Buy Tonio: a requiem memoir UK by Adri van der Heijden, Jonathan Reeder (ISBN: ) from Amazon's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free. Adri van der Heijden is one of The Netherlands most prominent novelists. At home and in Germany he is celebrated for the multi-novel saga. Adrianus Franciscus Theodorus van der Heijden (born 15 October , Geldrop) is a Dutch the Libris Literatuur Prijs for Tonio, and the AKO Literatuurprijs for Het schervengericht and the AKO Literatuurprijs for Onder het  ‎Awards and honors · ‎Bibliography · ‎De slag om de Blauwbrug.


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The back and forth to other memories -- such as, on the way to hospital, recollections of rushing on tonio van der heijden day of Tonio's premature birth -- help keep the narrative from sinking oppressively into the darkness of the tragedy.

The same approach continues for the days and weeks that follow. Among the things preoccupying the couple is trying to trace and recreate Tonio's last hours and days, from the last time they had seen him. They get tonio van der heijden friends to recount their last hours together, and hunt for the girl whom he had taken photographs of at their house recently -- wondering and hoping that maybe there had been a budding romance there.

Because the girl was very new in his life she proves hard to track down, though eventually they do manage. Eventually, they also try to learn more about the accident and Tonio's death itself, visiting with the surgeon who operated on Tonio van der heijden as well as the police who appear to conduct tonio van der heijden thorough investigation into the relatively straightforward tonio van der heijden, the ultimate result being: Finally, they also collect his things -- including the barely-damaged bicycle -- and watch the surveillance film that captured much of the accident though, with its stop-frames, missed the moment of impact itself.

Numbed and devastated, van der Heijden and his wife both turn to the relief afforded by alcohol and sedatives after their son's death. Writing remains an outlet for van der Heijden, but he recognizes that: The outcome is uncertain: The doting parents clearly deeply loved their son and had a close relationship with him -- the somewhat hotheaded van der Heijden notes he never managed to get into a real argument with his son -- and van der Heijden writes like the typical proud father, adding each new piece of information he gets from Tonio's friends or acquaintances to the memorial portrait of his son in his mind's eye.

Tonio - Adri van der Heijden

In fact, of course, Tonio is pretty much as unremarkable as any twenty-one-year-old: If Tonio's life-story alone is fairly unexceptional, his father's requiem memoir is nevertheless also more than just a heartfelt outpouring of loss.

It is, in a sense, also a confessional -- van der Heijden's own memoir -- and, moving out in concentric rings to take in those around Tonio as well, and a great deal of family history, offers a broader portrait beyond the individual.

Writing is van der Heijden's outlet -- indeed, he already realizes: Writing for and about him is the best way to get tonio van der heijden close to him as possible, the person he was and the absence he now is, to talk to him and sit in silence with him. In this way I keep him alive, and when my work is finished, this requiem can, in a dialogue with the reader keep him alive a tonio van der heijden longer.

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Many of van der Heijden and his wife's actions arise out of a sense of obligation they feel to their son -- one way of carrying on, for them. Occasionally van tonio van der heijden Heijden is tempted by the easier path, but his wife thinks and argues otherwise as, fundamentally, with these occasional exceptions, he does too: Now that he's gone, we can just let ourselves go to pot.


Him kaput, us kaput. Maybe we owe it to him. We have to go on.


So up-close and personal as to sometimes get uncomfortable, this baring of a soul certainly feels honest. But van der Heijden's larger-than-life personality is what dominates: It's perhaps inevitable -- survivors get the final word; the dead have no say left -- and likely makes for better reading: But twenty-one is a difficult cut-off age -- no longer with the infinite potential of the young child, yet without almost tonio van der heijden of the accomplishments tonio van der heijden the fully-formed adult.

Meanwhile, the father's quirks -- he still writes on electronic typewriters!


Tonio veers from nearly-clinical straight description to the melodramatic, van der Heijden trying -- and, it seems, largely succeeding, in remaining honest in his self- depiction. Though an homage to the son, it is very much the father's book -- because his own perspective is the tonio van der heijden one he can fully inhabit.

Early on the morning of 23 May,Whit Sunday, Tonio van der Heijden, the only son tonio van der heijden the writer and his wife, Mirjam Rotenstreich, was killed in a traffic accident.

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