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De ontdekking van de hemel

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  6,829 ratings  ·  314 reviews
De ontdekking van de hemel, waarin alle thema's en obsessies uit het werk van Harry Mulisch in 65 hoofdstukken bijeenkomen, is tegelijk een psychologische roman, een tijdroman, een ontwikkelingsroman, een avonturenstroom en een allesoverkoepelend mysteriespel.
Paperback, 927 pages
Published 2006 by De Bezige Bij (first published 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tony
An ambitious book. Intending to cover EVERYTHING. So the main characters are all polymaths, well-read but otherwise shallow, symbols really. And they're male too. Oh, there are females characters, but they conceive and then get felled by a lightning-struck tree; or they sneak in a younger man's bedroom and then leave in the morning without speaking. Although, in gender-fairness, a male can be sitting, about to uncover the secret to the universe, and a meteorite comes out of the sky and pulverize ...more
Amar
I wish there was some way I could get all the time I invested in this ridiculous masturbation-session of a novel back. Wasted almost two weeks of my summer attempting to wade through this self-aggrandizing mess of a "story" and am so annoyed. There are few books I start and fail to finish, but this book tested my limits like none before. I made it through about 500 pages before realizing that the story wasn't building up to ANYTHING, and that there were entire chapters that were simply vehicles ...more
Michael Hall
No mere summary could cover the depths to be found within this novel. Trying to summarize it would not give justice to it's brilliance and complexity. It is not a book to be taken lightly as it requires time to be set aside for it. You will need to want to be challenged as well as entertained before beginning this book. At only 730 pages it still took me three weeks and some odd days to read. Not because it was slow and boring, but because it often distracted me enough to put the book down in or ...more
Michael
What a magnificent book! Despite the hubris of Mulisch in incorporating large swatches of his autobiography into the fabric of this literary counterpane, he uses those elements well to contribute to the coherent pattern of the work. This is a novel of ideas, which is also an engaging narrative filled with humor. For those readers willing to work their way through the 730 pages, the reward will be worth the time spent, and the time spent will be the reward. The book provides devastating criticism ...more
Michel
Het enige voordeel dat het boek heeft, is dat het snel uitgelezen is. Maar mocht die stapel papier veroorzaakt zijn door een andere schrijver dan Mulisch in een ander taalgebied dat het onze, er zou niets meer van overblijven.

Gekunsteld, hoogdravend, houterig, breedsprakerig, betweterig, Magnum Opus my ass. De arrogantie van Mulisch (”kijk eens hoe veel ik weet! zie eens hoe handig ik een filosofische roman met een psychologische roman met een sleutelroman met een avonturenroman verweef! 65 hoo
...more
Robin
Before starting this review, I went back and looked at what other books I’ve dismissed with a single star. Very few, it turns out. I’m reluctant to be so disparaging unless the book has been deeply unpleasant to read and I wish that I had not had the experience of reading it. So, yes, that’s right, Twilight gets two stars and this gets one. Isn’t that a statement?

I had high expectations. I was thrilled to find that the previous reader of my copy had left a Dutch train ticket (Middelburg to Amste
...more
Maarten
Ja, Jezus, wat moet ik hier nou weer over vertellen?

Het is een groot werk, zowel in narratief volume (901 pagina's in mijn editie) als in inhoud. Het gaat over heel veel dingen, en dat vind ik fijn. Ik kan over veel van die dingen inmiddels iets zeggen en van sommige juist helemaal niets. Het geeft genoeg stof om over te mijmeren. Wat deze stof precies behelst, zal ik hier niet noemen.

Wel kan ik de lezer van dit tekstje vertellen dat het een werkelijk breinboek is. Het gaat met name om ideeën. Z
...more
Patrick
Sep 27, 2009 Patrick rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Patrick by: cogit@ludicrum.org
Shelves: bookgroup
I briefly toyed with giving this two stars, given the degree of difficulty Mulisch takes on in this tome. I settled on 1 star because the book pissed me off in so many ways. There were the glaring errors begging for a decent editor (e.g., the claim that 60 million Jews were killed in WWII, which appears in multiple editions). There was the didactic, pedantic explanation of basic science concepts, including those peripheral to the story. There was the stasis in which the characters were frozen fo ...more
Sanjeev
730 pages of time that I will never have back.

Not only was the book pretentious, it was also poorly written. Perhaps the translation is to blame, as I read it in English. Whatever the source, the (English) text was choppy, un-inventive, repetitive, and cliché. Mulisch's overuse of similes is nauseating.

