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De ontdekking van de hemel

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  9,222 Ratings  ·  418 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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Oct 14, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dutch
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
Jun 14, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation
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
Apr 04, 2017 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I have started reading the french edition, 1000+ pages... Heaven can't wait....
Michael Hall
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 05, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
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
Jul 19, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Patrick by:
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
Apr 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read this im sorry I didn't mean to rate this help
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gelukt! Na meer dan 10j ongelezen in de boekenkast te staan heb ik deze klepper dankzij de verbeelding bookclub eindelijk uitgelezen. Geen idee waarom ik zo'n schrik had om er aan te beginnen. Het leest veel vlotter dan verwacht, de vriendschap tussen Onno en Max vind ik heel mooi beschreven, geweldige dialogen vol kwinkslagen en doordenkers, maar ook hun houding naar de andere personages toe wordt goed uitgewerkt. Er staan prachtige zinnen in het boek en heel interessante filosofische beschouwi ...more
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
Mar 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Goed: driehoek/vierkant Max-Onno-Ada-Sophia, een aantal van de psychologische / filosofische gesprekken (vooral dan die over het zijn/niet zijn), het aanwakkeren van mijn goesting om nog wat extra gebouwen in Rome te gaan bezoeken.
Niet goed: iets teveel name-dropping (ok ja, het kan interessant om vb. die discus van Phaistos te vermelden voor mensen die die niet kennen, maar leg het dan uit en doe er iets mee i.p.v. het gewoon x keer te vermelden), teveel deus ex machina momenten.
Dubbel gevoel:
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Stephen Durrant
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 25, 2010 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
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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.

May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When thinking about it now, i again feel the perplexity this book's ending evoked in me two days ago. What a story!
What i fell in love with immediately: the writing style, the beautiful words i didn't know yet and learned by looking them up, the wonderfully and creatively crafted sentences that described certain feelings, thoughts or situations that moved by heart and mind simultaneously, the interesting scientific and historical information that is abundantly sprinkled throughout the whole book
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lastig, hier iets over te zeggen, of over te vinden.

Edit 8-8'17: Dit blijft veeel langer hangen dan verwacht! Niet in detail maar als geheel, als een heel compleet, interessant en grappig verhaal. 5 sterren.

In eerste instantie voelde ik een soort opluchting dat het leesbaarder was dan ik had gedacht (waardoor ik het boek een paar jaar geleden al na een paar bladzijden weglegde en afdeed als 'te moeilijk' of 'niet mijn ding'.) Dit keer duurde het ook even voordat ik eraan gewend was, maar vervolg
Jun 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  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
Feb 10, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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.
Gumble's Yard
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, 2005

Long and extremely complex novel – very hard to categorise and incredibly wide-ranging and ambitious.

Womanising astronomer Max Delius (son of a Nazi collaborator who had his Jewish wife – Max’s mother – killed: note this is almost autobiographical as Mulisch had a Jewish maternal family killed in camps and a collaborator father) meets by chance with absent-minded linguist Onno Quist (son of an ex-Prime Minister) and the two strike up a deep almost exclusive friendship, which they
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
Jan 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 12, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-list-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim Coughenour
Jul 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greatfiction
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.

Ross Perchonok
Mar 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didnt finish 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.
Ceren Uzuner
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dit boek. Onwijs en onwijs en onwijs en onwijs goed.
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
When writing this, Harry Mulisch used his Umberto Eco-location.

But it's not just an Eco ripoff, even if I was so, so reminded of Foucault's Pendulum as I read, what with the meditations on the roles of Marxism and third-worldism in the postwar European intellectual formation, darksome descriptions of Catholic conspiracy, and so forth. Mulisch dives a bit more headfirst into the supernatural, even if that can get annoying at times – the maze in the middle was some lame-ass faux-Indiana Jones shit
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Verbeelding Bookclub: Maart boek 22 86 Apr 21, 2017 03:31AM  
Netherlands & Fla...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Ended - group read #10 : De ontdekking van de hemel by Harry Mulisch 7 90 Apr 21, 2013 06:34AM  
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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 about Harry Mulisch...

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“That question is too good to spoil with an answer.” 27 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.” 20 likes
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