'Tuesday, 1 January Another year, and I still don't like old people. Their Zimmer-frame shuffle, their endless complaints, their tea and biscuits, their bellyaching. Me? I'm eighty-three ...' Meet Hendrik Groen. An octogenarian in a care home who has no intention of doing what he's told, or dying quietly. To that end, he creates the Old-But-Not-Dead Club and with his fellow members sets about living his final years with careless abandon. Such anarchism infuriates the care home director but pleases Eefje, the woman who makes Hendrik's frail heart palpitate. If it's never too late to have fun, then can it ever be too late to meet the love of your life? 'Very funny' Jeremy Paxman, Financial Times 'Terrific. This geriatric Adrian Mole made me laugh' Fanny Blake, Woman and Home 'There are many laughs in this book but it's so much more than just a comedy. It's a story about how friendship, selflessness and dignity lie at the heart of the human experience. When I'm an old man, I want to be Hendrik Groen' John Boyne 'I laughed until I cried and then laughed and cried some more' David Suchet 'Highly entertaining, utterly convincing.
A delightful and touching saga of one man's way of coping with old age' Daily Express
'A great deal of heart' Graeme Simsion 'Praised for its wit' BBC Radio 4 Front Row 'When I'm an old man, I want to be Hendrik Groen' John Boyne 'I laughed until I cried' David Suchet 'Thoughtful, anxious and gruff... Laced with humour' Mail on Sunday 'Amusing [and] wickedly accurate' Sunday Express - A story with a great deal of heart, it pulled me in with its self-deprecating humour, finely drawn characters and important themes. Anyone who hopes to grow old with dignity will have much to reflect on -- Graeme Simsion, author of international phenomenon The Rosie Project Thoughtful, anxious and gruff... Laced with humour -- The Best New Fiction Mail on Sunday Full of off-beat charm and quirky characters -- Cathy Rentzenbrink Stylist A joy to read, as much concerned with friendship and dignity as it is with the debilitating effects of aging ... An entertaining and uplifting story of a man in the winter of his days, stoic in the face of bureaucratic nonsense and an unabashed need to wear a nappy. Imagined or not, this is the diary of someone who wants nothing more than to be allowed see out his days with dignity and respect. It's not too much to ask, really, is it? -- John Boyne Irish Independent Amusing [and] wickedly accurate ... I was constantly put in mind of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, another comi-tragedy concerning the tyranny of institutions of the unwanted. Enjoy Groen's light touch but do not be fooled by it. We live in an ageing society. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is a handbook of resistance for our time. ***** FIVE STARS Daily Express Hendrik Groen is king -- Ray Kluun Highly entertaining ... a delightful and touching saga of one man's way of coping with old age ... we may assume that Hendrik Groen is a character of fiction. But it is a fiction so closely based on the observation of real life that it is utterly convincing Daily Express Hendrik pens an expose of his care home, sets up the Old-But-Not-Dead club and relishes the arrival of a new female resident. This geriatric Adrian Mole made me laugh and think. Terrific -- Fanny Blake Woman and Home
Hendrik Groen started his diary on the literary website of Torpedo magazine. He says about his novel: 'There's not one sentence that's a lie, but not every word is true.' The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old has been translated into over thirty languages.