Read Små ögonblick av lycka (men rätt mycket elände med): 83¼-årige Hendrik Groens hemliga dagbok by Hendrik Groen Joakim Sundström Online


Hendrik Groen är 83 år gammal och bor på ett äldreboende i Amsterdam. Han har tröttnat på att alltid vara korrekt, intagande, vänlig, belevad och hjälpsam. ”Jag tänker inte tycka om gamlingar i år heller”, skriver han i sin dagbok, och det blir inledningen till en charmig och dråplig rapport inifrån åldrandets värld. Det handlar om vänskap och kärlek i livets bortre ände.Hendrik Groen är 83¼ år gammal och bor på ett äldreboende i Amsterdam. Han har tröttnat på att alltid vara korrekt, intagande, vänlig, belevad och hjälpsam. ”Jag tänker inte tycka om gamlingar i år heller”, skriver han i sin dagbok, och det blir inledningen till en charmig och dråplig rapport inifrån åldrandets värld. Det handlar om vänskap och kärlek i livets bortre ände. Om skröplighet, förfall och död, men också om hur man på bästa sätt står emot tristessen och ger dagarna på äldreboendet mening. Det handlar kort sagt om den eviga frågan om hur man ska göra någonting meningsfullt av det liv man har kvar att leva.Med en stor portion humor, ofta ganska svart sådan, och en ironi som hela tiden ligger alldeles under ytan avhandlas såväl stora som små ämnen. Men det är de små händelserna som får det största utrymmet, allehanda jäkelskaper som många äldre drabbas av: ekonomiska bekymmer, försämrad hälsa, ett ständigt växande vårdbehov och existentiell ångest i största allmänhet....

Title : Små ögonblick av lycka (men rätt mycket elände med): 83¼-årige Hendrik Groens hemliga dagbok
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789146230304
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 374 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Små ögonblick av lycka (men rätt mycket elände med): 83¼-årige Hendrik Groens hemliga dagbok Reviews

  • Paromjit
    2019-03-31 00:29

    This is a wonderful heartrending, uplifting and hilarious read. It is obviously a take on Adrian Mole but featuring an elderly curmudgeon, Hendrik Groen. It is set in a north Amsterdam nursing care home which is going to experience a whistleblowing day to day account of the lives of an eccentric bunch of residents and the rules they are subjected to, documented in the diary. Hendrik is grumpy, cynical, politically incorrect, full of life, funny and a rebel with a cause. He has two friends, Evert and the assistant to the Administrator, Anja. The book does a stellar job in challenging the stereotypes and the invisibility of the elderly.The story begins with Hendrik deciding to write a diary to prevent himself sinking into a apathetic stupor and accepting that there is only the end of life to look forward to. There is an incident with the Aquarium in the care home which results in dead fish and a clash with management. A new resident arrives, Eefje, who just happens to be Hendrik's dream woman. Before you know it, Hendrik is motivated into sprucing himself up to make the most of his physical assets and go in search of love. With a spark of rebellion we have a group of residents set up the Old But Not Yet Dead club whereby they support each other through their difficulties, declining health and tragedies. They organise day trips which does them a world of good in enlivening their days. This club comes to be envied by the rest of the inmates. After mulling it over for a while, Hendrik purchases a scooter which leads to a number of incidents and adventures. There is a strong element of growing old disgracefully which I could only applaud. Interspersed are the sorrows of getting older, dementia, strokes, the failing body and losing friends to death.There is a strong social and political commentary such as on the shortfalls in funding and the rules the elderly have to live under that drain their life force unnecessarily. The story is laced with wisdom and its themes have a universality that crosses borders of the specifics of a Dutch Care Home to be issues of global concern for all of us. This novel made me cry and laugh. I hope I don't take things lying down as I get older. Hendrik is a scintillating role model on how to get old. I loved this book and would urge others to read it. A highly recommended brilliant and enchanting read. Thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.

  • abby
    2019-04-14 00:21

    Jan 5: She pressed three slices of cake on me when I left... Those slices have found a home in the fish tank on the third floorJan 7: An investigation was launched yesterday into the sudden demise of the fish on the third floor. A considerable amount of cake was found floating in the water.Hendrik Groen doesn't like old people that much. But being as he's 83 and lives in a retirement home, they're hard to escape. He suffers from several ailments, but the good news is that his decline is progressing at an "acceptable rate"-- whatever that means. Even more vexing than the occasional senior moment or the prospect of wearing diapers are the insane and ever-changing rules and regulations at the home-- which no one is allowed to see in print or question. Alongside cutbacks in public services for pensioners, it seems the whole of Holland is ready to write off its greatest generation.I can't make the reality prettier than it is: sad, grim, and funny all at once.He fights back the only way he can: by living. With a couple of like minded friends, he starts the Old But Not Dead club, and they start challenging themselves to do new things. But even being young in spirit-- for a couple of hours a week, at least-- can't keep the realities of old age at bay. For a year, Hendrik keeps a secret diary. It's full of snark and humor and heart, and a reminder that no matter how old you are, there's still life to be lived.Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book to review.

