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The Vanishing

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  5,880 ratings  ·  349 reviews
Petrol gauge broken, anxiety and tempers flaring, young lovers Rex and Saskia, heading for the South of France, pull in at a service station to refuel. The moment they stop they make up and Rex buries two coins in the base of a fence post as a sign of their love. Saskia goes off to buy cold drinks and vanishes. Eight years later Rex is still haunted by her. Then one day he ...more
Paperback, 115 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Bloomsbury Publishing (first published 1984)
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Average rating 3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,880 ratings  ·  349 reviews

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Jun 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1980-1989, noir, crime, horror
According to, Dutch is one of 6808 languages that I can not read...Ouch! Now, I've mostly learned to cope with my multilingual illiteracy, but every so often it returns to haunt me.

Case in point...

I'm sure the original version of Tim Krabbe's cult novel is wonderful. Unfortunately, as a stupid American, I was forced to read the English conversion, which I found stilted and unnatural, and made for a distracting read.
The first day there could be nothing, but Rex still went
Michael David
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Rex and Saskia, a couple, are on a road trip in France. After stopping at a gas station, Saskia goes inside to get drinks while Rex fills the tank. Saskia is never seen again. She seems to have vanished into thin air. Eight years later, Rex (now in a relationship with Lieneke) still can’t help but wonder what happened to Saskia. After relaunching a public campaign into her disappearance, Saskia’s kidnapper reaches out to Rex. He will reveal everything that happened to long as Rex goe ...more
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
What would you do for love? For knowledge? For understanding? These questions are asked in THE VANISHING, a taut psychological thriller by Dutch author Tim Krabbe.

I have to admit that at first I thought this book was going to be too sparse; at only 105 pages it didn’t seem long enough for me to believe that the characters and scenes and situations would have much of an affect upon me. But I was wrong. The style of the writing brought me to a different place, a place that can only be best descri
I wouldn't normally finish a book I disliked as much as this, but it's so short - not much more than 100 pages and the text isn't exactly tiny. There's no way I would have carried on reading if it had been any longer. I guess I just hoped something would actually happen to justify its impressive reputation, but it didn't.

The premise certainly sounded intriguing. Hailed as a modern classic, it's (supposed to be) a tale of obsession and suspense which starts with a young couple, Rex and Saskia, st
Robert Hoogstad
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Scary story, the (dutch) film version is even better. But you Will need a strong moral, it is terrifying.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books I chased for years, trying to find a copy of it. It's actually a novella. Slim and compact. It's a tale of obsession as told by two men. Many readers will be put off by the "unlikeable" protagonists -- both of the men here are definitely not super nice, although one of them is a sociopath and the other is not -- but noir is built on characters that make you squirm. The premise, as you might guess by the title, is the mysterious vanishing of a young woman during a vacat ...more
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-125, library
A great little scary story. The Dutch movie haunted me for years, so I had to read the book finally. Even though the book doesn't have many pages, the story was written well and the characters are built great. A great read for an evening. ...more
Paul Haspel
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netherlands
Very difficult to review in a meaningful or helpful manner – that is my first response to Tim Krabbé’s The Vanishing. It is not that Krabbé’s style is difficult or daunting; rather, the Dutch-language original has been translated by Claire Nicolas White into a smooth and flowing English style that makes for a fast and suspenseful read. And it is not that the action of The Vanishing is difficult to understand; instead, the novel’s plotline, while rendered from a variety of points of view, is terr ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
actual rating: 3,5 stars. I liked it, it was short and exciting. I also liked the aspect of a killer's point of view. ...more
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I just watched the movie and it was almost exactly what I pictured while I read it! This is a good book to read if you tend to be the gullible type. A nasty little reality check about blindly trusting a stranger in need, and following that, a suspenseful story about a compelled and determined lover.

Okay I definitely need to read something upbeat after this one (*goes to bookshelf … retrieves a David Sedaris book*) or something worthy of a Literature student that unfortunately hasn’t read enough ‘good’ literature and thus shouldn’t be wasting valuable time on suspect reads such as this one (*plucks down an unread Ernest Hemingway)*.

I’m glad I didn’t pay more than a dollar in the local op-shop for this one, but even so, I still feel like I was fleeced. At least with novels like The Lovely Bo
Nancy Oakes
The Vanishing is a small book, but do not let that fool you. It is intensely creepy from a psychological standpoint, and you literally will not be able to put it down before you've read it cover to cover. I won't go into plot, but my take on this novel is this: if you consider that the Dutch title is the Golden Egg (Het gouden ei), you will understand this novel much easier. The Golden Egg refers to a nightmare that Saskia (girlfriend of Rex, the main character in this novel) had as a child. In ...more
Being on holiday in the Netherlands, I wanted to read a book by a Dutch author and this was the most interesting-looking book in the English section of the bookshop. I'd seen the Dutch film of the book a few years ago and, having liked that very much, I had another impetus to get this novel.

Well, novel is pushing it a bit - at 115 pages of relatively large-font, double-spaced text, this is really a short story or novella and I read it in a few hours.

