book cover of The Darkroom of Damocles

The Darkroom of Damocles

(1958)
A novel by

 
 
During the German occupation of Holland, tobacconist Henri Osewoudt is visited by Dorbeck. Dorbeck is Osewoudt's spitting image in reverse. Henri is blond and beardless, with a high voice; Dorbeck is dark-haired, and his voice deep. 'I had the feeling I was an extension of him, or even part of him. When I first set eyes on him I thought: this is the sort of man I should have been.' Dorbeck gives Osewoudt a series of dangerous assignments: helping British agents and eliminating traitors. But the assassinations get out of hand, and when Osewoudt discovers that his wife denounced him to the Germans, he kills her too. Having survived all the dangers, at the end of the war, Osewoudt is himself taken for a traitor and captured. He cannot prove that he received his assignments from Dorbeck. Worse, he cannot prove that Dorbeck ever existed. When he develops a roll of film that should show a photograph of the two of them together, the picture is a dud. He flees from prison in panic and is dishonourably shot on the run. The story of Osewoudt's fateful wanderings through a sadistic universe is thrilling. Is Osewoudt hero or villain? Or is he a psychopath, driven by delusions? It is the impossibility of ascertaining whether Osewoudt was on the 'right' side or the 'wrong' side - the moral issue of the Second World War in a nutshell - that makes Hermans' novel as breathtaking now as when it was written a decade after the war.

Genre: Thriller

Used availability for W F Hermans's The Darkroom of Damocles

Hardback Editions

May 2008 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Darkroom of Damocles: A Novel
Author(s): Willem Frederik Hermans
ISBN: 1-59020-062-4 / 978-1-59020-062-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2007 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Darkroom Of Damocles
Author(s): W F Hermans
ISBN: 1-84343-206-4 / 978-1-84343-206-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


Paperback Editions

October 2020 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Darkroom of Damocles
Author(s): Willem Frederik Hermans
ISBN: 1-78227-624-6 / 978-1-78227-624-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


November 2009 : Paperback
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Title: [The Darkroom of Damocles] (By: Willem Frederik Hermans) [published: November, 2009]
Author(s): Willem Frederik Hermans
Publisher: Overlook Press
Availability: Amazon CA   


October 2009 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Darkroom of Damocles: A Novel
Author(s): Willem Frederik Hermans
ISBN: 1-59020-081-0 / 978-1-59020-081-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

September 2020 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Darkroom of Damocles
Author(s): Willem Frederik Hermans
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


October 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Darkroom of Damocles: A Novel
Author(s): Willem Frederik Hermans
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA