Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rituals ” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  906 ratings  ·  67 reviews
A man of independent means oddly suited to survival amid the chaos of modern life, Inni Wintrop is a committed dabbler, content to casually wander the streets of Amsterdam, follow the dips and rises of the stock exchange and commodities market, speculate in art and love, and write a newspaper horoscope column. But his inconsistencies are interrupted when he meets two men w...more
Paperback, 145 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by Penguin Books (first published 1980)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rituals, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rituals

De ontdekking van de hemel by Harry MulischDe donkere kamer van Damokles by Willem Frederik HermansDe aanslag by Harry MulischNooit meer slapen by Willem Frederik HermansMax Havelaar by Multatuli
The best Dutch literature
30th out of 259 books — 229 voters
Max Havelaar by MultatuliDe donkere kamer van Damokles by Willem Frederik HermansDe ontdekking van de hemel by Harry MulischVan den vos Reynaerde by Willem die Madocke maecteIn a Dark Wood Wandering by Hella S. Haasse
Dutch Literary Canon
26th out of 131 books — 36 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,960)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
M. Sarki
Mar 26, 2014 M. Sarki rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to M. by: Jonathan
Shelves: 5-star-wonders

Almost immediately I entered a world not of my making and willingly allowed myself to engage the characters within the covers and become somewhat a friend to them. My personal allowances were not wasted, as good fortune greeted me at every turn the novel made. Cees Nooteboom begins this work with a bit of a disparaging look upon his main character, Inni Wintrop. Though Inni failed at his own suicide, his only marriage, and avoided a working career sufficie...more
Man is a sad mammal that combs its hair.
This book baffles me. Cees Nooteboom is a Dutch writer who is sometimes touted for the Noble Prize. I've read only one of his books before, "The Following Story," which I liked a great deal. "Rituals" is often considered to bebetter. But it did not engage me much, and I'm not sure that I really understood it. Here's a try. Amsterdam, the backdrop for this story in three parts, each separated from the other by about ten years, is a place of maximum freedom where one can wander aimlessly and do pr...more
Another one of those books whose own moments of brilliance justify–I say–my inclination to set the bar unjustifiably high, and so, falls short. Rituals lacks little more than ambition. Strangely, it seems this thin book would benefit from being either a bit shorter or indefinitely longer. By that I mean, by my estimation there is a lull or two that a harsher critic than I could deem ‘filler’ inside a small, incisive book, and, ‘structural’ inside a more substantial one: Take em out; or go bigger...more
christopher leibow
I found this book on a lark in a used bookstore. Dark, funny painfully honest and extremely intuitive. Plenty of lines to commit to memory. A wonderfully serendipitous find. I will reread this book many times.
Inni, nella quarta di copertina è definito uomo senza qualità.
Non so, davvero non saprei dire secondo quali parametri le qualità di un uomo si debbano valutare, io evidentemente ho un misuratore di qualità del tutto sballato. Si perché io ho trovato che Inni di qualità ne avesse molte, e forse se lo avessi incontrato nella vita reale, me ne sarei innamorata, così come me ne sono invaghita con la fantasia.
Mi piace il suo modo di osservare le cose intorno a lui, e mi piace quel suo modo di relazio...more
Lauren Albert
A strange, brilliantly written book. Like other reviewers have said, there were so many passages that I wanted to save which is remarkable for such a short novel. Do not go to this novel for plot--but if you like philosophical fiction and great writing, you will enjoy this.
Jesus, all I do is think about books, films and those elections I read about in the Guardian and Economist. I think about Rituals often, it must be radical. I know. Maybe I should admit my affectation for espresso and the Premier League.
Guillermo Jiménez
A lo largo de nuestras vidas vamos conformando un yo dentro de una comunidad, una sociedad; vamos, un contexto. Desde copiar modelos, seguir ejemplos; apropiar o robar actitudes vistas, escuchadas, sentidas, incluso inconcientemente.

Pugnamos por identificarnos a nosotros mismos y ante los demás, ya sea con indiferencia y azarosidad, o con calculada premeditación. Obsesivamente, desinteresadamente.

