Rob van Essen / Rob van Essen – Rescue Swimming

Rob van Essen – Rescue Swimming

Rob van Essen – Rescue Swimming

About the book

Rescue Swimming tells the tragicomic story of both an aimless and nameless hero, who gets onto a train one day, gets out during an emergency stop and starts walking. He finds accommodation at a youth hostel and, much to his surprise, is offered a job. Between rain-soaked brides, parched provincial girls and mysterious messages in the sky, he tries to keep afloat.

But the longer he stays in no man’s land, the more shadowy the line becomes between insight and madness, between the truth and gibberish. For a moment he seems to find solid ground in the The Mother of All ‘Polonaises’, but the big questions keep tormenting him. Questions such as: Why didn’t he just stay home? and: Who is that strange but stunning girl wandering through the hostel’s gardens at night?

‘It’s not that often that you burst into uncontrolled laughter because of a book. Even less common is that you regularly still have to chuckle in the days after reading. This debut by Rob van Essen is that kind of book.’ – NBD Biblion

‘An amusing tour through a troubled but original psyche.’ – Het Parool

Twenty-five years ago, ROB VAN ESSEN’s (1963) debut novel was fished out of Thomas Rap’s slush pile. Since then, he has published different novels and story collections, including Fisherman (shortlist 2009 Libris Literature Prize), People Live Here Too (J.M.A. Biesheuvel Prize) and The Good Son (2019 Libris Literature Prize). Last year saw the publication of his most recent short story collection A Man with Good Shoes.

© Henri Verhoef

Additional book information

  • Novel
  • ISBN 9789400408074
  • Number of pages: 224
  • World rights: Thomas Rap
  • Price: €21,99