  • Maureen
    2019-04-10 00:29

    Hendrik Groen can be grumpy, mischievous, and even sarcastic when the occasion calls for it, but his more positive personality traits far outshine the negatives with his caring, thoughtful, and giving nature.Hendrik lives in a care home in Amsterdam, and his book gives a lively look at a year in his life from his own perspective. Although he's finding it increasingly hard to get get about these days, he's far from dead, and just to prove it, he and his friends set up the 'Old But Not Dead' club. The club members are each tasked in turn, with arranging an outing in which they can all participate. The results are both refreshing and ingenious. It gives them something to look forward to as well as relieving the monotony of their daily lives.Amongst the club's members are Evert,( Hendrik's best pal and partner in crime ), and then there is the care home's newest resident Eefje, Hendrik's dream woman ( proving that you're never too old for love!). Evert is a naughty schoolboy dressed in an aged person's body, but that doesn't stop him! Eefje on the other hand is quiet, contemplative and intelligent. Hendrik wishes he'd met her half a lifetime ago. In the latter part of the book, there are some simple yet really moving moments between Hendrik and Eefje that left me with a lump in my throat, and tears in my eyes.This book though mostly had me chuckling at some of their antics, not just those of the club members, but the residents in general. Of course, there is a certain amount of backstabbing, as is only natural when people live in such close proximity, but the overriding feeling I'm left with is one of being humbled, charmed, and amused.Let me say right here and now, that if I ever end up in a care home, I pray that there is a Hendrik and an Evert to brighten up my remaining days, I just LOVE Hendrik!What a change this was from my usual genres, but I'm so glad I read it, it was a pleasure and an honour to share Hendrik's life, if only for a year!*Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin UK- Michael Joseph for my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*

  • PattyMacDotComma
    2019-04-18 03:35

    4★“As part of her plan of action to combat the dementia, Grietje has composed, with my help, two new notes she is to carry with her at all times: ‘What to do if I get lost’ and ‘What to do if I don’t remember exactly who someone is.’ Both notes start with: ‘Please forgive me, but I’m a bit forgetful.’. . . ‘With a little luck, next year I’ll believe in Santa Claus again!’ said Grietje gaily. ‘Yes, just keep going the way you’re going, and you’ll get there soon enough,’ Evert egged her on. She liked the prospect of trustingly leaving her shoe by the hearth again. ‘Santa Claus could leave me an arch-support insole!’‘Made of marzipan.”. . . I must try to be thankful for every happy day, as Grietje is, and I am trying with all my might, but sometimes I’m just not mighty enough.”Hendrik is a bit of a grouchy old fellow, but it’s not long before he realises that it’s not just his age and infirmity that have affected his mood, it’s the continuous complaints and “organ recitals” at the dinner table (a phrase I only ever heard used by my aunt, who was exasperated by hearing all the gory details about other people’s organs).Hendrik discovers that pranks are a lot of fun, and his disposing of some unwanted cake in an aquarium stirs up more than a few dead fish. It's a major incident, and the authorities seek to investigate!The first part of the book seems to be mostly anecdotes and descriptions, which certainly ring true from my experiences with family and friends and community service organisations, but they didn’t interest me. Been there, done that (well, as an outsider, for the time being). But I persisted.As he got to know more people and make some particularly special friends (who formed the Old But Not Dead Club - a truly inspired idea), he became involved in their lives and so did I. They consume a lot of wine and whisky and enjoy life. He is happily surprised.“On parting, a kiss on both cheeks. I felt myself get all hot and bothered. Jesus, I’m eighty-three years old!”He often refers to the residents as “inmates”, and the authoritarian manager, who tries desperately to control things (impossible), is indeed something of a warden, claiming nobody is allowed to see The Rules (those rules they seem to keep bumping up against with their bright ideas). And some of their ideas ARE bright and inventive. The "Club" gets up to all sorts of things. Hendrik was not a fan of aids and equipment, from incontinence pads to mobility scooters, but as he sees what others are dealing with (and how much fun the scooters are), he does learn to adapt and look forward. After all, if he wants to get out and about . . . “I really must make a point of asking my geriatrician next time if there’s anything that can be done about the leaky part or if I’ll just have to resign myself to wearing diapers. Not so long ago I used to think that was when one lost one’s last shred of dignity, but I realize that I have now lowered the bar a bit. The frog in the cooking pot, that’s me.”I had the same mixed feelings about becoming attached to these elderly folks who are fading and falling apart, but their good humour and companionship won me over. They are not all genteel by any means, and some have quite "direct" language, but nothing offensive except to those pernickety old residents who deserved to be offended!Here’s a link to one of the Dutch mobility vehicles he lusted after.The Canta mobility vehicle. here’s another to how the Dutch have made use of their cycleways which Australia can only envy. Sigh . . . And a last link – to Publisher’s Weekly which says that Hendrik Groen is an alias. Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted.

  • david
    2019-04-17 00:26

    Full disclosure: I love the Netherlands.This is a somewhat honest account, written by an 84-year-old man (or not); his reflections on residing in a nursing home in Amsterdam.This country has some of the most progressive inclinations of any modern-day society. It is also an inclusive place where people of all colors and beliefs reside peacefully, for the most part.It is a land of incongruities. The tallest people in the world walk daily on the smallest sidewalks while it is usually drizzling rain. Cheese stores galore for a mostly fit population. Delftware, the Rhine, bicycles, museums, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, coffee shops (way better than Starbucks), euthanasia, wooden clogs, illuminated districts, canals and…Hendrik Groen.With little to do, other than survive, and possibly chatting up a hot old babe while dining or playing Klaverjassen, a Dutch card game, Hendrik chose to become a diarist.The result is a story we all can relate to and possibly, one day, find ourselves remanded, as one of its’ inmates (his word).From sandbox to sandbox, children we remain.If I were to offer a suggestion, which I seldom do, it would be to pick up this uniquely told story and chuckle throughout it while learning a thing or two in the process.It is a sure bet, a no brainer, that it will satiate.4.5 stars for the narration and .5 stars for this lucid and expressive, octogenarian (impersonator?) satirist.

