CISKE THE RAT by Piet Bakker


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..... is a small, sullen, peaked spirited youngster, the victim of an unwanted-unloved background (his father has gone to sea- his mother works in a bar) and he is introduced as ""a terrible type"" to Bruis- his teacher- who tells his story here. While savage when attacked or abused, Ciske responds slowly to Bruis, who wins his confidence, and some of the children- particularly the invalided and doomed Dorus- who befriend him. But Bruis' protective interest in the boy is limited when Ciske knifes and kills his mother and his appeal, while justifiable, cannot stay a sentence of three months in a reform school. When released- and placed in the understanding hands of the woman who will marry his father-Ciske is still alone with the guilt of his crime and it is only with the help of Bruis and the priest who had guided him in the reform school that he finds release at the end of a struggle which almost takes his life..... In translation from the Dutch, Ciske's story which is told with great simplicity has an unfailing appeal although it may take a certain pressure to direct it toward an audience.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1958
Publisher: Doubleday