[Henrdrik] expertly weaves concerns into his diary entries amidst lighter fare, and provides an empathetic and realistic portrayal of getting old that should engender more sympathy for the elderly ... Hendrik’s commentaries on politics, culture and society are often hilarious, sometimes biting and occasionally overdone ... The Netherlands’ treatment of the elderly is clearly a topic close to the author’s heart, and the diary is a bit too focused on it at times. While it is no doubt relevant and important, his heavy-handed and preachy approach may turn off some readers ... the diary of an extraordinary man who lives an ordinary life. He makes an impact on almost everyone he meets, and seeks to understand the crazy world in which he resides. His clever commentary and madcap adventures will leave a long-term impression on everyone who reads his diary. Hendrik Groen is an unforgettable and absolutely spectacular character who readers will wish they could befriend.
[Henrdrik] documents events both humorous and sad: scooter crashes at hallway intersections, the adventurous dinner outings planned each fortnight by the Old-But-Not-Dead Club (of which he is an original member), the restarting of the Residents’ Committee in order to voice concerns about the bland dining-room fare, the stringent pet policy, and, above all, the dwindling and imminent death from cancer of his best friend, Evert. Interspersed among these daily entries are Groen’s thoughts on the Dutch royal family, the horrific plight of the many refugees reaching European borders, and the failings of the Dutch health-care system. A realistic and perceptive glimpse into the aging process, shaped by empathy, optimism, and vibrant wit.
... the Old But Not Dead club continues its escapades, someone is stashing fruit in illicit places all around the home just to be annoying, and the book’s darkness is leavened with moments of hilarity ... thoughtful, entertaining and wise. Long may he live.