  • Sheri
    2019-03-29 07:23

    Hendrik's diary expresses all the things we all wish we could say and do. He and his cohort Evert even occasionally stir the pot by expressing those sarcastic and petulant thoughts aloud. And maybe at age 83 1/4 he has earned the right to. Between the silly rules and the cantankerous residents at his retirement home, Hendrik has much to keep him both amused and discomfited. The three G's (gossip, grousing, and gibberish) keep his days interesting.I felt a range of emotions while reading Hendrik's diary: happy, sad, teary eyed, laughter. I really enjoyed his exposé, it's filled with amusing and profound true to life anecdotes about aging and life in general with great vocabulary to boot.

  • Brenda
    2019-04-02 03:16

    Hendrik Groen is spending his final years in a care home in Amsterdam – he still doesn’t like the elderly; complaining, whinging lot – and he’s 83 ¼ himself. His best friend is the mischievous troublemaker Evert – between the two of them the fish in the aquarium are destined to live a short life; the stuffy boss of the home is determined to discover the culprits but Evert and Hendrik think themselves safe.When one of the residents passes away, the room is taken by Eefje. She is a quiet, thoughtful woman – and Hendrik is smitten. He smartens himself up, nervously hosts a get together over cups of tea with both Eefje and Evert and wishes he’d met her half a century sooner.As we move through the day by day diary entries of Hendrik, we learn about the Old But Not Dead Club which he formed – the activities and antics, day trips and support which the members offer each other. There is heartache and tragedy, laughter and fun, all of which makes the days so much better than the usual monotony of sitting gazing out the windows. The envy of the other residents is obvious... Hendrik Groen is a grumpy, cynical old man, determined not to go quietly – the laugh out loud anecdotes had me chuckling right from the very start. A year in the life of an elderly nursing home resident – how could it possibly be of interest you'd think? But it’s funny, heartbreaking, uplifting and filled with wonderful characters that are surrounded by all the aged suffer from – dementia, lack of family to visit, their bodies failing them and death. I have no hesitation in recommending The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old as an uplifting, at times hilarious though heartbreaking read.With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy to read in exchange for an honest review.

  • Cynthia Schultz
    2019-04-07 03:38

    Tot nu toe mijn mooiste boek van 2015. Je volgt een jaar lang het dagboek van Hendrik Groen, 83, in het bejaardenhuis. Droog, erg grappig, vertederend en verdrietig. Ik heb veel hardop gelachen om dit verhaal en op het einde veel gehuild. Dat doe ik niet vaak bij een boek. Ik vond het heerlijk. Vreselijk genoten van dit boek.

  • ReadAlong With Sue
    2019-04-04 02:36

    In the north Amsterdam Care home lives Hendricks.He reminds me of a mischievous child, one you just see as sometimes naughty but cute, cuddles and loveable because they say some awesome things on they're perception of life it makes you laugh.This is Hendricks.He also has a serious side he lays bare in his diary.He's aging.We all are aging everyday of our lives and we give it no thought. Friendships are bonded and become so important as we get older.Very enjoyable read.My thanks to Penguin UK via Net Galley

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-03-30 04:16

    Another I am leaving unrated. After reading 30% I am putting this aside. The format is journal style, a format I usually like but frankly though there are a few funny moments, I am bored with this. An unpopulated stance going by the ratings but have learned something about myself. I seem to like books about elderly women more than those about elderly men.

  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    2019-03-27 06:23

    4 starsWhat a wonderful old curmudgeon. Hendrik Groen is in a nursing home - he lives in the assisted living section. He decided to keep a journal for one year. He started his journal on January 1, 2013 when he was 83 years old. Seeing the world through his eyes - and the perspective of his closest friends - The Old But Not Dead Club - was a very humorous undertaking. From his mortification of his "dribbling" and leaving yellow stains in his white underpants, to the suggestion that people go to the "shit clinic" and quit bothering him with their whining about their daily constipation or diarrhea stories while he is trying to take afternoon tea and cake. Hendrik is the Grampa that everyone wishes they had. This is fiction (however there is some debate) and written by Groen, (Hendrik Groen is an alias, and Meulenhoff is an unknown Amsterdam resident). This is the first book, to be followed up with a sequel in January 2018. Written in a diary format makes it very easy to read and devour, through your tears of laughter. Not to say that there isn't some sad parts, Alzheimers, amputation and death all make themselves known in this book. Life in an Amsterdam nursing home for the elderly - lovingly referred to as "inmates" - is not all ribbons and balloons - however Groen takes most of the aches and pains out of reading this book.

