He is a poet and the author of prize-winning fiction and travel books. In 1993 he won the Aristeion European Literature Prize for his novel The Following Story. His books have been translated into many languages.

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Praise for The Following Story

“One of the greatest modern novelists”

A. S. Byatt

“The prose has such clarity, charm and lightness that you take to disorientation with pleasure”

Michael Ignatieff, Sunday Times

“After years of distinction in his own country, Cees Nooteboom has commanded attention with this gentle, European Literature Prize-winning story”


“He is a thinker as much as a storyteller and brings astute insight to his evocation of character and imaginative intellectualism... Playful, deadly serious and achingly real... Nooteboom makes every word, every observation, not only count but also linger”

Irish Times

“Nooteboom writes beautifully. His prose is clean and precise without feeling sparse, and he manages to combine clarity with an intense lyricism… Part travelogue, part elegy, part love story, this is an exquisite little novel, and far more substantial than its 90 pages suggest”


“Sharp, elegant prose... It recalls, in tone, Vladimir Nabokov. The language is, by turns, delicately allusive and rich, even ripely comic”

D. J. Enright, Times Literary Supplement

“He writes a speculative, playful, diversionary fiction that is never necessarily set where it says it is set”

Glasgow Herald

“Nooteboom's traceries of love, identity, knowledge, death and transfiguration have seldom seemed more evocative”

Boston Globe

“Nooteboom has shown himself a master of ironic wisdom, but also of elated, elegiac feeling. Intricately composed and finely translated, The Following Story will still be delivering after many readings”

Ben Rogers, Independent on Sunday

“It has a compelling energy and rare elegance to equal its extraordinary ambitions... The Following Story is several times more valuable than the usual fare, and a book that earns more than one reading”

New Statesman

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