De Avonden

The Evenings, a winter's tale

Cover of the first edition of De avonden. Gerard Reve used the pseudonym Simon van het Reve for this edition.
Author Gerard Reve
Original title De avonden, een winterverhaal
Language Dutch
Publisher De Bezige Bij
Publication date
Media type Print
ISBN 978-90-234-5573-8
OCLC 35952069
LC Class PT5881.28.E9 A95 1972

De avonden (The evenings), full title De avonden: een winterverhaal, is a 1947 novel by Gerard Reve which was his debut novel. Reve wrote the book under the pseudonym Simon van het Reve. It was released on 1 November 1947.

De avonden describes ten evenings out of the life of the 23-year-old office clerk Frits van Egters. The book is partitioned into 10 chapters, of which each describes an evening between 22 and 31 December 1946.

The novel was written very shortly after World War II. Though the war itself is hardly mentioned, the story gives, by describing an indidivual's experiences, a detailed description of contemporary post-war society which was marked by fear, boredom and loneliness.


In 1988, a film adaptation was made. In a 2002 poll, members of the Society for Dutch Literature ranked De Avonden first among works since 1900 in the Dutch canon.[1]

In 2007 De avonden was named as one of the Top 10 Dutch language novels of all time by readers of the newspaper NRC Handelsblad.[2]

The novel was adapted into a comic book by Dick Matena.[3]

The novel was translated into English in 2016 by Sam Garrett.[4]



  1. Stipriaan, René van (June 2002). "De Nederlandse klassieken anno 2002". Digital Library for Dutch Literature (in Dutch). Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  2. Steinz, Pieter (March 12, 2007). "Het beste boek voor mannen én vrouwen". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  3. "Dick Matena".
  4. Alberge, Dalya. "Dutch to share their dark masterpiece, 70 years on". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
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