  • Dajana
    2019-03-26 05:36

    Ovo je beskonačno tužna knjiga, posebno jer imam iskustvo bliskih ljudi koji umiru teško i dugo, a medicinski radnici ih otpisuju jer su 'stari' i 'vreme im je'.Pored niza duhovitih primedbi, anegdota i zabavnih komentara, ovo je knjiga o svim užasima starenja i društvenoj nevidljivosti ljudi u gerontološkim centrima. Uvek mi je zanimljivo kad čitam u popularnim časopisima o 'tabuima u kulturi' i uvek nekako izostave da pomenu da smo postali kultura koja se baš užasava starih ljudi i juri da ih skloni što dalje. Holandija ima zakon o eutanaziji i njemu je dat ogroman prostor u Hrunovom dnevniku, i premda se pominje usputno i ovlaš, jasno je da je to centralna etička dilema mnogih stanovnika staračkog doma, a i njihovih porodica i lekara. Ako Holandija, kao bogata zemlja, ima ovakav odnos prema svojim starima (loša hrana, brojne zabrane i kontrole itd.), Hrun se pita kako je tek onima koji nisu imali sreće da se rode u ekonomski stabilnim državama. On je vrlo pronicljiv starac koji komentariše dnevnu politiku, moderne uređaje, navike starih ljudi, sramotne bolesti koje pogađaju telo nad kojim se gubi kontrola (kontrola bešike, neprijatni mirisi, pelene), i mislim da ovo svakako vredi pročitati u vremenu kad često zaboravimo da bakama i dekama naših pola sata ulepša celu sedmicu.

  • Rebecca Foster
    2019-04-18 08:31

    “In our subtropical world of fatuous blabbermouths, you hear at least ten times a morning that everything was better in the old days.” In this anonymous Dutch novel in diary form, Hendrik Groen provides a full reckoning of how 2013 went down in his Amsterdam old folks’ care home. He and five friends form an Old But Not Dead club and take turns planning exciting weekly outings. Much comic relief is provided by his incorrigibly tippling friend, Evert, and the arrival of Eefje even makes late-life romance a possibility for Hendrik.However, there’s no getting around the fact of physical decay: between them these friends suffer from incontinence, dementia, diabetic amputations and a stroke. By the time 2014 rolls around, after all the upheaval of the year before in the wider world (a new pope and archbishop; a new royal in the Netherlands; the Arab Spring - world events are nicely interwoven) their number will be reduced by one. Yet this is a tremendously witty and warm-hearted book, despite Hendrik’s sad family history. It’s definitely one for fans of A Man Called Ove – but I liked this a fair bit more.

  • Melanie
    2019-04-19 05:42

    I got this ARC as a give-away from Goodreads. I waffled between 2 and 3 stars but decided on 3 in the end. While at times touching and laugh out loud funny I was also a bit bored. There was a lot of talk about Netherland politics that I really didn't care about. It took me way too long to read because of that I think. But in the end Hendrik's diary won me over. I really liked reading about him, all of his friends and their antics. I will probably seek out the second book when it is translated see what all the old folks are up to now. Getting old is a bitch!

  • Louise Wilson
    2019-04-18 05:43

    Hendrik Groen resides in a Nursing Home funded by the state in North Amsterdam. He decides to start writing a diary. He has two people he can rely on. One being Evert also a resident of the home and Anja the assistant to the Administrator for the home.This is a funny, heartbreaking day by day revelation of how eccentric residents spend their time and the Old But Not Yet Dead Club they set up where support is given to each other due to their declining health and tragedy.I would like to thank Net Galley, Penguin UK Michael Joseph and the author Hendrik Groen for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Cindy Burnett
    2019-03-31 08:26

    I wish I could meet Hendrik Groen because I know I would absolutely love him. This book is one of the most touching, heart-wrenching stories that I have read in a while. Groen resides in a state-funded nursing home in Amsterdam. At 83 years old, he decides to start writing in his diary to pass the time and to “give the world an uncensored expose´: a year in the life of the inmates of a care home in North Amsterdam.” Hendrik Groen proceeds to do just that; I cannot count the times I laughed out loud, and plenty of times I cried as well.Groen hilariously and poignantly chronicles daily life as an 83 year-old. When he begins writing in his diary, he has two people he counts as friends, Evert who lives in the apartment section of the home and Anja, the assistant to the Administrator of the nursing home. The diary provides Groen an outlet for his frustrations about growing old and spurs him to make something of the life he has left. By the time the year is over, he has an entire group of friends, the Old-But-Not-Yet-Dead Club, loyal and kind individuals who work to help each other when illness or tragedy befalls a member. Sadly, several of his friends have health issues during the year, ranging from losing a leg to the onset of Alzheimer’s to having a stroke. Groen details how he personally and the group deals with these issues, and the support they all provide to each other. The group takes occasional day trips together organized by each member on a rotating basis. Reading about their various day trips was definitely a highlight of the book, from the planning to the execution of each trip and the joy the excursions clearly brought the entire bunch. Midway through the year, after debating at length in his diary, Hendrik purchases an electric scooter. His exploits all around Amsterdam and the mobility his scooter provides him lead to several entertaining passages in his diary. He even visits another resident’s son to “soup up his ride.” While Groen tells many funny tales, he also addresses some very important and pressing issues in today’s society, including funding and care for the aged, Alzheimer’s, euthanasia, and the racism that certain groups still face. He also reinforces the notion that the elderly deserve a great amount of respect and empathy; something that seems to be missing today. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for all walks of life – all ages can learn so much from the knowledge and insight he imparts. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this gem in exchange for an honest review.

