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The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old (Hendrik Groen #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  8,614 Ratings  ·  1,320 Reviews
Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn't planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter because his legs are no longer willing and he has to visit his doctor more than he'd like. Technically speaking he is...elderly. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums?

Hendrik sets out to wri
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Grand Central Publishing (first published June 1st 2014)
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    The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen
    Release date: Apr 03, 2018
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    Carol Rizzardi I'm 62, and I read this book on the recommendation of a friend who is 87 who lives in a retirement community and who recently lost her husband of 67…moreI'm 62, and I read this book on the recommendation of a friend who is 87 who lives in a retirement community and who recently lost her husband of 67 years. We both loved it. I found it reassuring to see the strength of the friendships and the lengths to which people went to support each other. I didn't find the discussion of euthanasia at all out of place. It should be an option. As someone who has seen both parents decline over years and die protracted, painful deaths, it is something I hope I would have access to should my situation become dire.(less)

    Community Reviews

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    This is a wonderful heartrending, uplifting and hilarious read. It is obviously a take on Adrian Mole but featuring an elderly curmudgeon, Hendrik Groen. It is set in a north Amsterdam nursing care home which is going to experience a whistleblowing day to day account of the lives of an eccentric bunch of residents and the rules they are subjected to, documented in the diary. Hendrik is grumpy, cynical, politically incorrect, full of life, funny and a rebel with a cause. He has two friends, Evert ...more
    Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    Hendrik Groen can be grumpy, mischievous, and even sarcastic when the occasion calls for it, but his more positive personality traits far outshine the negatives with his caring, thoughtful, and giving nature.

    Hendrik lives in a care home in Amsterdam, and his book gives a lively look at a year in his life from his own perspective. Although he's finding it increasingly hard to get get about these days, he's far from dead, and just to prove it, he and his friends set up the 'Old But Not Dead' club.
    Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    Hendrik's diary expresses all the things we all wish we could say and do. He and his cohort Evert even occasionally stir the pot by expressing those sarcastic and petulant thoughts aloud. And maybe at age 83 1/4 he has earned the right to. Between the silly rules and the cantankerous residents at his retirement home, Hendrik has much to keep him both amused and discomfited. The three G's (gossip, grousing, and gibberish) keep his days interesting.

    I felt a range of emotions while reading Hendrik'
    Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
    Jan 5: She pressed three slices of cake on me when I left... Those slices have found a home in the fish tank on the third floor

    Jan 7: An investigation was launched yesterday into the sudden demise of the fish on the third floor. A considerable amount of cake was found floating in the water.

    Hendrik Groen doesn't like old people that much. But being as he's 83 and lives in a retirement home, they're hard to escape. He suffers from several ailments, but the good news is that his decline is progress
    “As part of her plan of action to combat the dementia, Grietje has composed, with my help, two new notes she is to carry with her at all times: ‘What to do if I get lost’ and ‘What to do if I don’t remember exactly who someone is.’ Both notes start with: ‘Please forgive me, but I’m a bit forgetful.’
    . . .

    ‘With a little luck, next year I’ll believe in Santa Claus again!’
    said Grietje gaily.

    ‘Yes, just keep going the way you’re going, and you’ll get there soon enough,’ Evert egged her on. She li
    Hendrik Groen is spending his final years in a care home in Amsterdam – he still doesn’t like the elderly; complaining, whinging lot – and he’s 83 himself. His best friend is the mischievous troublemaker Evert – between the two of them the fish in the aquarium are destined to live a short life; the stuffy boss of the home is determined to discover the culprits but Evert and Hendrik think themselves safe.

    When one of the residents passes away, the room is taken by Eefje. She is a quiet, thoughtfu
    Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Full disclosure: I love the Netherlands.

    This is a somewhat honest account, written by an 84-year-old man (or not); his reflections on residing in a nursing home in Amsterdam.

    This country has some of the most progressive inclinations of any modern-day society. It is also an inclusive place where people of all colors and beliefs reside peacefully, for the most part.

