Eighty-five-year-old Hendrik Groen is fed up to his false teeth with coffee mornings and bingo.
Along with fellow members of the Old-But-Not-Dead Club, he embarks on a wild spree of octogenarian anarchy. But the home's director will not stand for any more drunken bar crawls, illicit fireworks or geriatric romance. The good name of the care home will not be disgraced.
But when Hendrik learns of a plan to close the home down he realises life outside it could be much worse. He and the gang must stop the closure before it's too late. Or drop dead trying . . .
'A joy to read. An entertaining and uplifting story of a man in the winter of his days' John Boyne, Irish Times
'Highly entertaining, utterly convincing. A delightful and touching saga of one man's way of coping with old age'Daily Express
'Terrific. This geriatric Adrian Mole made me laugh' Fanny Blake, Woman and Home
'A funny but also touching diary praised for its wit and realism' BBC Radio 4 Front Row
I laughed until I cried and then laughed and cried some more (David Suchet)
Thoughtful, anxious and gruff... Laced with humour (Best New Fiction Mail on Sunday)
Full of off-beat charm and quirky characters (Cathy Rentzenbrink Stylist)
A story with a great deal of heart, it pulled me in with its self-deprecating humour, finely drawn characters and important themes. Anyone who hopes to grow old with dignity will have much to reflect on (Graeme Simsion)
Amusing [and] wickedly accurate ... I was constantly put in mind of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, another comi-tragedy concerning the tyranny of institutions of the unwanted. Enjoy Groen's light touch but do not be fooled by it. We live in an ageing society. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is a handbook of resistance for our time (***** FIVE STARS Sunday Express)
There are many laughs in this book but it's so much more than just a comedy. It's a story about how friendship, selflessness and dignity lie at the heart of the human experience. When I'm an old man, I want to be Hendrik Groen (John Boyne)
Highly entertaining ... a delightful and touching saga of one man's way of coping with old age ... we may assume that Hendrik Groen is a character of fiction. But it is a fiction so closely based on the observation of real life that it is utterly convincing (Daily Express)
A joy to read, as much concerned with friendship and dignity as it is with the debilitating effects of aging ... An entertaining and uplifting story of a man in the winter of his days, stoic in the face of bureaucratic nonsense and an unabashed need to wear a nappy. Imagined or not, this is the diary of someone who wants nothing more than to be allowed see out his days with dignity and respect. It's not too much to ask, really, is it? (John Boyne Irish Times)
Praise for The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old (-)