  • Stephen Clynes
    2019-03-22 08:15

    83 year old Hendrik Groen lives at a care home in Amsterdam. Here is his 2013 diary. I got a lot from reading this book, the format is rather good. Remember when people published personal blogs on the web, rather than these very short snippets we now get from Facebook and Twitter? Well, Hendrik’s diary entries are very much like the best of blogs. You have a lovely mix of personal life, current day cultural trends and landmark historical occasions. This book enables you to enter the very often closed world of life for 80 plus year olds in residential care homes. Although this book is set in Amsterdam, the attitudes, issues and problems are worldwide.Hendrik’s diary entries are not simple prose but lengthy rants about whatever has got Hendrik’s goat that day. The language used is not simple but very mature and his range of vocabulary is spectacular. This book brings an intelligent look at the daily life of residents in a care home. It explains what is important to them in their sunset years. I can see parts of this book being used in staff training sessions across a range of industries to explain to workers how the elderly think and understand their world. I found this book very useful and not just in relating to elderly passengers travelling on my National Express coach. My own father is also 83 years old and this month has just moved into a residential care home in Cardiff. This book helped me to see things through my dad’s eyes too. Not only does it give an 83 year old’s take on care homes, other residents, cultural changes and historical events but also the challenges posed to residents who have dementia. Because of the way dementia creeps on, I was blind to my father developing vascular dementia and just thought he was getting old and not bothering to compete for conversation between my mother and my wife. I was concerned how my father would cope with being split away from my mother, put into a care home and accepting his own dementia. I found this book helpful, informative and reassuring. It allowed me to enter my father’s world and see it from his eyes. When I read this, I thought “that’s my dad!”...Everyone in here has strong views on the subject of cake crumbs in fish tanks. But ask them what they think of the war in Syria and they’ll stare at you as if you’ve just asked them to explain the theory of relativity. A handful of fish floating belly-up are a thousand times worse than a busload of women and children blown to smithereens in some far-off country....I took a lot from this book and found it a pleasure to read. There is a lovely humour that runs through this book that is all deprecating, for example…So indeed, yesterday I attended ‘Feel Good Fitness’. It was my first time. And also my last. When it was over and the instructor - ‘Call me Tina’ - gushed that I should definitely come again next week, I told her right then and there that once was enough. ‘Oh, and why is that?’ she asked suspiciously. ‘Because with so much female pulchritude about, I can’t concentrate on the exercises properly. I stiffen up.’… I really liked this book and it was great to enter Hendrik’s world on such an intimate and personal level. Even if you do not have an elderly relative living in a care home, it is great read in the way that reality television fails to capture. It is a very good reading experience that I will vote the top score of 5 stars because it is entertaining, informative and rather witty.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Penguin for giving me a copy of this book on the understanding that I provide an honest review.

  • Judy
    2019-03-31 04:25

    What a touching read. Truly this is up there with the best ones I have read. It was recommended to me by my dad's primary health professional with the words that it is one of the funniest, most poignant and cutting reads about old age you will come across. And it is. Age is something we will all be negotiating if we are one of the fortunate ones to navigate a full span of decades in life. This guy Hendrik Groen gives a glimpse into that world we all, if we are honest, all sort of mock. That world inside the "dreaded aged care facility"It was a joy to rediscover a word that has been out of my vocabulary since my mums passing, that glorious word "Kerfuffle". I shall remind myself to keep it in circulation. Mum always used it with such flair.This is a book containing intrigue, and arson attacks and romance and complicated political manoeuvrings. The writers dark, wry wit shines out as he examines each day over the course of a year. I imagine that anyone with family will enjoy this read, provided they don't trip over the load of guilt they are carrying around about the amount of time they spend with their elders or the choices they have made for their loved ones.Old age, with all it's indignities will come to us all, we hope.

  • Gina *loves sunshine*
    2019-04-01 08:32

    This book was new last week to my online library - the blurb that came up immediately said >>>for fans of A Man called Ove!!! That is me, I loved Ove!!!! The other super outstanding thing that this book had was a grumpy old DUTCH man!!!! You see I married into a super large dutch family - I love all my husbands old Aunts and Uncles, I love all the culture, traditions and specific things about Dutchies - so I was super excited about this book!I listened to the audio. I made it about 28% and have put it aside. I probably could have just continued to listen, but honestly it had no real plot, and I have another really great book waiting. It simply was a day to day diary of this man in a nursing home in Amsterdam. he talked about his day to day, his few friends and the little adventures of the day. I personally need stuff to happen, in a plot or storyline - something to pull at my heart or my mind.It started out OK - coffee, desserts, silly old people stuff - the references were great!! Bitterballen breaks, spongy appel tart, cheap dutch blood - But nothing really progressed. If you are looking for a little diary of old people, something to smile about..maybe interested in how the nursing home life is? maybe this is good enough? I imagine older people probably would find this cozy and comforting! I literally laughed out loud at Ove, Hendrik...well he wasn't very funny in the first 28% - maybe he gets better? I can't wait to see what others think if this book starts making the rounds!

