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Two Old Men and a Baby: Or, How Hendrik and Evert Get Themselves into a Jam

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Nine years before the events of the #1 international bestseller The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old, Hendrik and his best friend Evert embark on a madcap adventure — with an unexpected guest. Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker, faithful friends in good and bad times, are well over seventy and their lives have quieted down. They see each other once a week to play c Nine years before the events of the #1 international bestseller The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old, Hendrik and his best friend Evert embark on a madcap adventure — with an unexpected guest. Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker, faithful friends in good and bad times, are well over seventy and their lives have quieted down. They see each other once a week to play chess, have a drink, and grab a bite to eat while reflecting on life. But one day, their peace is rudely disturbed when Evert shows up on Hendrik’s doorstep with a surprise in the form of an unexpected little guest. He had spotted a stroller with a baby in it — unattended for just a minute — and, in a moment of utter madness, decided to take it for a walk. Hilarious, right? Not to Hendrik, who can barely believe his friend’s stupidity. After Evert regains recovers from his momentary lapse of sanity, the two seventy-year-olds resolve to return their charge to its parents — hopefully without being noticed. But the quiet neighborhood is now swarmed by bumbling police officers, and they realize that getting rid of their accidental foster child will be more difficult than expected…


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Nine years before the events of the #1 international bestseller The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old, Hendrik and his best friend Evert embark on a madcap adventure — with an unexpected guest. Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker, faithful friends in good and bad times, are well over seventy and their lives have quieted down. They see each other once a week to play c Nine years before the events of the #1 international bestseller The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old, Hendrik and his best friend Evert embark on a madcap adventure — with an unexpected guest. Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker, faithful friends in good and bad times, are well over seventy and their lives have quieted down. They see each other once a week to play chess, have a drink, and grab a bite to eat while reflecting on life. But one day, their peace is rudely disturbed when Evert shows up on Hendrik’s doorstep with a surprise in the form of an unexpected little guest. He had spotted a stroller with a baby in it — unattended for just a minute — and, in a moment of utter madness, decided to take it for a walk. Hilarious, right? Not to Hendrik, who can barely believe his friend’s stupidity. After Evert regains recovers from his momentary lapse of sanity, the two seventy-year-olds resolve to return their charge to its parents — hopefully without being noticed. But the quiet neighborhood is now swarmed by bumbling police officers, and they realize that getting rid of their accidental foster child will be more difficult than expected…

30 review for Two Old Men and a Baby: Or, How Hendrik and Evert Get Themselves into a Jam

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    “You’re not a visitor, you’re a friend.” When you pick up this novel, you are picking up a farce. And that is not at all a bad thing. TWO OLD MEN AND A BABY is a geriatric romp through the land of chuckles and farcical situations. This novel has a Keystone Kops police force, a nosy neighbor, incompetent and self-important government officials, and hapless protagonists who are really decent folks you can’t help but root for. It’s all there. In all honesty, I was more into this text in the last 140 “You’re not a visitor, you’re a friend.” When you pick up this novel, you are picking up a farce. And that is not at all a bad thing. TWO OLD MEN AND A BABY is a geriatric romp through the land of chuckles and farcical situations. This novel has a Keystone Kops police force, a nosy neighbor, incompetent and self-important government officials, and hapless protagonists who are really decent folks you can’t help but root for. It’s all there. In all honesty, I was more into this text in the last 140 pages than I was for the first 120. It was never bad, it just failed to grip me. However, I was never irritated while reading it. A strength of this novel are the characterizations that are concise and on point. Almost immediately after a character is introduced you know if they are one of the good guys, or one of the bad guys. Again, an element of any good farce. Also enjoyable is some fun social commentary, especially with those in so called positions of “authority”. Quotes: • “People in distress tend to grab on to the first thing that’s at hand…” • “The veneer of civilization is often quite thin. Too thin for hot coffee spilled all over one’s dress.” • “Language is so hopelessly inadequate sometimes.” • “There aren’t many who enjoy being proved wrong.” • “There wasn’t much he did like, in fact, except for cars, soccer, beer, and money. A manageable set of priorities, he thought.” • “Wil didn’t much like talking to people, but he made an exception when it came to talking to himself.” Apparently there are quite a few Hendrik Groen books out there. I doubt I will pick the others up, but I am not at all displeased that I read this one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    rhi.

    honestly…..the book was alright, but it didn’t do anything for me. i guess if you like dry humor and old people with kinda shitty lives you might enjoy it, but it wasn’t all that interesting. kinda feels like a book you’d read just to say you read something.

