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The Cave

by Tim Krabbé

ISBN 0374529167 / 9780374529161 / 0-374-52916-7
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

A stunning psychological thriller about friship, drugs, and murder from the author of The Vanishing.

Egon Wagter and Axel van de Graaf met when they were both fourteen and on vacation in Belgium. Axel is fascinating, filled with an amoral energy by which the more prudent, less adventurous Egon is both mesmerized and repelled. Even as a teen, Axel has a strange power over those around him. He defies authority, seduces women, breaks the law. Axel chooses Egon as a friend, a friendship that somehow ures over time and ends up determining Egon's fate.

During his university studies, Egon frequents Axel's house in Amsterdam, where there is a party every night and women fill the rooms. Though Egon chooses geology over Axel's life of avarice and drug dealing, he remains intrigued by his friend's conviction that the only law that counts is the law he makes himself. Egon believes that Axel is a demonic figure who tempts others only because he knows they want to be tempted. By the time he is in his forties, Egon finds himself divorced and with few professional prospects. He turns for help to Axel, who sends him to Ratanakiri, a fictional country in Southeast Asia. Axel gives Egon a suitcase to deliver-and Egon never returns.

Utterly compelling and resonant, The Cave is an unforgettable story of betrayal in the spirit of Tim Krabbé's remarkable first novel, The Vanishing.
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