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
Open Preview


3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,137 Ratings  ·  84 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

The Discovery of Heaven by Harry MulischDe donkere kamer van Damokles by Willem Frederik HermansNooit meer slapen by Willem Frederik HermansThe Assault by Harry MulischDe avonden by Gerard Reve
The best Dutch literature
25th out of 322 books — 328 voters
Max Havelaar by MultatuliThe Discovery of Heaven by Harry MulischDe donkere kamer van Damokles by Willem Frederik HermansThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankNooit meer slapen by Willem Frederik Hermans
Dutch Literary Canon
27th out of 137 books — 56 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,707)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
M. Sarki
Mar 26, 2014 M. Sarki rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Nov 19, 2012 Ruta rated it it was amazing
Shelves: apple-of-the-eye
Man is a sad mammal that combs its hair.
Stephen Durrant
Feb 12, 2009 Stephen Durrant rated it liked it
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
Aug 12, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
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.
Lauren Albert
Dec 06, 2009 Lauren Albert rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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.
May 23, 2012 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 04, 2015 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Nadat hij het goed deed als eerste boekenlijstroman, heb ik hem ditmaal voor de tweede keer gelezen. Bewonderenswaardig, sterk in nagenoeg elk aspect. Het is een verhaal doordrenkt met, zoals de titel al doet vermoeden, verschillende rituelen; variërend van Christelijke gebruiken tot de uitvoering van de Japanse theeceremonie. De ceremonie is dan ook een terugkerend thema, evenals de tijd (en het omgaan daarmee) en de zelfverkozen dood.

Er zijn drie belangrijke hoofdpersonen in het verhaal waarva
Guillermo Jiménez
Nov 11, 2011 Guillermo Jiménez rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 27, 2013 Gerben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Apr 21, 2013 Jos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 08, 2014 Bbrown rated it really liked it
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
Jana Maasik
Oct 16, 2014 Jana Maasik rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holland
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
Oct 22, 2012 Mita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 20, 2016 Tuhkatriin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lemmikud
"Rituaalid" oli pikemat aega poeriiulil seisev mittemidagiütlev kõvasti allahinnatud raamat. Kirjaniku nimi ei öelnud mulle samuti midagi, ehkki tagakaanel olev tekst kinnitas, et tegemist olevat ühe enim tõlgitud ja tunnustatud hollandi kirjanikuga. Lehekülgede sirvimine ei andnud samuti sisust palju aimu, kuigi avalause "Päeval, mil Inni Wintrop enesetapu tegi, oli Philipsi aktsiate seis 149,60" oli lummav. Hind oli praktiliselt sümboolne, nii et soetasin endale selle raamatu. Ja hästi tegin, ...more
Lukasz Pruski
Sep 26, 2015 Lukasz Pruski rated it really liked it
"They lay still for a time. In accordance with the rules, Inni was sad. As he let the embrace with the bigger Lyda seep away into his memory gap, he felt, as usual, bitter at what was bound to happen next. They would disentangle themselves, maybe wash, he would descend the long staircase like someone descending a staircase, she would fall asleep in her own nest, tomorrow she would drink crème de menthe again, with idiots, and they would die, each one separately, in different hospital beds, ill t ...more
Jan 17, 2016 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Voor de derde keer gelezen en weer die magische ervaring. Wat een prachtig boek. Deze roman zet je aan het denken over het leven (en de dood). Kun je meer verlangen? Nooteboom, mijn favoriete Nederlandse schrijver.
2016: Voor de vierde keer gelezen voor een leeskring. En wederom werd ik na het eerste hoofdstuk, dat altijd wat moeite kost, in deze fantastische roman gezogen. Blijft 5 sterren. Ik hecht niet aan lijstjes maar dit is (momenteel) mijn favoriete roman uit welk taalgebied dan ook.
Mar 06, 2015 Ian rated it liked it
Shelves: 1001-books
Inni Wintrop is a drifter through life, failing in marriage, work and suicide through a lack of application. His dabbling dilettantism is contrasted by his acquaintance many years apart of a father and son, Arnold and Philip Taads, whose lives are ruled by time, routine and ritual. It is a short, but slow read, written with that peculiarly continental philosophical detachment that you either adore, despise or in my case veer between the two states.
Aug 08, 2013 Denys rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 30, 2014 Kimberly rated it liked it
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
Sorin Hadârcă
Jan 22, 2013 Sorin Hadârcă rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 26, 2007 Dragana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read it again right after finishing. And then again. And will again. Miraculous, effortless prose.
Jan 28, 2016 Jubchili rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was quite eye opening in many aspects. The writing (considering that it's been translated) is astoundingly good (although a bit purple at times). Although not weighing heavily on plot, the novel seems to work better with states of mind and certain key moments that seem to define Inni's life as a whole (Kawabata does a similar thing with Thousand Cranes. Thousand Cranes is also mentioned in the book). The structure is a bit confusing at times, but one gets used to it as the story moves ...more
Oct 14, 2012 Rafa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Literatura Bartleby.
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
Oct 01, 2012 Madhuri rated it really liked it
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
Michael Krakovskiy
Jan 08, 2013 Michael Krakovskiy rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 20, 2012 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 20, 2013 Marc rated it liked it
Shelves: dutch-literature
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
Scott Cox
An interesting novel by Dutch author Cees Nooteboom. The story involves three major characters: Inni Wintrop, an occasional stock market investor and art collector; Arnold Taads, a man of habits and discipline; and his disowned son, Philip Taads in love with ancient Japanese culture & art. The separate interactions between Inni and the father and son Taads form the basis of this intricate novel.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 90 91 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Garden Where the Brass Band Played
  • Herinneringen van een engelbewaarder
  • De wetten
  • Van oude menschen, de dingen, die voorbij gaan...
  • Das Wüten der ganzen Welt
  • Bezonken rood
  • De verborgen bron
  • De Uitvreter, Titaantjes, Dichtertje, Mene Tekel
  • Het verboden rijk
  • Meneer Beerta (Het Bureau #1)
  • Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company
  • Van de koele meren des doods
  • De avonden
  • Caesarion
  • Karakter - Een hoorspel
  • In a Dark Wood
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...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Memory is like a dog that lies down where it pleases.” 10 likes
“He read a lot, but what he read, and not just that but everything he saw, films and paintings, he translated into feeling. And this feeling, which could not immediately be expressed in words, not yet and maybe never, that formless mass of sentiments, impressions, observations — that was his way of thinking. You could circle around it with words, but there always remained far more that was not expressed than was. And later, too, a certain resentment would take possession of him, toward those people who demanded precise answers, or pretended to be able to give them. It was, on the contrary, the very mystery of everything that was so attractive. You should not want to impose too much order on it. If you did, something would be lost irrevocably. That mysteries can become more mysterious if you think about them with precision and method, he did not yet know. He felt at home in his sentimental chaos. To chart it you had to be an adult, but then you were at once labelled, finished, and in effect already a little dead.” 4 likes
More quotes…