  • Dagmar Valerie
    2019-04-04 02:43

    Oh Hendrik wat ben je toch geweldig! Ik heb hardop gelachen om de prachtige anekdotes die je met ons deelt in jouw dagboek. Ook wil ik je bedanken voor de ontroerende momenten die ik met jou mocht beleven. Ik hoop dat heel veel mensen jou zullen ontmoeten en door jou worden geraakt. En wat een geluk dat je nog een nieuw dagboek hebt geschreven, ik kan niet wachten om het te lezen! Dit laatste klinkt een beetje onbeleefd, maar... tot snel Hendrik!

  • Lubinka Dimitrova
    2019-03-31 07:43

    A bit too heavy on the reality for my taste, and although it had its funny moments, I'd rather not rush my acquaintance with the desperation of old age, it will come too soon as it is.

  • Maria João
    2019-03-29 01:15

    9,5 de 10*Que livro delicioso! Segundo diz a orelha do livro, Hendrik Groen é um pseudónimo e ninguém sabe quem ele é. É pena... seria, certamente, uma pessoa fantástica de se conhecer! Hendrik tem 83 anos e vive num lar de idosos. Decidiu, em 2013, com o início do novo ano, começar um diário onde nos conta o seu dia-a-dia, com um humor muito salutar e uma honestidade rara nesta idade em que algumas faculdades se vão perdendo sob o peso dos anos mas é tão difícil admiti-lo...Comentário completo em:

  • Rebecca Carter
    2019-04-16 06:36

    Hendrik Groen doesn't like old people. Their zimmer frame shuffle, unreasonable impatience, endless complaints, their tea and biscuits, smells or creaking bodies. Although he himself is 83 years old and lives in a residential care home in the Netherlands. Hendrik is fed up of being a civil, ingratiating, courteous, polite and helpful bloke. He tends to choose the path of least confrontation to try to please everybody. To stop himself spiralling into depression and boredom - in a place where to some residents the most exciting moment of their day is wondering what biscuits will arrive with their tea and coffee - he decides to give the world a taste of the real Hendrikus Gerardus Groen, by writing an uncensored diary into a year in the life of a group of "inmates" (as he calls his fellow residents), in a care home in north Amsterdam. His whistleblowing account shows us what life is really like for people in care homes; the rules, regulations and human interactions. Although Hendrik finds the majority of the care homes residents a bunch of whingey old, stuck in the past sad sacks, he does have a few close friends who he finds nice, intelligent and, most importantly, not one whiner among them. They are the other members of The Old but Not Dead Club, an exclusive club where they plan days out and intend to not let old age get in the way of having a good time. Among them are the kind hearted and thoughtful, Eefje Brand, who recently moved into a room Mrs De Gans "vacated" and to whom he strikes up a sweet, close and heart warming friendship. His cheeky and mischievous friend Evert Duiker, who lives independently around the corner in sheltered accommodation with his dog Mo who farts a lot. Whenever Everts grout plays up Walter visits and takes his dog for a walk, helps him out with things or just enjoys an afternoon chat and "a glass of something or other" - usually wine, gin, brandy or whisky.Edward Schermer who doesn't say much and is hard to understand because of his stroke, but when he does speak you know it'll be worth it. Grietje de Boer, a lovely lady, who is friendly and sympathetic without fawning, and Graeme Gorter who appears insecure and introverted but always tells it to you straight. The Old But not Dead Club then spawned a monthly cooking club, plus another two members - Ria and Antoine Travemundi. I really enjoyed this book; it's funny, I laughed out loud in a few parts, moving, poignant, uplifting, thought provoking and makes you appreciate, understand and have more of an insight into old people and their day to day lives and obstacles. It reminds me of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole which I read while at school, albeit with the protagonist being from a different generation. Being a book about older people there are obviously some sad and heart tugging moments, but these are soon lifted by another funny and uplifting anecdote from Hendrik. You do wonder where the residential housing system for older people will end up, being already encumbered with budgets and financial constraints. Maybe the current generation of oap's will be one of the last to be in the current western system of aged care housing? Although the system clearly has many downsides and areas that need vastly improving on, which the book highlights, it does provide free care and housing in a safe environment for vulnerable old people. It's slightly worrying to think where my generation and younger will end up in old age. It's definitely not a depressing read, don't let the thought of a book about residents in a care home deter you. There are tons of witty funny moments with Hendrik and his friends getting into all sorts of trouble and fun to pass their days. Such as the time Hendrik is invited in for a cup of tea with Mrs Visser which resulted in Fish Gate- three slices of cake, 6 pink fondant fancies and two fish tank massacres. Their day trips out with the Old But Not Dead Club which results in the other residents feeling a bit bitter, a few pet catastrophes, souped up mobility scooters as status symbols, dribbling and horse meat lasagne. Hendrik is a great role model on how to grow old and not let age be a determent. I love his attitude towards life and hope that if I'm lucky enough to reach his age that I have the same zest for life as he does. This book is uplifting, moving and funny and can be enjoyed either in large chunks, or because of the diary format, read over a longer period of time. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for an ARC.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-10 05:24

    Wat heb ik genoten van de Oud-maar-niet-dood-club! Ik vond het een boek dat zowel grappig als ontroerend was. Dit verhaal moet ik even laten bezinken. Een echte aanrader!

