Books by Auke Hulst

  • Brotherland

    Auke Hulst

    | Fiction | This book has 256 pages

    October 2016

    * English sample translation + synopsis *


    ‘This is where we lived, in the freedom of exile, sheltered from a world that vilified both Titus and me, as one was the echo of the other, the same age, with the same eyes and – it was believed, for such was the myth – a shared black soul. The devil’s children.’

    The Brotherland twins live in a remote forest, in a kingdom of two, where they occupy themselves with banned books and guitar music. Until a catastrophe drives them out of their home. They enter a hostile world, a mythologised, pre-war countryside, where everything revolves around religion and the mining of raw materials. But where does the greatest danger lie? In the ruptured earth, in other people or in themselves?

    Auke Hulst proves himself a master of pushing literary boundaries and penetrates deep into the inner world of young people excluded from society.

    Press on Brotherland:
    ‘Hulst creates a mythical world, with a strange language of its own. He deserves praise for his courage to stray so far from the Dutch literary tradition. And the gloomy end-of-days atmosphere with touches of surrealism, captured in poetic language, lingers in the mind.’– **** NRC HANDELSBLAD

    ‘In this novel Auke Hulst has stoked his already considerable passion for writing to great heights. The ambition in this book is bigger, more mythical, more frightening[…] Hulst has a consistently electrifying style. His sentences are highly charged, never losing momentum, sentences that lead to other red-hot sentences and form stories.’ – DE GROENE AMSTERDAMMER

    ‘Incredible style. The author manages to tap an original, deeper psychological layer that is perhaps even more interesting than the masterfully written story
    itself.’ – **** DE VOLKSKRANT

    ‘An apocalyptic world depicted brilliantly thanks to the author’s courage to sneak new genres into Dutch(-language) literature, and thanks to the sophisticated style, a unique hybrid of registers, flowery passages, coarse dialogue, and far-fetched neologisms. – **** DE STANDAARD



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  • Sleep Tight, Johnny Idaho

    Auke Hulst

    | Fiction | This book has 416 pages

    January 2015

    • Dutch pdf available •

    Johnny Idaho is an American teenager who, according to the world’s databases, does not exist. He is alone in the world, a living ghost with only one goal: to reach the Archipelago, a heavily guarded island nation in the Pacific Ocean. Among those working there is Dutch CEO William Gerson, a fifty-something who is confronted with the limitations and possibilities of wealth. He secretly funds the research of Japanese biomedical scientist Hatsu Hamada, hoping for the ultimate drug: immortality. But who influences her thoughts, and to what end?

    Three characters, each from a different corner of the globe come together in a new world. What motivates them? And in what way are they inextricably linked to one another?

    Sleep Tight, Johnny Idaho is an ambitious novel that links contemporary themes, from economic apartheid and mind control, to human emotions such as love, revenge, fear of death and the longing for eternal life.

    Press on Sleep Tight, Johnny Idaho

    ‘Sharply-honed style, full of bold metaphors and catchy descriptions. This is brilliant writing.’ – De Groene Amsterdammer

    ‘Auke Hulst brilliantly balances the real and the virtual, the raw and the fictional. In a polished style and with sharp metaphors, Hulst evokes three people whose paths cross in a futuristic world.’ – **** NRC Handelsblad

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  • Children of the Savage Land

    Auke Hulst

    | Fiction | This book has 336 pages

    January 2014

    In this alternately poignant, perplexing and humorous autobiographical novel, Dutch writer Auke Hulst depicts the decline of a family that is out of touch with reality – for better and for worse.

    Somewhere up north, in an area that’s referred to as the Savage Land, stands a dilapidated house in a forest. Here four children grow up, estranged from family and the nearby village. Their father has died young, their mother is a high-spirited yet deceitful woman who is haunted by creditors. Can the children escape the ever mounting problems, or has their fate already been decided?

    Children of the Savage Land is a family chronicle that mercilessly exposes the causes and consequences of a derailed upbringing. It’s a universal story, creating a vivid picture of growing up in the eighties.

    Press on Children of the Savageland:
    ‘The dark side of Villa Villekulla.’ – NRC Handelsblad

    ‘A fantastic, unstoppable, unusual novel. I read it with growing amazement and, admittedly, emotion, and at the end I sat for a while staring into space. This is a real book, I thought, and that is of course what literature should be: a real, great book.’ – De Groene Amsterdammer
    ‘This book is not black and white and it is precisely this approach that lifts it to a higher level. Hulst implicitly poses numerous existential questions. For what misdeeds
    can you judge someone, and where does human fallibility begin?’ – **** Dagblad van het Noorden

    ‘Seamlessly flowing from scene to scene through his childhood, in a clear, rhythmic style, each time he manages to lull the reader to sleep – “oh, it wasn’t that unusual” – only to punch him in the stomach once more. Splendid.’ – Boek

    ‘A wonderful novel, the jury cannot be clearer. A very compelling – partly thanks to the evocative language – story about “growing up in the shadow of absence”. The contemplative layer of Kai’s budding authorship helps Children of the Savage Land rise above the family saga, and makes it the pinnacle of Hulst’s oeuvre to date.’ – BNG Jury

    ‘A book that deserves to be read again and again. It grabs a hold of you from the first sentence, and stays with you after the final page has been read.’ – *****


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