Llega el punto donde podemos ubicarnos en un momento, en un tiempo y espacio por aquello que hemos i...more
"Op de dag dat Inni Wintrop zelfmoord pleegde stonden de aandelen Philips 149.60. De slotkoers van Amsterdamse Bank was 375 geweest en Scheepvaart Unie was gezakt naar 141.50. Herinnering is als een hond die gaat liggen waar hij wil. En dat is wat hij zich herinnerde, áls hij zich iets herinnerde, de koersen en dat de maan in de gracht geschenen had, en dat hij zich had opgehangen in zijn wc omdat hij in zijn eigen horoscoop in Het Parool voorspeld had dat zijn vrouw er vandoor zou gaan met een...more
Inni Wintrop is an aimless wanderer through life and alter ego of Nooteboom. Rituals follows him in three distinct parts starting out in 1963 introducing him as the narrator at the age of 30 just having been left by his wife. Hence, he tries to commit suicide but fails miserably. The novel then jumps back to 1953 where Inni meets Arnold Taads and finally in 1973 he meets Arnold's son Philip.
It's a modern variation on Hesse's Narziss und Goldmund focussing on Goldmund's respectively Inni's part....more
Jana Maasik
See raamat on midagi niisugust, mis tõesti mõjub. Mõnel hetkel, mil ma seda lugesin, tundus see olevat parima keele ja vaimukaima mõttega raamat, mida ma üldse kunagi käes olin hoidnud. Selles on lehekülgi, kus peaaegu üle ühe lause öeldakse midagi, mille peaks meelde jätma – öeldakse midagi, mis tabab mõtet – ja tabab sel viisil, nagu vaid ilmselt Nooteboom seda teha suudab.

Võibolla on mu vaimustuses süüdi see, et ma pikka aega millegi samaväärse peale polnud sattunud – pettumus, sõnamulin, ke...more
Julia Boechat Machado
Inni Winthrop, o narrador de Rituais, conhece dois homens, um pai e um filho que jamais se conheceram, que são estranhamente semelhantes em suas obsessões e em sua misantropia, em mais um livro inqualificável e brilhantemente escrito por Nooteboom. Rituais é muitas vezes conhecido como o melhor livro do autor, e não há dúvida que é intrigante e uma ótima leitura.
A story of a man, who still kept something of a human being inside himself living in the "brave new world" and just refusing to deal with it. Some passages are just striking. No wonder this book became a kind of international "breakthrough" for the author.
Finally I finished this book... It took me three weeks to read it. I think it never took so long to read a book before...
Well, my opinion. It's not that I hated the book or something, and there were some funny things in it too, but it's just... There's not much excitement (the only thing I considered exciting was the death of Philip Taads, and that was on the last couple of pages.)
So yeah... There's not so much to say about this book. I wouldn't recommand it if you don't like stories w...more
Sorin Hadârcă
Great book. It hints at the Testaments - the Old and the New and... I will say no more. The novel is too good to be lost in chitchat and demands quiet & meditation.
What is it with teachers finding the shittiest books ever written and giving their students the task to read them?

I HATE reading books for school. They're the worst.
I read it again right after finishing. And then again. And will again. Miraculous, effortless prose.
Colin N.
"Rituals" is the story of Inni Wintrop, a man who "made his life one of constant movement" who is "a hole, an absence, a nonexistent." Inni floats through life, having inherited money, writing horoscopes and only finding meaning through his encounters with women. These moments "gave him temporarily the feeling that he existed after all."

The book spans three decades. The first section introduces Inni as he fails to commit suicide and his marriage falls apart. The next two sections describe his e...more
Nooteboom is a traveler. His books travel through places, weaving ideas from many different cultures. And it is remarkable that in all cultures and people he is able to find unifying themes which link them together.
Of course, like in most postmodern works, in his works the protagonist stands alone, disconnected from the world around him/her, irrespective of which place in the world he stands.
In Rituals, the protagonist Inni is a drifter. Married to a woman he loves, he still continues to drift...more
Michael Krakovskiy
I purchased "Rituals" because raku pottery plays an important role in this book. It was a quick read, but not a painless one. A bit like sitting on your knees for tea ceremony. A bit bitter, like lower grade usucha tea, the first part of the ceremony. Interestingly enough, the author does not describe the second part of the tea ceremony when koicha, the thicker and sweeter tea is served. Is this because the author did not know about it or because it did not fit with the theme of the book?