  3. 4 out of 5

    JennyCash

    This reads like an extended short story. It must take place before the first two books which is fine but odd. The writing and humor are great but it is just lacking anything real. I loved the first two books beyond words. This one is disappointing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Willemijn

    Another fantastic book by Hendrik Groen, who has become one of my favourite writers. This mad adventure by Hendrik and Evert Takes place before the two “secret diary” books. The story kept me on the edge of my seat and miraculously, the ending was still a surprise. As always, the sharp analyses on life and modern society, as well as the witty sense of humour help to make this book a great read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    An entertaining, fast read. Not life changing but definitely produces some giggles and a desire to keep reading this story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    "Hendrik just wants to have a fun evening with his pal, Evert. But Evert stumbles across a baby and decides to bring it with him. Now they can't figure out how to give it back without getting in trouble." this was my first book from Hendrik Groen. I like this character. As a former school principal he seems to keep his head in stressful situations. And dealing with his nosy neighbor in awkward moments. There are some characters that are stereotypes - the politician that wants to be seen doing som "Hendrik just wants to have a fun evening with his pal, Evert. But Evert stumbles across a baby and decides to bring it with him. Now they can't figure out how to give it back without getting in trouble." this was my first book from Hendrik Groen. I like this character. As a former school principal he seems to keep his head in stressful situations. And dealing with his nosy neighbor in awkward moments. There are some characters that are stereotypes - the politician that wants to be seen doing something (no matter if it's the right thing or not) The custodian that's concerned about "his" coffee maker. This is a quick, easy read. Hendrik is not your stereotypical grumpy old man in this book. He seems like a guy you'd love to hang out and tell stories with. (But Evert seems like a "Here - hold my beer" kind of guy. Some nice light-hearted moments here.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Dooren

    Not as good as the diaries. The writing and dialogue were simple and underwhelming and I missed the laughing out loud humor of the diaries. I only caught myself smiling a handful of times. The story itself was fine enough and I enjoyed myself (partly because I knew it was a short book). The plot was a bit Jonas Jonasson-esque but then a bit simplified. All in all an okay-ish read, but I can't wait to start reading the last diary, hoping that it will be as good as the other diaries again. Not as good as the diaries. The writing and dialogue were simple and underwhelming and I missed the laughing out loud humor of the diaries. I only caught myself smiling a handful of times. The story itself was fine enough and I enjoyed myself (partly because I knew it was a short book). The plot was a bit Jonas Jonasson-esque but then a bit simplified. All in all an okay-ish read, but I can't wait to start reading the last diary, hoping that it will be as good as the other diaries again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    2.5 stars but rounded up because of how much I liked the previous stories with Hendrik and Evert. This was both an amusing and sad tale. It might have been better if the events weren't the result of kidnapping. 2.5 stars but rounded up because of how much I liked the previous stories with Hendrik and Evert. This was both an amusing and sad tale. It might have been better if the events weren't the result of kidnapping.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I was looking forward to a laughter-filled adventure about 2 older main characters and a mistakenly kidnapped baby. Instead, I found a book filled with repetitive obscenities, clichés and ageism. The plot was confusing, not hilarious, and none of the characters were engaging. It could have been a delightful read. It wasn't. I was looking forward to a laughter-filled adventure about 2 older main characters and a mistakenly kidnapped baby. Instead, I found a book filled with repetitive obscenities, clichés and ageism. The plot was confusing, not hilarious, and none of the characters were engaging. It could have been a delightful read. It wasn't.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne (It's All About Books)