The dialogue was also suspect. Instead of realistic, it seemed more the types of smart retort one thinks of only after an argument has concluded.

I'm at a loss as to what other reviewers see in thi
...more
Bartholomew
May 12, 2008 Bartholomew rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pat Byrnes
Wonderfully philosophical. Probing and intelligent, this novel is difficult to be categorised to a specific genre... none seem to be able to adequately contain this novel. We travel from Amsterdam to Cuba, from the 60s to the 90s and from Atheism to Roman Catholicism to Judaism, via Palladio! It's a massive read and kept me busy for a long time - not helped by the fact that life got in the way... Read this book and prepare to live a little.

Stephen Durrant
A poll of Dutch readers taken in 2007 resulted in this being selected as "the greatest Dutch-language novel ever." I can see why. It is a brilliant and engaging work. The frame is,to say the least, cosmic in scope. A group of divine beings decide to send a new "spark" into mortality on a special mission. The problem, the divines feel, is that the emergence of the scientific method and the resulting explosion in human knowledge actually threatens their superiority. Moreover, there is so much abou ...more
David
Mar 13, 2013 David is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Ask a Dutch classmate for a book recommendation and this is what you get (in a sample of three independently solicited opinions, this was the result in all three cases). So we know that there is a degree of unanimity among the Dutch when it comes to the books one should have read.

I have a harder time believing that my each of my three classmates had actually read this book when they made the recommendation. It's not terrible so far, but it is a bit heavy-handed. Kind of a Dutch version of Iris M
...more
Lily
Jun 22, 2007 Lily rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: literary folk
I'll be the first to admit that I didn't understand a lot of the metaphysical aspects of this book. It was recommended to me by a dutch dude that was staying at the same campground in Italy as I was. He said it was the most famous book in Holland. From what I remember, it starts with the relationship between two friends as they vie for the same woman. The woman gets pregnant by one man, and the other raises the child as his own. The undercurrent of this story is the fact that the family of one o ...more
Carol
I have not read this im sorry I didn't mean to rate this help
Lucian McMahon
Cerebral, elaborate, profound, a book that will preoccupy my mind for some time. Mulisch masterfully blends together philosophy, theology, and history in a narrative compelling both for its metaphysical and its human dimensions.

Feel free to disagree with the following (I'm just spitting out some of the things I thought during and after).

I get the impression that the book chronicles a conflict between modernity and postmodernity. It almost seems a convoluted blending of a modernist response to po
...more
Marko
This novel does very well in the first three parts to entertain, inform, and dazzle with lucid details and lively dialogue, then fantastically derails in part four. The character of Quinten Quist (completely uninteresting precisely because he is so exaggerated and supernatural) hijacks the novel, steering it into a mess of biblical cryptography and architectural fetishism. The last few hundred pages could have been any Dan Brown novel, except they were much more painful to read for having the as ...more
Becky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wolfe Tone
Massively overrated. A decent book, but it fails miserably at what it aims to do: be a major philosophical, historical and literary work. It's quasi-intellectualism probably speaks to many people who know a little about philosophy, history and art, but not too much. They can hold Mulisch in awe all they want, but that doesn't change the fact that this book is actually much more shallow than people think it is.

All the name-dropping, the forced plot-twists and cardboard characters, the overly obv
...more
Jim Coughenour
A big fat metaphysical mash-up by the Dutch author of The Assault. Mulisch builds his fantastic tale on the erotic and intellectual entanglements of a menage á trois, enriching the plot of an unabashed thriller with a dazzling array of speculation on everything from mathematics, physics and linguistics to theology and the machinations of the heavenly host.

Next to its spectacular, soaring architecture, The Da Vinci Code is a mouse turd.



Rowland Bismark
This is the english version of my review:

Onno, an amateur philologist obsessed by the Phaistos Disk, comes from one of the Netherland's leading political families. Max, a womanising radio astronomer, is the son of a collaborator who was executed after the Second World War. An unlikely pair brought together by chance — or angelic intervention — they immediately strike up a firm friendship. When Max meets Ada, a cellist, she is not just one of his usual girlfriends, but it is Onno who ends up marr
...more
Michael
Absolutely phenomenal book... was given to me as a gift when I was living in Amsterdam and could not put it down...
Should have the subtitle, 'An Introduction to Almost Everything', as you will find yourself with a hell of a lot of new interests, in Philosophy, Astronomy, Music, even lock picking... the list is endless. Rather than forcing these subjects into the story to impress upon the reader, that Mulisch is a polymath, they are beautifully woven in to an incredible story that will one day ta
...more
Ekmef
Zeker een aanrader om te lezen. Ja, de schrijver is overduidelijk een man en hij heeft het iets te vaak over 'haar kleine borsten' of 'zij spreidde haar benen' (om cello te spelen) op zo'n vieze toon als alleen een man kan schrijven. Maar als je daar eenmaal voorbij bent, ontvouwt zich een erg mooi en meeslepend verhaal. Het is eigenlijk een soortement van Dan Brown maar dan niet zo haastig in 24 uur gepropt en met wat meer filosofische rambles er bij. Ik denk dat ik nu wel weet van wie Langdon ...more
Ross Perchonok
I didnt finish it....got about 100 pages in and just couldnt subject myself any longer.Maybe if I was smarter or more well read but it was just too damn tedious for this simple soul.Bring on Dostoyevsky, The Dalai Lama, how 'bout some Kant or Nietzsche?!?! Sorry Mr. Mulisch, too literary for me.
Elsje
Het is bijna onmogelijk om over dit briljante boek een leesverslag te maken zonder verklappers. Dat heb ik dus niet eens geprobeerd. Een uitgebreid leesverslag mét verklappers kun je vinden op mijn blog:
http://elsjelas.blogspot.com/2007/08/...
Hyacinth
Harry Mulisch, I could really care less about all the pretentious bull you think you know, the least you could have done is written and interesting story.
Forn
Angespornt durch den Film mit Stephen Fry als Onno kaufte ich mir dieses Buch und meine Erwartungen wurden noch übertroffen. Im Rückblick ist der Film eine lahme Geschichte, verglichen mit der Fülle des Buches.
Sicherlich habe ich längst nicht alle Ebenen des Buches ergründen können, erst jetzt habe ich z.B. erfahren, dass Mulisch wohl seine Autobiographie darin verarbeitet hat. Ich werde es also noch mehrmals lesen müssen, was mir eine Freude sein wird.

Die Freundschaft zwischen Onno und Max, ih
...more
Soesja Schelling
3.5 stars

Ooh my, I can't believe I actually finished this!! It feels like a huge accomplishment, haha! And I even ended up kinda liking it. I started reading because, well, my parents kinda forced me to and I was curious. I thought it was tiring at first but now, I like that I read it. I'm gonna lay out some things I liked and disliked about this book.

Likes:
- I liked that in the end, all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. There are no loose strings or unfinished story lines. Everything is do
...more
Matthew
This book is so good, I've already given it away to someone else to read. It is fantastic, a philosophy book in disguise, but with a message you (or at least, I) don't understand until practically the last lines of the book.

I really appreciated the fact that in the midst of dense conversations between all of these very strongly typed characters, these little pearls of wisdom, logic, philosophy, science, etc just fall out of people's mouths.

"I don't know how the world works, but perhaps that's my
...more
Mike
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Antithesis
This book is the size of a word book, but your time is better spent just reading definitions from a word book. It starts off promising, but it soon becomes apparent that the plot has no direction whatsoever, and that it's just a container for a couple of pseudo-scientific/philosophic passages. Those passages weren't necessarily bad, but most of them were of the level of "tell me something new." They are in no way good enough to justify the book, especially considering the fact that those passage ...more
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  • Nooit meer slapen
  • Hersenschimmen
  • Publieke Werken
  • Eline Vere
  • The Twins
  • Das Wüten der ganzen Welt
  • Karakter
  • Heren van de thee
  • De Uitvreter, Titaantjes, Dichtertje, Mene Tekel
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  • Het verdriet van België
  • Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company
  • De wetten
  • De avonden
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  • De zwarte met het witte hart
  • Terug naar Oegstgeest
  • Meneer Beerta (Het Bureau #1)
44694
Harry Kurt Victor Mulisch along with W.F. Hermans and Gerard Reve, is considered one of the "Great Three" of Dutch postwar literature. He has written novels, plays, essays, poems, and philosophical reflections.

Mulisch was born in Haarlem and has lived in Amsterdam since 1958, following the death of his father in 1957. Mulisch's father was from Austria-Hungary and emigrated to the Netherlands after
...more
More about Harry Mulisch...
The Assault Twee vrouwen Siegfried Het stenen bruidsbed The Procedure

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“That question is too good to spoil with an answer.” 19 likes
“All human beings were of course unique, and they only discovered that when someone else fell in love with them or when no one ever fell in love with them.” 16 likes
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