The the...more
Inni Wintrop, protagonista del romanzo, è un personaggio smarrito e confuso dinnanzi alla contraddittorietà del mondo che si muove intorno a lui, prototipo dell’individuo gettato nel mondo di cui parla Sartre. Inni si definisce “un buco, un’assenza”, uno che dalla vita si lascia distrarre. Mentre gli altri due personaggi che egli incontra nel corso della narrazione -in cui sono raccontati trenta anni della sua vita non in sequenza, ma con ritorni al passato iniziando la storia dagli anni ’60 qua...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marc L
In vergelijking met eerste werk terugkeer naar realisme, maar onderbedding van vervreemding en absurditeit blijft bestaan (sterk sartriaans).
Inni wordt geconfronteerd met verschillende figuren die die absurditeit zin trachten te geven
- pater romualdus via katholiek ritueel
- arnold taads via hyperordentelijke levenswijze
- tante therese in de bourgondische stijl
- philip taads in het oosters ascetisme
Inni zelf aanvaardt uiteindelijk de wereld en wil in het bestaan staan. Door zijn scepticisme doorz...more
I took this book to be an exploration of how people can deal with the feeling of emptiness in their lives. Some people follow strictly regimented schedules, others fall back on traditions and complicated ceremonies. Still others fall back on a code of doing nothing seriously and instead live a life of aimless wandering and dabbling. All of these strategies are the titular rituals, by which we attempt to cover up the world's meaninglessness with wobbling structures of our own creation. Maybe some...more
Sono quattro stelle che forse un giorno rileggendolo potrebbero diventare cinque.
Nel leggere l'ultima parte del libro il giudizio è salito infatti notevolmente, ma non capisco se la cosa dipenda da me o dal libro stesso. L'ho letto male, questo è certo, in modo distratto fin'oltre la metà, con la mente gravata da problemi quotidiani pressanti che mal si adattavano al senso di distacco dalla realtà che permea tutto il racconto e che solo verso la fine mi ha veramente toccato.
Quello che è certo...more
Laura Beal
This is a thought provoking book set against the Japanese tea bowl fine art industry. It follows a boy throughout the stages of life examining himself, his family, issues about life in general and his position and understanding of the art world. By turns philosophical and psychological in approach it is an interesting read.
Mariano Hortal
En Rituales, el escritor holandés Cees Nooteboom nos plantea las vidas de tres personas, teniendo como tema central el cómo soportan la existencia, uno refugiándose en el orden, en rituales ancestrales de tipo oriental.... Lo más original es que la vida del personaje principal se ordena en base a conocer a los otros dos que son padre e hijo y no se conocen... pero son muy parecidos. El libro es tremendamente triste, falto de esperanza.. aún acabando con un atisbo de esta. La prosa de este señor...more
Sean Homrig
A story told in a non-linear fashion in three parts, "Rituals" is a bit of a conundrum, but nevertheless as relaxing and meaningful as the ceremonies the main character seems to obsess over. The point here really is not a plot (because there isn't much of one), but there are many lyrical and quotable passages. Pretty bizarre.
It's very slow and the plot is scarce, but it paints the existential/misanthropic/fatalistic themes quite elegantly. Nothing new though, in my opinion.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 65 66 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Wrong author 2 9 Aug 28, 2012 10:06AM  
  • De wetten
  • Van oude menschen, de dingen, die voorbij gaan..
  • The Garden Where the Brass Band Played
  • Nooit meer slapen
  • De avonden
  • De Uitvreter, Titaantjes, Dichtertje, Mene Tekel
  • Bezonken rood
  • Meneer Beerta (Het Bureau 1)
  • Een Nagelaten Bekentenis
  • Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company (Max Havelaar, of De koffieveilingen der Nederlandse Handelsmaatschappij.)
  • Das Wüten der ganzen Welt
  • De komst van Joachim Stiller
  • Heren van de thee
  • Terug naar Oegstgeest
  • Van de koele meren des doods
  • Het verdriet van België
  • De Kleine Blonde Dood
  • Siegfried
Cees Nooteboom (born Cornelis Johannes Jacobus Maria Nooteboom, 31 July 1933, in the Hague) is a Dutch author. He has won the Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren, the P. C. Hooft Award, the Pegasus Prize, the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prijs for Rituelen, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature and the Constantijn Huygens Prize, and has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in...more
More about Cees Nooteboom...
The Following Story All Souls' Day Lost Paradise Roads to Santiago 's Nachts komen de vossen

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Memory is like a dog that lies down where it pleases.” 9 likes
“Wij hebben het nu over jou. Vergeet niet, ik ben notaris geweest. Ik maak die dingen altijd af. Wat wil jij worden?'
'Ik weet het niet.'
Hij begreep dat dat geen goed antwoord was, maar het was het enige, zelfs als iemand graag altijd alles afmaakte. Hij had geen flauw idee. Eigenlijk wist hij zeker dat hij nooit iets wou, maar ook nooit iets zóú worden. De wereld was al boordevol met mensen die iets waren, en de meesten waren er duidelijk niet gelukkig mee.”
More quotes…