    It is a land of incongruities. The tallest people in the world walk daily on the smallest sidewalks while it is usually drizzling rain
    Maria Espadinha
    Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Velhos mas não Mortos

    A velhice não é fácil!
    Brincando e eufemizando podemos encará-la como um jogo de mais e menos:

    Mais achaques
    Mais rugosidades
    Mais cabelos brancos
    Mais resmungadelas
    Mais visitas ao médico

    Menos dentes
    Menos memória
    Menos energia
    Menos alegria
    Menos autonomia

    Em suma -- mais do que não presta e menos do que presta!

    Mas, enfim!... Enquanto há vida há esperança, e a amizade e o humor quando combinam forças alcançam milagres!

    "O Diário Secreto de
    Cynthia Schultz
    Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favorieten
    Tot nu toe mijn mooiste boek van 2015. Je volgt een jaar lang het dagboek van Hendrik Groen, 83, in het bejaardenhuis. Droog, erg grappig, vertederend en verdrietig. Ik heb veel hardop gelachen om dit verhaal en op het einde veel gehuild. Dat doe ik niet vaak bij een boek. Ik vond het heerlijk. Vreselijk genoten van dit boek.
    Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    In the north Amsterdam Care home lives Hendricks.
    He reminds me of a mischievous child, one you just see as sometimes naughty but cute, cuddles and loveable because they say some awesome things on they're perception of life it makes you laugh.

    This is Hendricks.

    He also has a serious side he lays bare in his diary.

    He's aging.
    We all are aging everyday of our lives and we give it no thought. Friendships are bonded and become so important as we get older.

    Very enjoyable read.
    My thanks to Penguin UK via
    Diane S ☔
    Another I am leaving unrated. After reading 30% I am putting this aside. The format is journal style, a format I usually like but frankly though there are a few funny moments, I am bored with this. An unpopulated stance going by the ratings but have learned something about myself. I seem to like books about elderly women more than those about elderly men.
    Maria Bikaki
    «Νομίζω ότι αυτό το έχω ξαναπεί. Μάλλον δεν πρέπει να παραπονιέμαι. Απλώς να προσπαθήσω πιο πολύ να κάνω την κάθε μέρα να αξίζει τον κόπο. Ή τουλάχιστον κάθε δεύτερη μέρα. Πρέπει να υπάρχουν και μέρες ξεκούρασης, ακριβώς όπως στον ποδηλατικό γύρο της Γαλλίας.»

    Πόσο πολύ μου άρεσε αυτό το βιβλίο. Πόση ζωή μπορούν να περιέχουν οι σελίδες ενός βιβλίου. Ένα πραγματικά συγκινητικό βιβλίο, οδηγό ζωής από έναν 83χρονο που αποφασίζει να κρατήσει ημερολόγιο για έναν ολόκληρο χρόνο όπου θα καταγράφει τη ζ
    ♥ Sandi ❣
    Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
    Recommends it for: ~~anyone who wants a laugh~~
    4 stars

    What a wonderful old curmudgeon. Hendrik Groen is in a nursing home - he lives in the assisted living section. He decided to keep a journal for one year. He started his journal on January 1, 2013 when he was 83 years old. Seeing the world through his eyes - and the perspective of his closest friends - The Old But Not Dead Club - was a very humorous undertaking. From his mortification of his "dribbling" and leaving yellow stains in his white underpants, to the suggestion that people go to
    Rebecca Foster
    “In our subtropical world of fatuous blabbermouths, you hear at least ten times a morning that everything was better in the old days.” In this anonymous Dutch novel in diary form, Hendrik Groen provides a full reckoning of how 2013 went down in his Amsterdam old folks’ care home. He and five friends form an Old But Not Dead club and take turns planning exciting weekly outings. Much comic relief is provided by his incorrigibly tippling friend, Evert, and the arrival of Eefje even makes late-life ...more
    Ovo je beskonačno tužna knjiga, posebno jer imam iskustvo bliskih ljudi koji umiru teško i dugo, a medicinski radnici ih otpisuju jer su 'stari' i 'vreme im je'.
    Pored niza duhovitih primedbi, anegdota i zabavnih komentara, ovo je knjiga o svim užasima starenja i društvenoj nevidljivosti ljudi u gerontološkim centrima. Uvek mi je zanimljivo kad čitam u popularnim časopisima o 'tabuima u kulturi' i uvek nekako izostave da pomenu da smo postali kultura koja se baš užasava starih ljudi i juri da ih
    Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction-i-own
    I got this ARC as a give-away from Goodreads.

