The republic

Josip Brik, pop-philosopher and professor of Hitler Studies, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now it’s up to his right-hand man, Friso de Vos, to claim Brik’s intellectual legacy for himself. But there’s more to his ambition and Friso – jealous, hypochondriac, more intelligent than what’s good for him and awkwardly in love with the girl he just left –tries to sideline the competition, and in the process, tumbles into a story that is absolutely not his own.

What begins as a lesson in grief and heartbreak gradually turns into academic satire, speculative history, and something of a spy novel.

The Republic is a gripping novel about deception and self-deception, ambition, the love of history as entertainment, and the hunt for the perfect enemy.

 Original title

125 x 200 WT
De republiek

April 2013
264 pages
17.000 copies sold


Joost de Vries (1983) is art critic for De Groene Amsterdammer. In 2010, his controversial debut novel Clausewitz was published, which was nominated for the Anton Wachter Prize and the Selexyz Debut Prize.

English sample available

Rights: Conville & Walsh

Rights sold: Germany (Heine), Spain (Anagrama)

Praise for Joost de Vries:

‘His books are courageous puzzles on a grand scale, full of references to other books, yet original and infectious reflections of contemporary reality. His work is contemplative and delicate, pedantic and sophomoric, lucid and mysterious, but invariably written in a stimulating and fluent style.’ Jury Charlotte Köhler Stipendium

Press comments on Clausewitz (11.000 copies sold):

‘A masterful book. This debut novel marks a turning point in Dutch literature. (…) In style, tension, use of language, metaphor, erudition and humor, Joost de Vries surpasses the The Discovery of Heaven to take the crown.’ NRC Handelsblad