Welcome to ‘The Game Changer’.
Henk van Wijnen-Swarttouw, a born entrepreneur and self-made man, gets in trouble when his daughter Julia becomes famous in the art world as a performance artist.
Henk his daily live turns into an existential crisis when his daughter – Julia – plunges enthusiastically into performance artworks. With increasing madness Henk is fighting expedient against the encroaching modernity while enduring his chaotic inner world. One of the two must pay for it, unless he manages to transcend himself and break the cycle of eternal recurrence.
Improved English version available
Here’s a round-up of editorial review summaries:
“Dave Dröge’s words are enriched with an artistic flair that allows the reader to feel as though they are more than just a spectator in the story of flamboyant Henk van Wijnen-Swarttouw. A mixture of modern era and a touch of old school, The Game Changer allows the reader to easily picture the charming life within Rotterdam. The wine, decadent buildings and lively characters of the novel piece together a picture of beauty and intrigue. Best read with a pot of fresh mint tea, I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in learning about life within Rotterdam whilst indulging in a spoonful of romance, crime and art history.” -Thomas Anderson, HungryMonstersReview
“Rudyard Kipling once posited that triumph and disaster are imposters and should rightly be treated as such. Both charlatans are on constant display in this novel of one man’s seismic struggle to come to grips with forces assaulting him from all sides. Set in modern Rotterdam–which itself is one of the major characters of this tale–a self-made, successful businessman has taken to somewhat outlandish behaviour to cope with his current difficulties. Dröge makes the bustling Netherlands port a focal point of his story by seamlessly inserting its unique history, architecture, and environs into the lives of its inhabitants. His characters–from Dutch natives to Middle Eastern immigrants to Russian businessmen–capture the disparate values and frequently conflicting agendas of people who make up the citizenry of modern city life. This is a comic tale for today’s times–sophisticated, ironic, and often messy — a lot like life itself.” -Joe Kilgore, US Review of Books
“Issues of art, obsession, and social revolution coalesce into an explosive set of encounters that change all characters in unexpected ways. The Game Changer’s complexity and evolution make it a recommended novel for those who enjoy their psychology complex and their social issues realistic, with a dash of intrigue thrown in for good measure.” -D. Donovan, senior reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“The Game Changer has countless different angles and subplots for readers to devour, ranging from visceral descriptions of Rotterdam to complex familial relationships and tough moral quandaries. Readers are exposed to a broad gamut of emotions – jealousy, deception, depression, fear and exhilaration – all played out beautifully among the lanes of this Dutch city. Overall, the novel is ambitious and affecting. It is rewarding in surprising ways, and doesn’t shy away from the darker corners of modern life, nor the inherent conflicts of personal revolution.” -by John Stoughton, SPR
“The main character’s response to his offspring’s artistic decisions recalls many of Sigmund Freud’s theories. (…) The novel is such an interesting and unique example of Dutch existentialism that it’s well worth the effort.” – J.W. Bankston, pacific book review
“Every aspect of the story, as well as each character, is believable, as the reader becomes more and more embroiled in this knotty fictional work. Blending the professional challenges of Henk’s life, as well as his familial and inner personal struggles, creates interesting entanglements not often found in today’s fiction books. And, it mimics the conflicts experienced by real people who find challenges in straddling both the corporate and relationship realms. This book is not a fast, easy read, but the reader’s efforts are well rewarded.” -Deborah Lloyd, Reader’s favourite
“Very well written- from page one Dröge keeps the reader engaged and enthralled. Read this one!” -Authors Reading
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