    Finished reading: August 19th 2021 “To my mind, there was nothing wrong with a bit of excitement every once in a while, naturally, but this was really a bit over the top.” (view spoiler)[ I LOVED my first meeting with Hendrik Groen back in 2019 and the second book was a success for me as well, so I was excited when I heard that there was going to be another Hendrik and Evert adventure. Technically I could read these in Dutch, but I decided to wait for the English translation as I had a fe Finished reading: August 19th 2021 “To my mind, there was nothing wrong with a bit of excitement every once in a while, naturally, but this was really a bit over the top.” (view spoiler)[ I LOVED my first meeting with Hendrik Groen back in 2019 and the second book was a success for me as well, so I was excited when I heard that there was going to be another Hendrik and Evert adventure. Technically I could read these in Dutch, but I decided to wait for the English translation as I had a feeling I would appreciate the characters and humor better that way (plus I'm lazy as reading in Dutch is too much work haha). Two Old Men And A Baby takes place nine years before the first two books, which gives us a (slightly) younger and more mobile Hendrik and Evert to deal with. Their personalities don't change though, and as always I loved the dry humor and dialogues. This story reads like a train and I had a lot of fun reading about what Hendrik and Evert were up to this time around. While I do think this is the weakest book yet, as the plot isn't all that credible and I wasn't too much of a fan of Harry/Wil's POV, it is still a more than solid read. Despite the lack of credibility and things being a bit over the top, the humor is right up my alley and sometimes having fun reading about absurd situations is more important than credible plot twists. I'll definitely be looking forward to hear news about book number four being translated! (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a quick story that I assume is the novel that Hendrik alluded to writing at the end of "On the Bright Side." It is set years before Hendrik and Evert are in the care home. Evert, after a series of unforeseen issues while running an errand, has to use the facilities desperately and sneaks into an elementary school during their Christmas pageant to use their bathroom. Another set of unforeseen circumstances leads to his rain coat falling into the toilet so he decides to take the rain coat This is a quick story that I assume is the novel that Hendrik alluded to writing at the end of "On the Bright Side." It is set years before Hendrik and Evert are in the care home. Evert, after a series of unforeseen issues while running an errand, has to use the facilities desperately and sneaks into an elementary school during their Christmas pageant to use their bathroom. Another set of unforeseen circumstances leads to his rain coat falling into the toilet so he decides to take the rain coat draped over the baby carriage in the vestibule. But instead of just taking the coat, he takes the whole carriage, baby and all. By the time he shows up at Hendrik's apartment, he realizes what a dumb decision he made and now he needs his friend's help returning the baby. What ensues is one unfortunate mishap after another, including a nosy neighbor determined to find out what is happening in Hendrick's apartment, a bumbling police department who are unfamiliar with kidnapping cases and the unsavory brother of the school's manager who sees an opportunity to get rich quick by demanding a ransom. With the help of a quick witted attorney who sees the situation for what it is, Hendrik and Evert are able to safely, and discretely, return the baby to her parents and avoid detection. A fun, madcap adventure.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Long

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This is the 3rd book in the Hendrik Groen series and it is so different than the previous two that it could easily be a stand alone book. The humor and shenanigans of Evert and Hendrik are still funny but this story seemed too far fetched. I still enjoyed it since sometimes you just need a light, goofy book to read. But I'm looking forward to going back to the retirement home and Hebdrik's diary in Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This is the 3rd book in the Hendrik Groen series and it is so different than the previous two that it could easily be a stand alone book. The humor and shenanigans of Evert and Hendrik are still funny but this story seemed too far fetched. I still enjoyed it since sometimes you just need a light, goofy book to read. But I'm looking forward to going back to the retirement home and Hebdrik's diary in the next book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sherri

