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The Institute

(Otto Iking #1)

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  9 reviews
THE INSTITUTE is a beautifully written boarding school novel about a boy who is searching for his identity and a sense of security. It is both hilarious and moving, and paints a frank picture of the 1970s, when 'everything had to be tried out.'

Otto Iking is an outsider, at home as well as at the boarding school for the blind, but he is also an observer. Otto looks at the
Published April 27th 2017 by Holland Park Press (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.23  · 
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Otto Iking is a resident at the Institute, a boarding school for the blind. He characterizes his fellow students firstly according to their smell – “foul soap,” “piss” or “grated Swiss cheese” – only later adding in details about their speech and habits. It’s a zany sort of place, powered by pranks and strange decisions. Some stand-out scenes include hiding Harry’s glass eyes and a visit from the president of Surinam, a former Dutch colony. The slapstick humor works well (“When I walked into a l ...more
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: un-put-down-able
This very amusing book was written by someone who has been blind since he was born. It describes the lives of children in an institute for blind children through the 'eyes' of 11 year old Otto, who is completely blind. in an affectionate way he describes the trials and tribulations of blind children without being in the slightest way 'politically correct '. The reader is never made to feel sorry for the blind. Instead, the problems that blind children have in learning to interact with the world ...more
Anthony Ferner
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dutch-fiction
The Institute (trans. Susan Ridder), an autobiographical novel by Dutch comedian and broadcaster Vincent Bijlo, tells the story of eleven-year-old Otto Iking. Otto attends a boarding school for the blind, the eponymous Institute. What makes this book special is Otto’s distinctive voice: droll, cocky, acerbic, boisterous, cynical, inquisitive, unsentimental. Though talented – he broadcasts his own radio programme at the school and gets taken up by a public radio station – he is in many ways not a ...more
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Erg grappig geschreven, vol (zelf)spot en flauwe grappen, over leuke en trieste gebeurtenissen in het leven van de blinde 11-jarige ik-persoon. Mooi einde.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doordat ik het boek via de Goodreads Giveaway gewonnen had, kwam ik met de schrijver Vincent Bijlo in aanraking. Zijn boek over Otto Iking zit vol kwajongensstreken en humor en leest daardoor heerlijk vlot weg. Van echte diepgang is geen sprake, maar als lezer raak je wel betrokken bij het leven van Otto en vraag je je af hoe het verder zal lopen, welke streken hij verder uit gaat halen en wat voor toekomst er voor hem weggelegd is.

Eindoordeel: 3,5 van 5 sterren
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A droll, candid, and cynical fiction-non-fiction novel about life in a boarding school for the blind.
Emma Debruyne
Deze vind ik moeilijk om te beoordelen: het was zeker niet slecht maar het is ook niet mijn nieuwe lievelingsboek. Daarom 3 sterren
May 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-dutch, 2014
Read March 2014
Maaike Boersma
Heerlijke zelfspot! Eerste en beste boek uit de Otto Iking-serie.
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