De ontdekking van de hemel
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De ontdekking van de hemel

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  5,478 ratings  ·  274 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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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
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
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
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
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
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.

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
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
Λουκιανὸς
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
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
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
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.



Stephen
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
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
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
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.
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
Mike
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sini
Jaren geleden las ik dit boek al, en toen vond ik het best goed en onderhoudend. Nu heb ik het herlezen, en verdorie, nu vind ik het gewoon GEWELDIG en misschien wel Mulisch' allerbeste. Nu begrijp ik pas waarom veel mensen dit Mulisch' magnum opus vinden. Het boek is nu voor mij veel rijker dan de eerste keer, misschien omdat ik inmiddels een hele kilo Mulisch gelezen heb en hem dus beter snap. Ik heb die eerste keer echt allerlei dingen niet meegekregen die ik nu wel meekreeg. Daarnaast had ik...more
Lizza11
Na enkele jaren van uitstellen heb ik hem eindelijk gelezen.
De proloog was even wennen, erg literair taalgebruik en verwarring over waar het nu over ging. De twijfels die ik had over hoe ik in vredesnaam nog 900 pagina's zo vol kon houden verdwenen als sneeuw voor de zon zodra hoofdstuk 1 begon. De heerlijke, vlotte schrijfstijl zorgde ervoor dat ik deel 1 binnen no-time uit had. Hetzelfde gold voor deel 2, je werd in de levens van Onno, Max (en later Ada) gezogen. Deel 3 werd daarentegen wat '...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
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
Karenbike Patterson
First of all, I didn't read this in Dutch but for some reason, Goodreads didn't have the choice of the Mulisch book in English.
To be fair, I didn't read the whole book this time but I'm adding this review to remind me of what I did read for the time when I pick it up again. It certainly is an ambitious tome. Two men, Onno and Max- both intellectual and well educated but otherwise very different, meet through the intervention of angels. They meet Ada, a beautiful cellist. She gives birth to Quin...more
Lieve
I read this in Dutch. This is of the few Dutch books that became an international bestseller. It is also made into a movie. It is a very good read. If you have read Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum you will recognize a lot. Luckily Mulish is easier to read. It can also be compared to the Da Vinchi code (which I think also stole from Eco..)
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/...
Misty
Een moetje op mijn Nederlandse literatuurlijst. Het is maar goed dat ik het niet heb vervangen met een uittreksel want dan had ik wat gemist. De film zou ik maar overslaan, de ontdekking moet je namelijk gewoon lezen.
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.
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  • De Uitvreter, Titaantjes, Dichtertje, Mene Tekel
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  • Memoreeks: Harry Mulisch, De aanslag
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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...
De aanslag Twee vrouwen Siegfried Het stenen bruidsbed De procedure

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“That question is too good to spoil with an answer.” 15 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.” 12 likes
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