    I waffled between 2 and 3 stars but decided on 3 in the end. While at times touching and laugh out loud funny I was also a bit bored. There was a lot of talk about Netherland politics that I really didn't care about. It took me way too long to read because of that I think. But in the end Hendrik's diary won me over. I really liked reading about him, all of his friends and their antics. I will probably seek out the second book when it is translated se
    Louise Wilson
    Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Hendrik Groen resides in a Nursing Home funded by the state in North Amsterdam. He decides to start writing a diary. He has two people he can rely on. One being Evert also a resident of the home and Anja the assistant to the Administrator for the home.

    This is a funny, heartbreaking day by day revelation of how eccentric residents spend their time and the Old But Not Yet Dead Club they set up where support is given to each other due to their declining health and tragedy.

    I would like to thank Net
    Cindy Burnett
    Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: net-galley
    I wish I could meet Hendrik Groen because I know I would absolutely love him. This book is one of the most touching, heart-wrenching stories that I have read in a while. Groen resides in a state-funded nursing home in Amsterdam. At 83 years old, he decides to start writing in his diary to pass the time and to “give the world an uncensored expose: a year in the life of the inmates of a care home in North Amsterdam.” Hendrik Groen proceeds to do just that; I cannot count the times I laughed out lo ...more
    Stephen Clynes
    Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    83 year old Hendrik Groen lives at a care home in Amsterdam. Here is his 2013 diary.

    I got a lot from reading this book, the format is rather good. Remember when people published personal blogs on the web, rather than these very short snippets we now get from Facebook and Twitter? Well, Hendrik’s diary entries are very much like the best of blogs. You have a lovely mix of personal life, current day cultural trends and landmark historical occasions.

    This book enables you to enter the very often c
    What a touching read. Truly this is up there with the best ones I have read. It was recommended to me by my dad's primary health professional with the words that it is one of the funniest, most poignant and cutting reads about old age you will come across. And it is.
    Age is something we will all be negotiating if we are one of the fortunate ones to navigate a full span of decades in life. This guy Hendrik Groen gives a glimpse into that world we all, if we are honest, all sort of mock. That worl
    Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Ontroerd...met een lach en een traan dit boek gelezen!
    Met vileine pen beschrijft Hendrik Groen zijn dagelijkse leven in het verzorgingstehuis. De oprichting van Omanido (de oud maar niet dood club) en de daaruit voortvloeiende vriendschappen met bijbehorende mantelzorg geven glans en zin aan het leven van Hendrik. De ontluikende liefde/genegenheid tussen Hendrik en Eefje, de zorg voor Eefje tijdens haar laatste weken...ontroerend...
    Ondanks het gezeik, gezanik en gezeur van enkele medebewoners en
    Gina *loves sunshine*
    This book was new last week to my online library - the blurb that came up immediately said >>>for fans of A Man called Ove!!! That is me, I loved Ove!!!! The other super outstanding thing that this book had was a grumpy old DUTCH man!!!! You see I married into a super large dutch family - I love all my husbands old Aunts and Uncles, I love all the culture, traditions and specific things about Dutchies - so I was super excited about this book!

    I listened to the audio. I made it about 28%
    Mairead Hearne (
    ‘Another year, and I still don’t like old people. Their Zimmer-frame shuffle, their unreasonable impatience. their endless complaints, their tea and biscuits, their bellyaching.

    Me? I am eighty-three years old.’

    The No.1 International Bestseller The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old was published in paperback on 13th July by Penguin. Originally published in Holland in 2014, this book has become something of a phenomenon. (Note : Translated to English by Hester Velmans)

    Please do con
    Lubinka Dimitrova
    A bit too heavy on the reality for my taste, and although it had its funny moments, I'd rather not rush my acquaintance with the desperation of old age, it will come too soon as it is.
    Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
    Um... what did I just read? And why are people reading this..?

