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All Souls Day

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  598 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
A brilliant new novel-evocative and philosophical, poetic and passionate.

A Dutch documentary filmmaker finds himself in Berlin at the end of the twentieth century, trying to make sense of his own past in a city where every stone bears traces of history. Having lost his wife and child in an airplane crash, he is still coming to terms with the grief, trying to build a new li
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 5th 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 1998)
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Aug 29, 2013 Elena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2013-books
There are many books that I read in the course of the year and enjoy, some that I enjoy immensely. These books I close with a sigh and indulge in a bit of reflection. Their contents pop up in my thoughts frequently over the next few days - after that, less frequently, but still occasionally stopping by.

All Souls Day is not one of those books. All Souls Day is a book which for me finished rather undramatically. There was no moment of reflection. There was an awareness, rather, that the journey i
Apr 17, 2008 Jule rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-finished
I have now officially given up on this one. Maybe one day when I'm old and wrinkly or a housewife I'll have time...
Sep 07, 2010 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a book which would deserve a re-read in the future as Nooteboom adresses just too many topics in a too intellectual way to grasp it all during a first read - and a fast one, as despite of the philosophical musings this is a very readable book with endearing characters. Set between Amsterdam, Berlin and Spain, the story spans personal and national history and interweaves them in the creation of a world of its own without being doctrinal: The author knows that historiography is never fu ...more
Paul A.
I think it's more a 3.5, it could be a 4, but there is some details about the way of telling the story I didn't like.

I think the text (in the Barthian sense) is really good, there is a constant flow-consciousness from the character through the narrator. In fact, in the first half from the book we can draw a lineal line of time of two days long forth, and a winding line back, many years ago. The important here is the winding line, that is made of past facts, little dialogues, old thoughts, all re
Peter Ka
Aug 07, 2011 Peter Ka rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just boring. I read 150 pages but I decided I won't spend any more time on it. I haven't done that in over 15 years probably.
Oct 11, 2015 Marc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dutch-literature
De hoofdfiguur Daane is typisch voor Nooteboom: sterk sartreaans, een buitenstaander dus met een sterke melancholische levensvisie (gebukt onder het verleden).
Berlijn neemt belangrijke plaats in, vooral als illustratie van de moeilijke omgang met het verleden. De interventies van het koor zijn zeer geslaagd en leggen het grondthema bloot: het gewicht van het verleden.
De vriendenkring is zeer bevlogen en de discussies diepzinnig, maar het doet allemaal erg aan Mulisch’ Otto denken uit de Ontdekk
Lukasz Pruski
Jul 04, 2016 Lukasz Pruski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The point was that the past could be accessed and therefore still existed. And it would continue to exist until the act of describing the world ceased to exist, together with the world itself."

I am writing this just ten days after Brexit, and it is a difficult time for me because the event has dealt a severe blow to one of the most wonderful ideas in world's political history - the unification of Europe in the form of the EU. That the countries such as Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy and
Yves Bekaert
Feb 20, 2016 Yves Bekaert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Veel handelingen zijn er niet in deze roman, maar wat er gebeurt, heeft een overdonderende lading. Voor het eerst schreef Nooteboom een roman van vierhonderd pagina's en het lijkt erop dat hij al zijn voorafgaande boeken in één overweldigende roman wilde samenvatten.

Het is een roman van de levenden over de doden. De zielen van de gestorvenen kijken het hele jaar uit naar 2 november, die ene dag waarop ze herdacht worden. Maar voor hoofdpersonage Arthur Daane is het iedere dag Allerzielen. Hij i
Steve Johnson
Sep 28, 2015 Steve Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite novels from Cees Nooteboom. I have to admit that I found it a bit hard and slow to get into at first, the first 150 pages or so I thought were kind of boring and the size of this novel is unusually large when compared with most other Nooteboom novels. It features trademark Nooteboom elements, but still initially I didn't like it as much.

However this all changed a bit further in, at which point I could hardly stop reading. I had to stop myself because it was too great for it t
Jun 23, 2016 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I was reading All Souls Day I was reminded of those obscure European art house films I used to watch when I was in my early twenties. Slightly weird, interesting and yet lacks something in order to be truly loved.

Arthur Daane is a director of documentaries and treats is life as one whole film that is waiting to be captured on camera. Although he has travelled to some places around the Earth his favourite city is Berlin and while he walks he notices (and films) the details and soaks in the c
Oct 28, 2015 Arjen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'But that was then'... this line struck me as being the core of this novel about moving on. Moving on after the unification of East and West Germany, moving on after the death of loved ones, getting on with life after a break-up. Arthur, the main character of the book, is a Dutch film maker living in Berlin who has a private passion for filming things that hardly move on, such as water in a river, or the feet of passersby on the street, clearly not yet up to speed on 'but that was then'. When he ...more
Sep 19, 2015 Asa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
All souls' day centers around two things: a discussion about history, both personal and political, and a kind of love story. I found the historical discussion very interesting, especially as it plays out between Arthur Daane and his friends and love interest. Arthur is the main character, a middle-aged man who lost his wife and son years ago in a place crash, and (perhaps because of that loss) who tends to take history, especially the 20th century European kind, very personally and is obsessed w ...more
Aug 22, 2014 Ursula rated it really liked it
Arthur Daane is a Dutch expatriate living in Berlin. As we soon find out, he lost his wife and young son in a plane crash a while back. He is unmoored in just about every imaginable way - detached from his country, from his family, from himself. He has a small group of friends, artists of various types, and he has a job as a photographer. But he'd rather spend his time taking photos of people's feet on the streets of Berlin for reasons that are not clear to him.

