Tommy Wieringa - Caesarion
Research for this novel took Tommy Wieringa to three continents, from an English seaside town to the jungles of Panama, from the Middle East to the United States. They are all ports of call on the Odyssey undertaken by his central character Ludwig Schultz, whose mother calls him Caesarion, in search of parents both of whom abandoned him to his fate.
His two names – Ludwig, a German monarch who built an insane fairy-tale castle, and Caesarion, son of the Roman general Caesar and the Egyptian queen Cleopatra – indicate the megalomaniac expectations his parents have of him. They sacrifice their child in order to realize their own decadent fantasies. His father is obsessed, like Kurtz in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, with a building project in the jungle, while his mother is a porn star.
The offspring of this bizarre alliance, modelled on the couple Jeff Koons and Cicciolina, grows up to be a lonely man, restlessly seeking his place in the world. Only after the chastening conclusion to his search for his parents can he start a new life of his own. In Caesarion Wieringa has written an absorbing coming-of-age novel that is also a parable about loneliness, love and family.
Tommy Wieringa spent part of his childhood in the Dutch Caribbean, and its influence shows through in his exotic settings and richly imaginative prose. After the resounding success of his fourth novel Joe Speedboat (2005), the story of a friendship between four adolescents, he published travel stories and columns while working on Caesarion (2009). Trained as a historian and as a journalist, he is renowned for his well-researched and detailed realism. Comparing Wieringa to the Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad, reviewers have dubbed him a true romantic.
- ‘A novel full of vitality, fine writing and flawless psychological insight.’ – Vrij Nederland