    ***I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review Nine years before the events in "The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old", best friends Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker find themselves in an unexpected adventure when Evert decides on a whim to take a baby for a stroll. The baby, who was left unattended in it's stroller for a few minutes while waiting to play baby Jesus in a school play, is then the subject of a frantic search by the police, while Evert & Hendrik try ***I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review Nine years before the events in "The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old", best friends Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker find themselves in an unexpected adventure when Evert decides on a whim to take a baby for a stroll. The baby, who was left unattended in it's stroller for a few minutes while waiting to play baby Jesus in a school play, is then the subject of a frantic search by the police, while Evert & Hendrik try to figure out how to undo what Evert unwittingly did, without causing him to get thrown into jail for kidnapping. I love the Hendrik Groen books. They are so much fun and keep me laughing with all of their crazy adventures. This is the third book in the series, although it goes back in time to before Hendrik and Evert went into assisted living together. It was a bit different than the other two books since the chapters alternated between the two men and the other people in the book. I have to admit I enjoyed the other two books more, but this was still good. This is definitely something good to read if you want something light and humorous.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jo Stephen

    Hendrik doesn't disappoint, another fun read with a few smiles at the foibles of the elderly (but not as elderly here as in the other 2!) .... This could almost equal A Simple Plan for all the ways things can go wrong, but .... well, let's just say its characters are adorable and make the story oh-so-readable! Hendrik doesn't disappoint, another fun read with a few smiles at the foibles of the elderly (but not as elderly here as in the other 2!) .... This could almost equal A Simple Plan for all the ways things can go wrong, but .... well, let's just say its characters are adorable and make the story oh-so-readable!

  15. 4 out of 5

    James

    I bit of lighthearted reading. While meant to be unrealistic and farcical, it was still enjoyable. Not nearly as good as the original two books, it still provided some decent backstory to Hendrik & Evert’s history together.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Librarian

    Normally, I thoroughly enjoy caper plots. And I’ve read both of Groen’s previous books with great appreciation. All the elements were there for me to fall in love with this book. But…I just didn’t.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kiah

    This book was cute and really easy to read. I liked the writing style a lot, and the short chapters make it really easy to follow along.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was a fun book to listen to while making dinner a few nights

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Long

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This is the 3rd book in the Hendrik Groen series and it is so different than the previous two that it could easily be a stand alone book. The humor and shenanigans of Evert and Hendrik are still funny but this story seemed too far fetched. I still enjoyed it since sometimes you just need a light, goofy book to read. But I'm looking forward to going back to the retirement home and Hebdrik's diary in Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This is the 3rd book in the Hendrik Groen series and it is so different than the previous two that it could easily be a stand alone book. The humor and shenanigans of Evert and Hendrik are still funny but this story seemed too far fetched. I still enjoyed it since sometimes you just need a light, goofy book to read. But I'm looking forward to going back to the retirement home and Hebdrik's diary in the next book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Cahill

    This book was a delight! What a hilarious group of characters, and a fast-paced, silly adventure. It reminded me of the episode of Mr.Bean where he mistakenly takes a baby in a carriage and wanders around a fair with her! The writing and style reminds me of “the old man who disappeared out the window” and “anxious people”. I haven’t read any others by this author, or with these characters, but now I’m intrigued to read more about the loveable & hilarious Hendrik Groen! I was given an advanced cop This book was a delight! What a hilarious group of characters, and a fast-paced, silly adventure. It reminded me of the episode of Mr.Bean where he mistakenly takes a baby in a carriage and wanders around a fair with her! The writing and style reminds me of “the old man who disappeared out the window” and “anxious people”. I haven’t read any others by this author, or with these characters, but now I’m intrigued to read more about the loveable & hilarious Hendrik Groen! I was given an advanced copy of this book and I’m happy to give this honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Arthur