It's a book where not a lot happen
Jun 16, 2011 Coulter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dutch
This would get five stars if it were a collection of essays or short stories - I kept noting down things I wanted to remember from it - but, as it is billed as a novel, I'm going to dock it a star for being just a bit too static and, more importantly, for not developing the side characters more: the main character (a Dutch film-maker living in Berlin) has a circle of friends in Berlin that he spends much of the novel chatting to, but they come across more as mouthpieces for various (often philos ...more
Tyler Jones
Mar 11, 2015 Tyler Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cities
Will you like it? If, when I say "introspective" you think "dull", then probably not. But this book cast a spell on me when I first read it years ago and it has haunted me ever since. I found it elegant, thought provoking and beautiful. It is a great meditation on the relationship between the personal and the historical - using the city of Berlin as the gateway between these worlds.
Apr 15, 2013 Jaimie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martin Gloger
Apr 01, 2014 Martin Gloger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I realy liked this one, however I must confess I didnt get everything. Maybe thats one of the books you should read twice. ...more
Apr 18, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This is a truly moving book about a man waking up from Purgatory. Arthur Daane is living in Berlin shortly after the reunification...a documentary filmmaker who has been wandering through life in a daze because of his terrible survivor's guilt--his wife and child were killed in a plane crash. He has returned to work out of necessity, but spends much of his time filming the streets of Berlin, sharing with his camera the life he can no longer share with his family. He meets a mysterious woman who ...more
Marco Cerbo
Feb 11, 2015 Marco Cerbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bel romanzo, solido e profondo. Un olandese trapiantato in Germania, il suo tragico passato (moglie e figlio sono morti in un incidente aereo) vive una relazione difficile con una giovane ricercatrice di storia medievale. La trama è accompagnata dalle sagaci discussioni fra gli amici del protagonista.
Dec 19, 2010 Steffi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: places-berlin
Wunderbar melancholische Beschreibungen Berlins Mitte der 90er Jahren, die immer wieder an Wenders Film „Der Himmel über Berlin erinnern“, auch wenn der im Jahrzehnt zuvor spielt: Die graue Tristesse der Berliner Winters, Begegnungen mit Menschen, Melancholie, die Stimmen von Engeln, Seelen? Auch gibt es wie im Film Szenen in der Berliner Staatsbibliothek. Dazwischen wunderbare Dialoge zwischen Freunden über Geschichte, Philosophie, Kunst.
Nov 07, 2013 Red rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
net als de ontdekking van de hemel is dit boek ingekaderd door gesprekken van wezens van hogere orde. een zusje van het boek van mulisch zou je allerzielen kunnen noemen en daarom niet zo heel orgineel voor die tijd (eind jaren negentig). het belangrijkste verschil is dat nooteboom nooit pedant wordt. je blijft sympatie voelen voor de personen die worden beschreven. een heerlijk boek dat je doet verlangen naar de tijd van voor 9/11.
Ein Dokumentarfilmer, der durch sein Leben geistert und sich in Berlin treiben lässt - eigentlich gibt es über die Handlung an sich nicht viel zu erzählen. Nooteboom beschreibt das Leben des Mannes so intensiv - und dabei gleich auch noch ein Stadtbild Berlins - noch mit Baustelle am Potsdamer Platz. Sehr lesenswert und packend
Nov 02, 2011 S.E. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible novel. Thoughtful and thought provoking. A beautiful work of art to be read and re-read. I love Cees Nooteboom, 'Rituals' is one of my favourite novels ever, I think this joins it. And I managed to finish on All Souls Day!
Nick Jones
Oct 01, 2015 Nick Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a story in which not a tremendous amount happens, this is quite a complex book, and I'm still thinking about it.
May 07, 2016 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very nice book. But I realised,that I am only able to read it and understand parts of it, when I am totally awake... :-)
I wonder a little bit, of a Dutch person can understand every hint with respect to Germany.
Apr 10, 2016 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoriet, nooteboom
Wel, dit moet ik toch echt nog een keer lezen voordat ik 't half begrijp, want het is nu nog een groot mysterie. Wel een prachtig mysterie.
Lauren Albert
Nov 11, 2009 Lauren Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
While a central premise of the book is cliche--two damaged people find each other--it is well done. I also found the focus on Arthur's visual world as a cameraman intriguing.
Anneliese Tirry
Dec 05, 2014 Anneliese Tirry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een Griekse tragedie is het, een pelgrimstocht. Het is geschreven in een prachtige taal en bevat een mooi evenwicht tussen beschouwing, emotie en verhaal.
Regalado Montoya
La profundidad que alcanza el personaje es increíble, y el final es asombrosamente conmovedor, pero no eso no equilibra lo aburrido del texto.
Hollanda Edebiyatı ile yeni tanışanlara: Noteboom gibi sıkıcı anlatım ve gereksiz melankoli peşinde değil tüm Hollandalı yazarlar, pes etmeyin.
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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
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“Als wij geen namen zouden hebben, zou alles veel duidelijker zijn. Gewoon wat vluchtige materie met een beetje bewustzijn, verschijningen die komen en tamelijk snel weer verdwijnen. Door die namen denken we dat we heel wat zijn, we denken misschien zelfs dat ze ons beschermen, maar wie weet nog de namen van alle miljarden die verdwenen zijn?” 0 likes
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