Anyway, a well written, engaging and chilling
Sep 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: university
i didn't like this book it's scary at the end and brrr idk it's not that good ...more
Als M. eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er seinen Usernamen zu einem ungeheuren Ungeziefer verwandelt
So bleak, cold, hope- and relentless it makes you mistrust your toaster. Horrifying, even if one has already watched the (also brilliant and unforgettable) movie beforehand.
Sara Eyndels
Didn't see that coming! ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has a horrific ending.
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the rare times where I was really transported into the perspective of the protagonist (it occurred during the final page of the book); I had a 1st person experience of the emotions that must have gone through the protagonist.

For all fictional books I read after, I hope(d) to have that experience again.
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder Mystery.. Very well written. Published 1984 by Dutch Author .
Made into the Movie in the U.S. 1993 - The Vanishing.
The book has been translated in 16 different languages.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting commentary on the notion of the "banality of evil". Perfectly woven tension and suspense, with believable characters and believable motivations. Terrifying, unforgettable ending. ...more
Megan McGarvey
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
boy, she sure did vanish.
Sam Go
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it.
Selina Franceschini
I loved it, I watched the movie adaptation the vanishing and think they did certain aspects better but still think the book is better, the ending and beginning were so much better.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000-s
this book is just messed up


I have conflicting feelings about this book. On the one hand, I loved it. It was an extremely nervewracking story about kidnap and murder that showed both the eventual victims (oops spoiler) and the murderers point of view. But on the other hand it could be extremely dull and uneventful at times. I really don't understand how a book can be boring when it's as short as this, but oh well. This is why I gave the book three stars.



Het Gouden Ei - Tim Krabbé
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read the novella The Vanishing by Tim Krabbe at the insistence of my daughter. She is a big novella fan, while I am not so much one. This book has been made into a couple of movies, one American and I think the other was French. It follows a young couple on a vacation in France. They stop to refuel and when Saskia goes into the store she never comes out again. She simply vanishes. Rex becomes obsessed with discovering what fate has befallen Saskia. For years Rex searches and posts notices up h ...more
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
I haven't read many books as terrifying as this one, particularly one so short!

Rex and Saskia are a young Dutch couple on a road trip in France, one evening they stop off at a gas station to rest and Saskia disappears without any trace. We jump forward eight years where we find Rex trying to move on with his life. He has a new fiancé and things seem to be going well however it soon becomes apparent he is suffering from some kind of post-traumatic stress and still hasn't recovered from his experi
I've read the original Dutch version of this book called: 'Het Gouden Ei' (means: 'The Golden Egg'). It was a well-written book. I kind of liked the way Raymond Lemorne was obsessed with his attemps to rape a girl. He was totally mad but he still seemed like a harmless teacher. Their were also a lot of symbols used in the book, wich maked me thinking. For instance, the way that their dream with the golden egg was linked to the loneliness while being captured in their coffin. ...more
Stephanie (Stepping Out Of The Page)
I read this in one sitting and quite easily too. The book has a good, quite fast pace and kept me wanting to read on. It did seem to have quite a disturbing effect, even if it didn't ever go into great detail. The sense of tension was there and I enjoyed reading from the view points of two characters. A good plot with a somewhat ambiguous but impacting ending. Worth a read. ...more
My mind... it is blown!

Also, how did I not know of this book? And that it apparently has sprouted two films?

This was an utterly fascinating and scary read. I had no clue what it would be about, so at first I thought it was going to be a love story and in some way it is. The ultimate, bone chilling love story.
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1718 - PXL - Taal...: Eerste reflectieverslag - Carolien Mommens 1 13 Dec 15, 2017 02:27AM  
Het Gouden Ei 1 35 Feb 10, 2010 12:27AM  

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“It was the same photograph that had been in all the papers eight years ago and that he now used again in his ads: the one he had taken on the café terrace in Paris on the morning before she disappeared, the last picture of her. In seven-eighths profile, she looked at Rex with a knowing smile, as if she had something up her sleeve. The caption read: ...two cans...

Under the title "French Appeal for Missing Girl-friend," the story of her disappearance was told once more, abbreviated, and with a few small errors. They'd gone ahead and quoted the sum he'd supposedly paid for the ads: The price: a cool eighty thousand guilders. He must have gone deep into dept for this. Hoping for what? "Nothing," says Hofman. "It's a tribute.”
“Als hij helder dacht was er maar één gang van zaken echt aannemelijk. Ze was in een auto gesleurd of gelokt en ontvoerd. Ze zag er sexy uit, maar niet rijk. Misschien had de dader zelfs gezien dat ze bij Rex’ oude auto hoorde, het moest dus om een verkrachting begonnen zijn. Dan werd ze nu verkracht. En daarna? Ze kon vermoord worden. Dan werd haar lijk vroeger of later gevonden. Maar ze zou niet zo stom zijn zich te verzetten. De kans was groot dat ze ergens op een afgelegen plek werd achtergelaten, dan zou ze na verloop van tijd het hotel weten te bereiken. Al met al was dat het meest waarschijnlijk. Het was niet eens gezegd dat de vakantie reddeloos was.” 0 likes
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