    This seems to be basically... what it is. A diary of an old guy. Nothing happens. There is no point to it. I made myself read to see if there's some moral that is coming up, at least, but... nope. Nothing. It's just someone's boring old diary. You could publish this right now. Your cousin could. All it seems to be is a weird commentary of an entire year, like a summary of what happened on the news in snippets through the eyes of a per
    Ένα βιβλίο που ενώ το ξεκίνησα με μεγάλο ενθουσιασμό, λόγω υποχρεώσεων αναγκάστηκα να το αφήσω λίγο στην άκρη. Ξαναπιάνοντας το νήμα αυτές τις μέρες, θυμήθηκα για ποιο λόγο μου άρεσε τόσο πολύ εξαρχής.
    Ένα βιβλίο συγκινητικό και ευχάριστο, σαρκαστικό και μελαγχολικό, ρομαντικό και ωμό, γλυκό και στενάχωρο.
    Οι ιστορίες που περιγράφει ο ηλικιωμένος πρωταγωνιστής είναι απολαυστικές, γιατί απολαυστικός είναι ο τρόπος που τις λέει. Μου άφησε μια απίστευτα γλυκιά και νοσταλγική διάθεση και δεν ήθελα ν
    Simona Stoica
    Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    La 83 de ani, Hendrik Groen, unul dintre fondatorii clubului „Bătrân, dar nu mort”, mi-a amintit că realitatea este tristă, dură și ridicolă. Hendrik ar putea să fie fratele lui Ove: fratele energic, plin de viață, curios și delicios de ironic. Am râs cu lacrimi și mi-a făcut o deosebită plăcere să însoțesc acest grup de octogenari în cele mai neobișnuite și îndrăznețe excursii. Un roman must-read, la limita dintre tragic și comic.
    Rebecca Carter
    Hendrik Groen doesn't like old people. Their zimmer frame shuffle, unreasonable impatience, endless complaints, their tea and biscuits, smells or creaking bodies. Although he himself is 83 years old and lives in a residential care home in the Netherlands.

    Hendrik is fed up of being a civil, ingratiating, courteous, polite and helpful bloke. He tends to choose the path of least confrontation to try to please everybody. To stop himself spiralling into depression and boredom - in a place where to s
    Maria João (A Biblioteca da João)
    9,5 de 10*

    Que livro delicioso! Segundo diz a orelha do livro, Hendrik Groen é um pseudónimo e ninguém sabe quem ele é. É pena... seria, certamente, uma pessoa fantástica de se conhecer!
    Hendrik tem 83 anos e vive num lar de idosos. Decidiu, em 2013, com o início do novo ano, começar um diário onde nos conta o seu dia-a-dia, com um humor muito salutar e uma honestidade rara nesta idade em que algumas faculdades se vão perdendo sob o peso dos anos mas é tão difícil admiti-lo...

    Comentário completo
    Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2016
    Wat heb ik genoten van de Oud-maar-niet-dood-club! Ik vond het een boek dat zowel grappig als ontroerend was. Dit verhaal moet ik even laten bezinken. Een echte aanrader!
    « previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
    • As in tas
    • Up (Paaz, #2)
    • Birk
    • Kom hier dat ik u kus
    • Jij zegt het
    • Lieveling
    • Buiten is het maandag
    • Ik kom terug
    • Maar buiten is het feest
    • Drie vrienden, een huis [en een klusjesman]
    • Neem een geit
    • De consequenties
    • Glazuur
    • Wat als...
    • Alles is zoals het zou moeten zijn
    • Vertedering
    • Toen ik je zag
    • Het dolhuis
    Hendrik Groen, pseudonym of Peter de Smet, is a Dutch writer. He is the author of the book Pogingen iets van het leven te maken: Het geheime dagboek van Hendrik Groen, 83 jaar (The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 Years Old) published in 2014. That book was awarded in 2016 with the Audience Award for the Dutch Book. The sequel Zolang er leven is: het tweede geheime dagboek van Hendrik Groen, 85 j ...more
    More about Hendrik Groen

    Other books in the series

    Hendrik Groen (2 books)
    • Zolang er leven is: het tweede geheime dagboek van Hendrik Groen, 85 jaar

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