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The Book of Everything

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  755 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
Faith is joy is love is hope in this novel of exquisite power and everyday miracles, reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver's THE POISONWOOD BIBLE.

Thomas can see things no one else can see. Tropical fish swimming in the canals. The magic of Mrs. Van Amersfoort, the Beethoven-loving witch next door. The fierce beauty of Eliza with her artificial leg. And the Lord Jesus, who tell
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Arthur A. Levine Books (first published 2004)
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Manny had liked The Book of Everything so much that he decided he would read it in the original. He ordered a copy.

"But you don't know Dutch," said his friend.

"I don't care," said Manny.

"It'll be like when we went to to Ireland," said his friend. "Or when we went to Turkey. You bought an Irish grammar and a Turkish grammar, and after we came home you never looked at them again."

"We'll see what happens this time," said Manny.

The book arrived. Manny opened it and started reading. It was very diffi
"Have you read The Book of Everything?" asked Sarah. "You might like it."

Manny said that he didn't usually read translated books. But he politely opened it and read the first page, and then the second page. Pretty soon he had read a whole lot of pages. He tried to imagine what it sounded like in Dutch, and he could almost hear the words.

"Shouldn't you be working?" asked someone.

"I've almost finished," said Manny without looking up. He wanted to find out if Jesus would stop Thomas's father from h
Cheryl Klein
Sep 02, 2007 Cheryl Klein rated it it was amazing
I edited this book, so I'm completely biased here, but it is amazing. The facts are that it is a magic-realist atheistic translated novel set in the Netherlands post-World War II, featuring domestic violence, a protagonist who has visions, the disappearance of God, and Jesus Christ as a minor character (he's judged to be fairly useless). The truth is that it is the story of Thomas Klopper learning to be happy. It is certainly not for everyone, but it is fearless and marvelous, and its happy ...more
Feb 16, 2015 Neva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

* * *
"На прозореца две врабчета надуваха пискливи тромпети, без да знаят, че днес е неделя."

"Тогава ръката на баща му внезапно замахна и зашлеви майка му по бузата. Тя се олюля и пусна Томас.
На небето ангелите закриха очи с длани и захлипаха, както правят винаги когато някой мъж удари жена си. Над земята се спусна дълбока тъга... Томас чу шамара по меката буза на майка си."

"Когато боят най-сетне приключи и баща му му позволи да вдигне гащите и панталона върху парещото си дупе, Томас о
Jubilation Lee
Wow. I... I feel like I wasn’t smart enough to fully comprehend this book, which is a little distressing given that it was only about a hundred pages long. And I’m not entirely sure if I enjoyed it, although it’s still getting four solid stars. It was... certainly... a book. That you might like to read.


I will recommend this for anyone who is hoping for a weirdly heartwarming book about spousal abuse.

Or who is looking for an interesting religious conversation starter a la “Hey, so does it c
Nicholas Whyte
Jan 17, 2012 Nicholas Whyte rated it liked it

It's quite a fascinating package, and very short at only 100 pages; Kuijer gives a very strong sense of a repressed Dutch society of the early 1950s, still coming to terms with the recent war and occupation (Thomas, the central character, is 9 so would have been born in 1942), combined with some startling magical realism as Thomas and the slightly sorcerous neighbour call down the plagues of Egypt on his wife-beating father. The line that sticks with me is
Apr 26, 2015 Pupilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-hungarian, 2015
Ez a könyv egy gyöngyszem! A holland szerző méltán kapott neves gyermek- és ifjúsági irodalom díjat. Komoly téma, csipetnyi vallásos fűszerezés, gyermeki lélek és olyan sorok, főleg a vége fele, hogy az ember egyszerűen képtelen levakarni a jóleső vigyort az arcáról, és mégis ejt egy könnycseppet.
Jul 10, 2012 Iris rated it it was amazing
6 out of 5 stars. Yes, it's that good.
[Review originally posted at Iris on Books]

Before I say anything else, can I just mention that this is, easily, among my favourite reads of this year and may very well make it to the favourite books of all time list.

