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The Hitchhiker

Translated by David Colmer

Believe it or not, I was convinced this holiday would save my marriage.

Tiddo and his wife, Isa, have drifted apart. They don’t make love anymore. Tiddo even finds their thirteen-year-old son, Jonathan, a stranger—quiet, distant and forever drawing monstrous creatures in his sketchbook.

Desperate to keep his family together, Tiddo plans a holiday to Iceland, travelling the tourist circuit in a rented campervan. On their trip, they pick up a hitchhiker named Svein, who is tall and handsome, and covered in tattoos of ancient runes. When Svein offers to guide them off the beaten track, Tiddo is conflicted. Does Svein pose a threat or offer salvation?

This psychological thriller unfolds like a fever dream amid the breathtaking beauty of Iceland, but the environment turns out to be as unforgiving as each decision Tiddo makes. Taut and compelling, The Hitchhiker is the story of a man who goes to great lengths to save what he has already lost.

About the Author

Gerwin van der Werf is a musicologist, teacher and regular columnist for the Dutch newspaper Trouw. His novel Wild was longlisted for the Libris Literature Prize. The Hitchhiker is his fourth novel.

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About the Translator

David Colmer has translated almost ninety works of Dutch literature and has won many prizes for his translations, including the Vondel Prize, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the NSW Premier’s Award.

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Text publication date:
5 July 2022
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Praise for Gerwin van der Werf
andThe Hitchhiker

‘Immersive and thoroughly satisfying.’

‘A father on the edge…Flashes of Breaking Bad.’

Other editions ofThe Hitchhiker