Tommy Wieringa

Published: 3 May 2012
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 336 pages
ISBN: 9781846272547

Translated by Sam Garrett


Ludwig Unter's life held such promise. His parents were artists and, from an early age, his own musical genius had marked him out for a stellar career in the world's concert halls. In his mother's imagination, Ludwig is already on the way to surpassing her most ambitious dreams for him. But in reality, and for now, he's playing in local cocktail bars and the two of them are living alone in a storm-lashed clifftop cottage in East Anglia. As the forceful winter seas bash away at the coastline, and Ludwig plunks away at the piano, he begins to tell a woman his story: a story of beauty and decay, of a child's faith and parental betrayal, and of the importance, in the end, of self-sacrifice.

About the author

Image of Tommy Wieringa

TOMMY WIERINGA was born in 1967 and grew up partly in the Netherlands, partly in the tropics. He began his writing career with travel stories and journalism and is the author of two previous novels, one of which was awarded Holland's Halewijn prize and nominated for the AKO Literature Prize. This is his first novel to be published in English and his next, Caesarion, will be published by Portobello in 2011. More about the author


Caesarion is a novel packed with events... and scenes charged with symbolism.’



‘A potent, emotionally moving, deeply realized novel... Wieringa masterfully examines the complex and often agonizing work that many of us must undertake to live. Enthusiastically recommended’

‘A rich and engrossing read - most importantly an enjoyable read containing a wholly original set of stories which draw the reader on through its pages. Caesarion marks Tommy Wieringa out as a fine writer, capable of managing various complex themes in one novel.’

‘Amazingly enough, Wieringa succeeds in telling us this story of solitude and rejection with humor and lyricism, introducing a character who strongly evokes the Kurtz of Heart of Darkness (or of Apocalypse Now), and thereby delivers a remarkable coming-of-age novel.’

‘Ambitious... a brilliant exploration of the uneasy transition from adolescence into adulthood - the restlessness, yearning for stability, irrational decisions and erotic obsessions.’

‘The contemporary American novel is based on literary and moral ambition (and often marred by excessive naturalism). In France, no one seems capable of that. Houllebecq, when he tries, but he is more a satirist than a novelist... The ones who have successfully pursued this Grail in recent years (the list, however, is by no means exhaustive) are writers such as Roberto Bolaño in his The Savage Detectives, Sebald in Austerlitz, Coetzee in Disgrace and Philip Roth in My Life as a Man. From now on, however, to that list must be added the name of Tommy Wieringa: Caesarion, his second novel to be translated, has made it only modestly (much too modestly) onto the shelves of our bookstores, and it is a feast.’

‘The deeply flawed characters, in Wieringa's nimble hands, elicit our sympathy... Inventive and devastating’

‘The pleasure in storytelling leaps from the pages.’

‘The poet Philip Larkin's famous observation that your mom and dad really mess you up is aptly illustrated in this offbeat, atmospheric novel . . . [a] haunting book.’

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