I mention this to prepare you for lots of gushing going on in this post. But, mind you, it is well-earned.

The Book of Everything is the story of a boy called Thomas. Thomas knows what he wants to be when he grows up: he is going to be happy. But
May 01, 2015 Miamona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Szeretem az olyan könyveket, amik nem akarnak többek lenni, mint amik. Amelyek megmutatják, hogy a világ legegyszerűbb dolgai a legösszetettebbek. Hogy a hétköznapok és hétköznapi dolgok a legboldogabb és legszomorúbb események otthona. Hogy szeretni kell, és szeretve lenni jó, és hogy ennek az ellentéte okozza a világ minden baját.
A könyvecske, ami úgy fogyott el kezeim közül, mint a pergő homok, „magasfeszültségű” emblémával van ellátva, mely emblémát ezek után szándékosan keresni fogom a Kol
Sep 13, 2015 Dila rated it it was amazing
In this book there is a scene where Thomas and his family discuss what books are about. The sister says love, the father says God, the mother says God and love. But this book is about EVERYTHING.
And I fell in love with EVERYTHING about this book.
Everything about this book is moving or (bitter)sweet, sad or heart-warming, wise, truthful, cute, honest, beautiful, amazing, wonderful. There aren't even enough adjectives to describe this book's awesomeness. It doesn't have more than a hundred pages
Jun 09, 2015 Anita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thomastól, ha megkérdezik, hogy mi szeretne lenni, ő egyből és gondolkodás nélkül azt válaszolja, hogy BOLDOG. Ha nagy lesz, boldog szeretne lenni…
A könyv elején nem hittem volna, hogy lehetséges, de a végére meggyőződésemmé vált, hogy a srácnak valóra válhat ez a vágya. Mert szépen és őszintén szeret. Mert okosan és átgondoltan beszél. Mert egy tiszteletlen, pimasz kölyök, akit lehetetlen nem szeretni! Bár kicsit elbizonytalanító a könyvecske előszószerűsége…

Ez egy tiszteletlen, rövid könyv le
Elizabeth Alger
Aug 05, 2010 Elizabeth Alger rated it it was amazing
I went out and bought 'The Book of Everything' after reading a review in which it was described as virtually the most perfect little book ever written.

Amazingly, I wasn't disappointed. It is an exquisite little miracle. It might be written for children but I defy any adult not to be moved and uplifted by it. I've read it several times now and have fallen in love each time. It is astonishing that such a slim volume (it probably doesn't take much more than an hour to read) can contain so much - ma
Pam Saunders
Oct 16, 2013 Pam Saunders rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thomas Jenkins
May 13, 2013 Thomas Jenkins rated it really liked it
This book was a good read. I liked how the author wrote with perspectives of other characters rather than just Thomas, the protagonist. It is written in a way that makes you feel as Thomas does. It was funny, sad, and yet it made you think about people really in that situation. I rated it four stars out of five because of the childish writing in parts of the book. Overall this was a good book and I really think most of you should read it.
Sue Cowing
Sep 07, 2011 Sue Cowing rated it it was amazing
I have lent or given this book to almost everyone I know who reads. It's the outstanding book I have read since the millenium. Brief but unforgettable for its characters, its humanity, its language. Apparently author Kuijer is very well known and liked in Europe, but this is the only one of his books translated into English.
Aug 31, 2011 maddy12100 rated it it was amazing
My Year 12 Drama class performed the theatre adaption of this book and I grew to love the story. So I thought I would read the original. So much is packed into such a small book. I grew attached to characters and came to understand my role in the play much more! Great read.:)
Jan 06, 2012 Libraryangel rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant! It has some of the most beautiful memorable lines I have ever read. I want to share this book with the entire world. It now owns my heart. Do something nice for yourself and read this book ASAP!
Tatyana Naumova
История о семейном насилии, фашизме и о том, что Бога нет, но мы вполне справимся, потому что счастье - это не бояться.
Mar 16, 2016 Liothe added it
The same author who wrote on of my favorite childhood books, "The Black Rocks". Perhaps this one will be of equal calibre.
Jan 31, 2016 Brittany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly charming.
Zehra Goktas
Sep 06, 2015 Zehra Goktas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clarisa R
Jan 20, 2013 Clarisa R rated it really liked it
Det här är en perfekt bok för boksamtal!
Sep 07, 2013 Petr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: editing
Fantastická knížka. Kouzelná, působivá, jedinečná.
Oct 28, 2016 Mariëlle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heel bijzonder, dit boek. Het gaat inderdaad over alle(rlei) dingen: liefde, geloof, geluk, fantasie, muziek, oorlog en nog veel meer.

