Skip to main content
A normal day in the busy life of a lonely old codger


Elvis Peeters

‘Tuesday’ starts as the account of an ordinary day in the shambling life of an old man. Wandering around the city, his memories rise to the surface. Slowly the reader discovers that he let himself be recruited as a mercenary in the secession war in Congo in the early 1960’s. After their defeat, he travelled through the country with the feared Simbas, raping and mutilating nuns and priests without batting an eyelid. Finally, he ended up in prison.

You are left with a morally reprehensible main character of whom you have undeniably become fond. Only real writers can achieve that.

An underlying dimension is added to the deceptive banality of this old man’s life and the detailed description of his day-to-day activities when the reader learns with growing astonishment of his violent life. The first thing that strikes you is his absolute amorality, his apparent emotional indifference. Subtle remarks, however, suggest that this man’s life was steered by not so much chance but revenge and rancour. As he shuffles his way through his shabby life, he relies pathetically strongly on his past.

The major contrast between then and now, between the impassive registration of daily events where moral implications are entirely lacking and the underlying dramatic life experiences make ‘Tuesday’ an impressive novel.

Peeters excels in the plausible characterisation of entirely unscrupulous people
NRC Handelsblad
Superior penmanship
Jury Libris Literature Prize