The Discovery of Heaven
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The Discovery of Heaven, Harry Mulisch's magnum opus, is a rich mosaic of twentieth-century trauma in which many themes—friendship, loyalty, family, art, technology, religion, fate, good, and evil—suffuse a suspenseful and resplendent narrative.
The story begins with the meeting of Onno and Max, two complicated individuals whom fate has mysteriously and magically brought together. They share responsibility for the birth of a remarkable and radiant boy who embarks on a mandated quest that takes the reader all over Europe and to the land where all such quests begin and end. Abounding in philosophical, psychological and theological inquiries, yet laced with humor that is as infectious as it is willful, The Discovery of Heaven lingers in the mind long after it has been read. It not only tells an accessible story, but also convinces one that it just might be possible to bring order into the chaos of the world through a story.
air base at Leeuwarden and get them to shoot the damn things down?" "They cause just as much interference." That really was the problem, said Max; Onno was right about his moped. Once you had the information on punch cards, you had to first work out what you'd really measured and make sure you'd gotten the astronomy out of it. "Excuse me, but I think that I'll have to lend a hand. Why don't you two take a walk across the heath, and I'll see you at about dinnertime. I've reserved a table at
I'm not keeping you . .." "I never go to bed that early, but you have to go to Amsterdam." "I can be there in half an hour. It's quiet on the road at this time." Was she playing a game—or precisely not? After she had poured him a drink from an opened bottle of Rioja, they talked about Ada. She had been to the hospital again that morning: there was no change in the situation, and the doctors had become noticeably more gloomy. Because she had made no secret of the fact that she was a qualified
what you dreamed. Telling someone about a dream was impossible. "Well, I was just interested," he said. "I don't know. I think you've told me everything that I wanted to know." Themaat looked at him for a while, then turned his legs laboriously off the sofa and sat up, with his back bent, two flat white hands next to his thighs. He closed his eyes and opened them again. "Shall I tell you one thing that you may not know yet?" "Yes, please." "Perhaps you'll think it's nonsense, just the
Batista regime, mainly by students and intellectuals, which had cost many lives, had always been in the shadow of the guerrilleros, but that was partly because many people said afterward that they had been in the urban resistance when they had not. It was almost impossible to check. "No one has ever dared claim," he said, bending forward and looking at Max, "that they fought in the Sierra Maestra when they did not, but in complicated situations there are always people who take advantage and
should turn to Jacques-Yves Cousteau." Ada said nothing. It was as if he were alluding to things he couldn't possibly know about. A number of coarse animal cries rang out in the street, emanating from the Germanic spirit of beer. Onno listened to the faint tick of the alarm clock and, having expounded his theory, felt himself drifting off again; an animal figure appeared before him and then slowly changed into something resembling a portable cage. "Onno?" He woke with a start. "Yes?" "What