De 9-jarige Thomas staat in dit boek centraal. Thomas is een jongetje dat gelukkig wil worden, zo zegt hij zelf, op de vraag wat hij later worden wil. Zijn vader, een erg strenge en gelovige man, die het geloof er letterlijk in wil slaan bij de andere gezinsleden, vindt dat geen normaal antwoord, maar gelukkig heeft Thomas ook een lieve moeder, en een de buurvrou
Detski Knigi
Nov 12, 2016 Detski Knigi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Стилът на Кайер е изчистен и елегантен, но поетичен и много мощен при внушаването на отговорите по въпроси като любовта, щастието, страха, добротата, смелостта. В сюжета почти няма да срещнете драматични обрати, а фактите за семейството на Томас са изложени без каквато и да е назидателност. Липсва лицемерие и заобикаляне на неудобни теми като домашното насилие и използването на религията за морално оправдание.

Цялото ревю в Детски книги може да прочетете тук:
Nov 28, 2016 Demet rated it really liked it
Children are sacred. They are innocence, beauty and wonder. Thomas is all of these things and more. He sees things no one else can, like the angels crying for his mother every time his father beats her. His heart is so big it leaps off the page and becomes a part of yours. A beautiful, heartbreaking and magical book.
Iolande Diamantis
Mar 01, 2014 Iolande Diamantis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: >8 year olds
Recommended to Iolande by: Melbourne Theatre Company
After seeing the play based on this book, I knew I simply had to read it. Everything about the play was magical. From the acting of young children by adults, to the design to the sound effects everything was simply gorgeous. Little things like an actor playing a very believable dog and cat and getting the audience to all throw green pingpong balls at the stage making frog noises encouraged laughter and enjoyment by adults and children alike.

Similarly, the book created the same magical feel. Whi
Sep 24, 2016 Kelvin rated it really liked it
Such a cool little book even though it's completely lacking in positive adult male role models (even Jesus is totally inept). It will be widely hated by fundamentalist Christians who will totally miss the point. Read it in the morning and then ponder for the rest of the day.
Michaela Nardo
Apr 19, 2013 Michaela Nardo rated it really liked it
The Book of Everything had me questioning what was real and what was magic. The whole time I read I wondered if this was the point, to draw awareness to the fact that in life you can really never be sure what is real and what is magic. This is how Thomas seemed to think, that even the extraordinary was ordinary and that made him a wonderful character to try to read and dissect.

Thomas saw Jesus. He befriended witches. He fell in love and had it work out. At the end of the novel, the love was the
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Guus Kuijer is a Dutch author. He wrote books for children and adults, and is best known for the “Madelief” series of children's books. For his career contribution to "children's and young adult literature in the broadest sense" he won the “Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award “from the Swedish Arts Council in 2012, the biggest prize in children's literature. As a children's writer he was one of five ...more
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“The angels in heaven covered their eyes with their hands and sobbed loudly, because that is what they always do when a man hits his wife. A profound sadness settled over the earth...God was silent in every language. The angels tried to dry their tears, but their handkerchiefs were so soaked through that is started raining even in the deserts.” 11 likes
“Happy," said Thomas. "When I grow up, I am going to be happy."

Mrs. van Amersfoort was about to pull a book from the shelf, but turned in surprise. She looked at Thomas with a smile and said, "That is a damn good idea. And do you know how happiness begins? It begins with no longer being afraid.”
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