    DNF Not even worth a star. Why is kidnapping a baby funny? Why are bumbling policemen in charge of a kidnapping funny?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Hendrik Groen is back for a new adventure. His “Secret Diary,” that he started at age 83 1/4, tells about his life in a nursing home in Amsterdam. There, Hendrik and his friends try to ways to keep life interesting despite their circumstances. But in the years before Hendrik and Evert moved into the home, back when they were lads merely in their seventies, they were friends who got together every week for conversation, a drink, some snacks, and a game of chess. And sometimes they go themselves i Hendrik Groen is back for a new adventure. His “Secret Diary,” that he started at age 83 1/4, tells about his life in a nursing home in Amsterdam. There, Hendrik and his friends try to ways to keep life interesting despite their circumstances. But in the years before Hendrik and Evert moved into the home, back when they were lads merely in their seventies, they were friends who got together every week for conversation, a drink, some snacks, and a game of chess. And sometimes they go themselves into trouble they weren’t expecting. It was the day of the Christmas pageant at a local school. Evert was on his way to Hendrik’s apartment, but his bicycle broke. He stopped to take a look at it and realized that he needed to relieve himself. There was a school nearby with the door open, so he popped in to use the bathroom. As he was leaving, he noticed a nice raincoat in the hallway. His was wet, and there was no one around to claim the raincoat, so Evert put it on. Then he realized it was covering a baby carriage. With a baby in it. Evert thought how funny it would be to show up at his friend’s place with a real baby Jesus at Christmastime, so he takes the carriage and heads for the door. It’s not until Evert gets himself and the baby carriage to Hendrik’s apartment—through a bad rainstorm—that he realizes the full extent of what he’s done. Hendrik realizes immediately how much trouble Evert had gotten himself into—and Hendrik too, now that he’s brought the baby to his place—and tries to come up with a plan for returning the baby to the parents without them getting into trouble. So here it is—Evert will leave the baby in the park, and Hendrik will call the police from a pay phone to tell them where she is. Meanwhile, the parents are inconsolable. The principal is trying to calm the chaos at the school. The police are trying to find everyone who had been at the school for the Christmas pageant, to see if anyone saw anything. The mayor’s office is trying to decide what to tell the press. And one lone custodian is hoping everyone leaves the school soon so he can clean up and go home. Of course, when Evert tries to drop the baby off in the park, everything goes wrong, and he takes her back to Hendrik’s apartment. As the hours go by, the police get more involved in the search for the missing baby. The press is relentless in their attempts to get information. And Hendrik and Evert have to figure out how to keep a baby happy and safe until they can come up with a new plan. Will they successfully return the baby without anyone finding out who took her, or will they end up in prison together? Two Old Men and a Baby is the newest tale in the Hendrik Groen universe. Although it doesn’t follow the personal journal style of his first two books, this story still bubbles with all the personality of the Hendrik and Evert that we’ve grown to love. Through it all, Hendrik is calm and level-headed, and Evert is impulsive and spirited, and I can’t help but root for them to find a way out of their latest situation. I have loved Hendrik and his friends since I first met them. I admire Hendrik and his steadfastness, but it is the Everts of this world that keep things fresh and interesting, that push us to our limits and help us celebrate every win. And the interplay of those two characters is one of the best things about all of Hendrik’s books. Their friendship is the foundation of comedy and tragedy, and I am here for every adventure. If I had to come up with a criticism of this book, it’s that Hendrik and Evert almost become side characters as the police and other characters in the book take up more of the time. But I still loved this book, because those characters rang true and added lots of interest to the overall adventure. So don’t expect this book to be the same as the previous Hendrik Groen diary style books, but expect Hendrik and Evert to be exactly the way you remember them. Egalleys for Two Old Men and a Baby were provided by Grand Central Publishing through NetGalley, with many thanks.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Hendrik Groen: Two Old Men and A Baby 💫 Book Review Hendrik Groen began as a pseudonym account on a literary website that morphed into a couple books that make you giggle at the comedy act that is Hendrik Groen. In this book, Hendrik (late 70’s) is waiting for his friend Evert to come by for their routine game of chess with a side of nuts, cheese and a cocktail. It’s their thing, you could say, a little complaining, a little laughs and finish it off with a cup of coffee. Except this time impulsi Hendrik Groen: Two Old Men and A Baby 💫 Book Review Hendrik Groen began as a pseudonym account on a literary website that morphed into a couple books that make you giggle at the comedy act that is Hendrik Groen. In this book, Hendrik (late 70’s) is waiting for his friend Evert to come by for their routine game of chess with a side of nuts, cheese and a cocktail. It’s their thing, you could say, a little complaining, a little laughs and finish it off with a cup of coffee. Except this time impulsive, crass, Evert shows up with more than the normal…. A Baby. Yep, you read that right, Evert pushes in a Baby buggy with a little girl (actually baby Jesus from the local school play). Hendrik is gobsmacked and what happens next is a whole series of gaffes and wildness that makes you chuckle at two men late in their life trying to avoid the local police and get that baby back home. Characters that make you giggle, shake your head and a wonder how they get on one day, this book surprised me in how much I enjoyed it. It was bizarre and fun. Unique and silly. But something about Hendrik that totally endeared me to him… 3.5 stars of quirky for me Gifted by GCP (thank you!) in return for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Marie

