THE ALMOST WORLD by Hans Koning

THE ALMOST WORLD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Koning, under the name Hans Koningsberger, is the author of several novels, including The Revolutionary (1967). His autobiography -- with its chopped-up time sequence and its rather cloying self-ironies, its sexual encounters and homilies on Vietnam and self-satisfied liberals -- has few virtues though some might find his genuine enthusiasm for the U.S. and his native Holland affecting. Koning wanders to Haiti and Cuba and Spain, chats with U.N. diplomats in New York, recalls his youth during World War II, observes that after the war ""Europe was at great speed becoming Americanized. . . . Over here, we were becoming the Old World,"" plays with the 19th century and with his dreams and Nixon and Schopenhauer, expresses the obligatory perverse reaction to Los Angeles, muses about how ""I'd have loved to live a life where you'd turn straight to the theater pages mornings. . . . I bitterly hated the politicians who wouldn't let us."" The combination of relish for things American and outrage against war and repression will have its appeal, and Koning's travels are freshly rendered, but one quickly tires of apercus like ""Almost two hundred years since the French Revolution and we're not even back where we started then,"" of ""we's"" in general, and of this sort of core-less writing.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1972
Publisher: Dial