Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

On the Water [Paperback]

H. M. Van Den Brink , Paul Vincent
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 12.14 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Usually ships within 2 to 4 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $12.14  

Book Description

April 4 2002
A "powerful tale of romantic regret" (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer), Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2001, and finalist for the French Prix Medicis, On the Water tells the poignant story of Anton and David, two oarsmen trained by a mysterious German coach in the golden Amsterdam summer of 1939. Anton stands on the banks of his beloved river years later, on the wintry eve of Holland's liberation, and mourns a lost world. David, his Jewish teammate and quiet obsession from that magical summer, has disappeared, and the boathouse is now derelict and deserted. Spare, lyrical, and nuanced, On the Water is quietly enormous, capturing a moment so precise and exact it is as if caught in amber -- a rowing club in Amsterdam and two of its competitors from very different backgrounds, set against the backdrop of the oncoming war. The menace of tragedy to come is subtly woven into the story of the two boys whose only concerns are practices, races, and themselves. In the end, all that is left for Anton is the memory of his supreme happiness that summer. "...beautiful, vivid writing...van den Brink describes the grace, ecstasy, and agony of rowing, the miracle of its teamwork harmony." -- Carmela Ciuraru, The Washington Post Book World "[A] small miracle of a book." -- Daniel Topolski, The Guardian

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Rowing is a sport in which the athletes on a given team are so tightly intertwined that, during optimal performance, total synchronization occurs. The mental bond that exists between good rowers is a powerful one, and van den Brink's tight, precise novel, set in 1939 as two young men undergo rigorous crew training on a river in Holland, offers a beautiful example of one such union. The book's narrator is Anton, a reserved teenager whose father works in the town's train depot. Anton's working-class parents do not understand or fully support his commitment to the sport, but nonetheless he throws himself into an arduous routine of rowing, running and lifting weights all in an effort to cement his relationship with David, his two-man craft's other rower. Van den Brink presents David as Anton's antithesis: self-assured and affluent. David is completely at ease with the sport's highbrow, country club culture, and although the author does not provide much character detail, it is plain there is a sort of hierarchy in the boat, with David as leader and Anton as disciple, obsessively striving to please. Van den Brink shuttles between intimate descriptions of the duo's grueling practice sessions and races, and Anton's reminiscences many years later when he revisits the abandoned boathouse. This is a sensitively written and finely tuned work.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A novel of extraordinary subtlety from readers and writers alike have much to learn... This is a marvellous book, in every respect. -- Daily Mail, 2001

An impressively sustained evocation of a lost time and lost happiness... A daring first novel. -- Times Literary Supplement, 2001

Rarely have sport and literature combined so seamlessly to produce such an absorbing and satisfying novel as this small miracle of a book. -- The Guardian, 2001 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I last heard the planes half an hour ago. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, very Dutch book Jan. 10 2004
Format:Paperback
Anton lives in a new neighbourhood near the Amstel river in Amsterdam in the 1930's. From his early childhood onwards, the river attracts him and when he is about 14 years' old he becomes a member of the rowing club on the other side of the Amstel. Anton is an outsider: the other member are from higher social classes, his father works in the public transport branch. He is also an outsider in other aspects: he observes the others and doubts himself.
But then one day the eccentric Dr. Schneiderhahn chooses Anton and David for the coxless two. In Anton's view David is his very antipole: he is self-confident and outgoing. Slowly but surely the two boys become a perfect team. In the summer of 1939 they start competition rowing and they win one race after another. It becomes more and more apparent that they have a chance to participate in the 1940 Olympics in Finland. At the end of the year they promise each other to go on as a team in the next year.
The book is written as a oppressive retrospective of Anton who finds himself on the pier of the derelict rowing club in 1944. the reader knows what has happened between 1939 and 1944 and the typically Jewish name David strongly suggests that history has not been kind to him. A beautiful book in sensitive prose.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, very Dutch book March 15 2002
Format:Hardcover
Anton lives in a new neighbourhood near the Amstel river in Amsterdam in the 1930's. From his early childhood onwards, the river attracts him and when he is about 14 years' old he becomes a member of the rowing club on the other side of the Amstel. Anton is an outsider: the other member are from higher social classes, his father works in the public transport branch. He is also an outsider in other aspects: he observes the others and doubts himself.
But then one day the eccentric Dr. Schneiderhahn chooses anton and David for the coxless two. In Anton's view David is his very antipole: he is self-confident and outgoing. Slowly but surely the two boys become a perfect team. In the summer of 1939 they start competition rowing and they win one race after another. It becomes more and more apparent that they have a chance to participate in the 1940 Olympics in Finland. At the end of the year they promise each other to go on as a team in the next year.
The book is written as a oppressive retrospective of Anton who finds himself on the pier of the derelict rowing club in 1944. the reader knows what has happened between 1939 and 1944 and the typically Jewish name David strongly suggests that history has not been kind to him. A beautiful book in sensitive prose.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars The magic of superlative writing Sept. 12 2001
By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
When an author can create a completely absorbing novel, peopled with finely tuned characters that stir us with tension and competition and longing, a novel that uses as its base a sport that few readers know enough about to connect, then that author has displayed credentials of an impressive talent. ON THE WATER spends alomst every page in the preparation, practice and execution of a two man crew boat. He gradually pulls us into that boat with an understanding of the rules of the game and the rigors of the men who row. Then, subtly and with great tenderness he unveils his two young men of polar diferences and weaves a story of the power of sporting competion and the greater power of finding a soulmate. This bonding between lower class gentile Anton and upper class Jew David is engineered by a German Doctor in 1939. This beautiful story of an exploration of place and love is set in the last summer before Hitler destroys Europe. We are left to guess the fate of David while we discover the solitary wandering Anton who tells the story five years later along the banks of the river where they spent the most beautiful time of their lives. This novel gleams with magical poetry and introduces an author (and translator) who seems destined to find an important role in the 21st Century of literature. Read this book!
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
ARRAY(0xaf053aa4)

Look for similar items by category


Feedback