About the book
Tough Guy follows a year in the life of Hidde, a twelve-year-old boy in a seemingly fun but in fact unhappy family. His father can unexpectedly erupt in rage, his fickle mother doesn’t offer any support. Family members mislead one another, lie if it suits them. Outside, when playing football with his friends, Hidde feels safer than at home. He steadily becomes a daydreamer and lifts off into fantasies about heroic feats with the ball, just as he arms himself with silence, with observations of his rebellious brother, who is beaten by their father and humiliated. In that way he survives, through brains and calculating behaviour – a far cry from his heroes on the professional football team that is on its way to a world championship that year, 1969. Hidde is not nearly as tough as his idols in the stadiums. Or is he?