  • Puck
    2019-04-03 08:40

    Dit is het lievelingsboek van mijn opa en ik begrijp helemaal waarom: dit boek is hilarisch! Geweldig knap hoe het leven in een saai verzorgingshuis grappig en boeiend wordt dankzij de amusante vertelstem van Hendrik. In Pogingen Iets van Het Leven te Maken volgen we een jaar lang (begin 2013 tot eind) meneer Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ jaar oud, en het leven van hemzelf en de andere oudjes in het verzorgingstehuis. Door Hendrik’s ogen leren we de routines kennen van het huis, de klachten van al haar bewoners, maar vooral Hendrik’s goede vrienden: lompe Evert, de knappe nieuwkomer Eefje, en Grietje die langzaam dement wordt. Om aan de sleur van het verzorgingstehuis te ontsnappen, besluiten Hendrik en zijn vrienden tot het oprichten van de vereniging Oud-maar-niet-dood (Omanido). De club-uitjes van de Omanido maken ieders leven een stuk leuker, maar houden ouderdomskwalen helaas niet buiten de deur. De grootste kracht van dit boek ligt bij de schrijfstijl. Het verhaal zelf kan namelijk soms vrij taai zijn, maar dankzij Groen’s scherpe en geestige analyses wordt zelfs het nodeloze geklaag van haar bewoners leuk om te lezen. “Een demente cliënt heeft gisteren een biljartbal in zijn mond gestopt en die was er met geen mogelijkheid meer uit te krijgen. Na een kwartier vruchteloos proberen met een lepel is hij afgevoerd naar de eerste hulp. Ik kreeg het er benauwd van, al was meneer Kloek eerder boos omdat hij met twee ballen niet verder kon biljarten.” Eerlijk gezegd staat in het boek niet het leven van Hendrik Groen centraal: het grootste thema van dit boek is Zorg. Niet alleen de letterlijke zorg voor de ouderen in een verzorgingstehuis, maar ook de strenge regels en de marktwerking die de Zorg op een negatieve manier beïnvloeden: meer geld voor het huis betekent niet gelijk betere zorg voor de ouderen. Het is vaak schrijnend en pijnlijk om te lezen hoe er voor de demente ouderen wordt gezorgd, want dit soort behandelingen behoren nog steeds tot de realiteit. Zodoende is het Dagboek van Hendrik Groen niet alleen een boeiend levensverhaal van een oude man, maar ook een oproep voor betering van het huidige Nederlandse zorgsysteem. Dit boek is dus een echte aanrader: laat je niet afschrikken door de hoge leeftijd, want deze oude dames en heren hebben genoeg leuks te vertellen! :D

  • Mairead Hearne (
    2019-04-14 00:29

    ‘Another year, and I still don’t like old people. Their Zimmer-frame shuffle, their unreasonable impatience. their endless complaints, their tea and biscuits, their bellyaching.Me? I am eighty-three years old.’The No.1 International Bestseller The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old was published in paperback on 13th July by Penguin. Originally published in Holland in 2014, this book has become something of a phenomenon. (Note : Translated to English by Hester Velmans)Please do continue reading for my voluntary review of this charming book…The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is described as a book that ‘will not only delight older readers with it’s wit and relevance, but will charm and inspire those who have years to go before their own expiry date.’ I do so agree.This is a book that is both charming yet poignant. It is sentimental yet funny.Hendrik Groen is an octogenarian living out his days in a rest home in Amsterdam. As the days roll by monotonously Hendrik makes a decision to shake up his days a little and write an exposé of life in a nursing home, or as he describes it ‘a year in the life of the inmatesI love a grumpy old man. There may be some of you who recall that fabulous series on TV, 'One Foot in The Grave', starring the fantastic character of Victor Meldrew, a series that is as funny today as it was in the 1990s. Also we had the recent book by Jonas Johansson 'The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared'. There is something about their cantankerous personalities that just attracts my attention. There is a humour with people of a certain age, that attitude of just not caring what people think anymore.Hendrik Groen captures all this and more. As he writes his diary, he reveals to us the pure mischievousness of many of the residents, particularly of his friend Evert. Evert, like many others, is bored with the tediousness of the daily routine and is partial to the odd prank and the *ahem* occasional drink or two. We hear about Eefje, the newest tenent. Eefje is different and soon Hendrik becomes quite smitten with her. Their relationship is beautiful and there are entries in the diary that are just so personal and tender, I almost felt voyeuristic reading them.Hendrik and a few of his friends set up a group, called the Old-But-Not-Dead Club. It is their lives and they decide to live their last few years outside the remit of the care home. They organise trips out, always catering for the weakest, making sure it’s a very inclusive club for all it’s members. They develop a fierce loyalty toward each other and as the inevitable happens among the friends, my heart was broken.While this book is a humorous recounting of the life of a cranky old man, it is also much more than that. The reader is exposed to the illnesses that take our elderly, as we read about dementia, amputation, loss of mobility and ultimately death. We are also introduced to the politics of the Dutch system, where there is shortfalls in spending for the elderly and the home has to introduce restrictions to folk who are already leading a restricted life. Hendrik Groen has written a book that will challenge even the hardest of hearts. The entries in the diary are a glimpse into a life that is the future for many of us.Hendrik is a wonderful example of how to age disgracefully. His attitude is a lesson to us all that age IS but a number and we really do need to live each day like it’s our last.A humbling read. A sweet read. A book I challenge you to read and not feel some emotional attachment to this amazing man. He will steal your heart.I’ll leave you now with the words of Hendrik Groen“Food, drink, laughter….We had hardly any time for serious discussion.”Hendrik….I salute you!!!

  • Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
    2019-03-31 06:42

    The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is not something I would have picked up myself, but I am glad I got the chance to read it. Hendrik is living out his time in a care home, and this books is his daily musings and recording of all that he sees and does in his care home.Hendrik starts out as a bit of a chranky old man, but the further in the reader gets, the more we see the real Hendrik. He doesn’t want to be an old man in the usual sense, he doesn’t want to spend his latter years passing the time until the inevitable happens.Cue The Old But Not Dead Club. Hendrik and his friends decide to make the most of their time. They go on excursions, day trips, take classes and whatever else takes their fancy. Why should they wilt on chairs in the conversation room when they can be out living their lives!The Secret Diary… serves as a bit of routine for Hendrik too. He records his thoughts on everything from current affairs, to who poisoned the fish in the fish tank by feeding them cake! There are moments of levity, humour and so much more. There is also the expected references to deaths of fellow residents, falls and injuries, Alzheimers, Dementia and plenty of other sad facts of life. Parts of this are a little sad too, but it is something that happens on a daily basis.The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen was an easy read. It was full of colourful characters, funny little interludes and had a lovely undercurrent of hope for the future, regardless of what it brings. An unusual read for me, but I enjoyed it!Recommended.

  • Sherri Thacker
    2019-04-04 02:27

    This is a cute story who at 83 yo writes in his diary a little each day. He lives in an assistant living facility in the Netherlands. Some of his posts are downright laugh out loud!! He really has a sense of humor. I just thought it was ok.

  • Marianne
    2019-04-18 06:27

    The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 83 ¼ years old is the first book by Dutch old age pensioner and care home resident, Hendrik Groen. Hendrik starts his diary on the 1st January, 2013 with the aim of “giving the world an uncensored expose: a year in the life of the inmates of a care home in North Amsterdam”.Hendrik’s descriptions of the goings-on, the staff and residents at his care home are witty, dry, often sarcastic and usually funny. The home’s director “Mrs Stelwagen is always friendly, ready with a willing ear and an encouraging word for everyone, but concealed beneath this veneer of sympathy is an unhealthy dose of self-importance and power lust”Hendrik’s comments on the day’s events, both in the home and in the greater world are always pithy and insightful. Deaths are big on the agenda: “The deceased are a favourite subject of discussion among the elderly. Perhaps it’s to remind themselves that they are still alive”; euthanasia, too, attracts discussion “Old people are already considered of little social value, but if years from now there are even more of us, I can predict that anyone over seventy will get a nice fat bonus for volunteering to be euthanized”.When ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ bracelets are made available, Hendrik muses: “What if the paramedics don’t notice your ‘Do not resuscitate’ bracelet until they’ve got your ticker going again with a powerful electric shock? What then? Would they have to desuscitate you?”Hendrik gets together with some like-minded residents to form the Old-But-Not-Dead Club, for the purpose of planning some activities to which they can truly look forward. Staff are disapproving and the director seems to be intent on finding rules and regulations to curtail their enjoyment: “Rules, supposedly, are always for our own good. But of course they’re first and foremost a means of avoiding risk and preventing lawsuits”As Hendrik comments on politics and policies, the demise of famous people, the abdication of the Queen, the retirement of the Pope, the attitude of offspring, Tour de France, bullies, mobility scooters, budget cutbacks, Freedom of Information regulations, the war in Syria, and the debilities that age brings, he gives the reader a novel that is blackly funny, but also very moving. And makes us really think about how we treat our elderly.Hendrik Groen is an alias: after much media speculation, in April 2016, NRC Handelsblad revealed him to be 61 year old Dutch librarian, Peter de Smet. He has written a sequel: “As Long as there is Life” which continues the story of Hendrik and his Club will be published by Michael Joseph in January 2018. Flawlessly translated from the original Dutch by Hester Velmans, this impressive debut has humour, heartache and plenty to think about.

  • Dolf Patijn
    2019-04-14 08:39

    Het Parool heeft dit boek in een paar woorden goed omschreven: "Geestig, tragisch en soms aangrijpend." Daar sluit ik me bij aan. Toen ik als twintiger voor mijn studie aan de Sociale Academie stage liep in een bejaardenhuis, begreep ik er maar weinig van. Het stond te ver van me af. Toen mijn ouders noodgedwongen naar een bejaardenhuis moesten (mijn moeder vanwege dementie en mijn vader nadat hij een beroerte had gehad) was ik bijna veertig en net naar Ierland verhuisd. Het kwam toen een stuk dichterbij. Nu ben ik een vijftiger, mijn oudste broer heeft Parkinson's en woont met zijn vrouw nu in een flatje dat onder de zorg van een bejaardenhuis valt. Groen's boek drukt je met de neus op de feiten: ouder worden gaat met vallen en steeds minder opstaan daarom moet je van het leven genieten zolang je kunt en niet mopperend achter de geraniums gaan zitten.Dit boek is een absolute aanrader en zou, naast Bernlef's hersenschimmen verplichte kost moeten zijn op sociale - en zorgopleidingen. Ik heb net gezien dat er in 2016 een vervolg wordt uitgegeven onder de titel "Zolang er leven is". Het staat op mijn verlanglijst.