    “Language is so hopelessly inadequate sometimes.” Thank you @grandcentralpub for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review! 📚💕 A super quick read. I was truly hooked because I had to find out what was going to happen; however, the story was very strange to me. I definitely did not enjoy how the book made a kidnapping into such a light story. There were some funny and reflective parts throughout, and I did enjoy Hendrik and Evert’s friendship. Their contrasting personalities and demeanors “Language is so hopelessly inadequate sometimes.” Thank you @grandcentralpub for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review! 📚💕 A super quick read. I was truly hooked because I had to find out what was going to happen; however, the story was very strange to me. I definitely did not enjoy how the book made a kidnapping into such a light story. There were some funny and reflective parts throughout, and I did enjoy Hendrik and Evert’s friendship. Their contrasting personalities and demeanors made their conversations and interactions entertaining. This book reminded me of “Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman. Both books discuss pretty serious crimes, that were almost accidentally committed, in a lighthearted way. Synopsis: Hendrik and Evert are best friends in their 80s. They meet weekly for chess, drinks, and dinner. One week Evert is running late, and Hendrik begins to worry. However, Hendrik was not expecting the reason for why Evert was late: he kidnapped a baby. This story follows how Hendrik and Evert care for the baby while planning how to safely return her to her parents…

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsay

    This book was for me was random selection during my last book haul. One of those "the book cover and title made me pick it up and read the back of the book". I am glad i did. Synopsis: Two old men accidentally on purpose acquire a baby, they honestly didn't mean to kidnap the kid it was actually really easy since it was just there. (For part of the book they name it baby jesus since they have no other name) It is much harder to return the baby, especially when you don't want to get in trouble. Se This book was for me was random selection during my last book haul. One of those "the book cover and title made me pick it up and read the back of the book". I am glad i did. Synopsis: Two old men accidentally on purpose acquire a baby, they honestly didn't mean to kidnap the kid it was actually really easy since it was just there. (For part of the book they name it baby jesus since they have no other name) It is much harder to return the baby, especially when you don't want to get in trouble. Set in the Netherlands. A comedy of errors, incompetent police and fake kidnappers, old friends who don't abandon each other and the situation becomes more and more absurd. Lots of jump scenes between all the various cast members like the old men, the cops, the school where baby was taken from, fake kidnapper," I found it funny and thoroughly enjoyed. I think these two old men are in some other books so now I need to track that down. Quick read, think "funny incompetent heist film" but cast with your grandparents. Recommend if you like sweet funny books with likable protagonists and you cheer for them to meet their goal even when its not legal.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    "Hendrik just wants to have a fun evening with his pal, Evert. But Evert stumbles across a baby and decides to bring it with him. Now they can't figure out how to give it back without getting in trouble." this was my first book from Hendrik Groen. I like this character. As a former school principal he seems to keep his head in stressful situations. And dealing with his nosy neighbor in awkward moments. There are some characters that are stereotypes - the politician that wants to be seen doing som "Hendrik just wants to have a fun evening with his pal, Evert. But Evert stumbles across a baby and decides to bring it with him. Now they can't figure out how to give it back without getting in trouble." this was my first book from Hendrik Groen. I like this character. As a former school principal he seems to keep his head in stressful situations. And dealing with his nosy neighbor in awkward moments. There are some characters that are stereotypes - the politician that wants to be seen doing something (no matter if it's the right thing or not) The custodian that's concerned about "his" coffee maker. This is a quick, easy read. Hendrik is not your stereotypical grumpy old man in this book. He seems like a guy you'd love to hang out and tell stories with. (But Evert seems like a "Here - hold my beer" kind of guy. Some nice light-hearted moments here.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Fun quick read, but with some subtle messages about power, grace, kindness. Evert, on an impulse, takes a baby in a stroller. But the problem arises when he tries to return her to her parents. Multiple attempts are foiled, but Hendrik's support of his friend and the dynamics between the police chief, prosecutor, and mayor are the true crux of the story. Many laugh out loud moments. Quotes: The veneer of civilization is often quite thin. The mayor arrived at 1:18. She was always a few minutes late. Fun quick read, but with some subtle messages about power, grace, kindness. Evert, on an impulse, takes a baby in a stroller. But the problem arises when he tries to return her to her parents. Multiple attempts are foiled, but Hendrik's support of his friend and the dynamics between the police chief, prosecutor, and mayor are the true crux of the story. Many laugh out loud moments. Quotes: The veneer of civilization is often quite thin. The mayor arrived at 1:18. She was always a few minutes late. She thought being on time, or even a little early, would give the impression she wasn't very busy. Wil didn't much like talking to people, but he made an exception when it came to talking to himself.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thomas George Phillips

    This book is about satire between two, elderly men who meet up once a week to play chess. Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker are the main protagonists. The story begins at Princess Margriet School. Evert is on his way to Hendrik's house when nature calls. He simply cannot wait. He stops on the way to said school to relieve himself when he notices a baby carriage in the hall. There is no one about. So Evert decides to take the carriage over to Hendrik's with the baby inside. Hendrik is incensed. He t This book is about satire between two, elderly men who meet up once a week to play chess. Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker are the main protagonists. The story begins at Princess Margriet School. Evert is on his way to Hendrik's house when nature calls. He simply cannot wait. He stops on the way to said school to relieve himself when he notices a baby carriage in the hall. There is no one about. So Evert decides to take the carriage over to Hendrik's with the baby inside. Hendrik is incensed. He tells Evert he must take the baby back at once. But how to explain it is not so easy. So the two of them ponder on how to return the baby without getting anymore involved. Mr. Groen's witty repartee makes this at most entertaining read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    This isn’t as good as the first book from Hendrik Groen but it has its funny moments. He and his best friend get into a bit of a pickle when his friend decides to take a baby in its buggy that’s hanging out by the bathrooms of a school having a Christmas pageant. The baby is supposed to be baby Jesus. He thinks it would be great fun to surprise Hendrik with it on their weekly get together for cards, drinks, and snacks. Hendrik isn’t amused and the rest of the story is them trying to figure out h This isn’t as good as the first book from Hendrik Groen but it has its funny moments. He and his best friend get into a bit of a pickle when his friend decides to take a baby in its buggy that’s hanging out by the bathrooms of a school having a Christmas pageant. The baby is supposed to be baby Jesus. He thinks it would be great fun to surprise Hendrik with it on their weekly get together for cards, drinks, and snacks. Hendrik isn’t amused and the rest of the story is them trying to figure out how to get the baby back without getting caught. I listened to the audio version and it’s fun to hear their accents as this is set in Amsterdam.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I’ve read and enjoyed the first two Hendrik Groen books, which are written as diaries. This one is a departure in format as this is a novel narrated by different characters. This is also a bit of a prequel, taking place before both of the diaries. All of that said, this is a humorous, lighthearted Hendrik and Evert adventure. It’s a bit far-fetched that everyone would be as inept as some of these characters, but that’s part of the charm of the Groen novels. This has quietly become one of my favo I’ve read and enjoyed the first two Hendrik Groen books, which are written as diaries. This one is a departure in format as this is a novel narrated by different characters. This is also a bit of a prequel, taking place before both of the diaries. All of that said, this is a humorous, lighthearted Hendrik and Evert adventure. It’s a bit far-fetched that everyone would be as inept as some of these characters, but that’s part of the charm of the Groen novels. This has quietly become one of my favorite series, if you can call it a series, which I will.

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