The Light at the End of the Barrel

(Het Licht aan het Einde van de Loop)

Martin Michael Driessen

When a bullet leaves its chamber and rushes towards the end of the barrel, a long period of waiting comes to an end. Once in motion, it finds its target in a split second, but until fired, its destination is a mystery.

What led to this explosive moment? In a completely original and thrilling novel Martin Michael Driessen describes the life of waiting and fulfilment of a specific bullet. From the perspective of this extraordinary main character, varying constellations of people are encountered, all of whom qualify as potential shooters or as targets – criminals, good American family men, women and children. The novel is not so much a whodunit as a who’ll do it. The narrator’s reflections, as it awaits its fate with mixed feelings, are more humane, more melancholy, and more witty than one might expect from such a humble projectile.

‘I followed Driessen’s ingenuity with increasing pleasure. I thought of Jorge Luis Borges and Bioy Casares, closer to home Daniel Kehlmann.’ DE GROENE AMSTERDAMMER

‘The trick with a narrator who is not human has of course been used before, think of Willen Jan Otten’s SPECHT EN ZOON (published as THE PORTRAIT in English) in which a painting takes the floor. But it is only in the skillful fingers of true storyteller Martin Michael Driessen that it becomes clear how such an ingenious perspective can provide a story with tension, spirit and stimulation – not to mention humor. Nothing human is strange to the narrating bullet. He is a cultivated, somewhat genteel character, who cares for decorum and a sense of honour, and from his position on the sidelines, delivers piercing and often condescending commentary on the human comedy unfolding before his eyes. Like Odysseus, who is referred to several times, he must endure trials and journeys to reach his destination. The fact that his lot seems to lie in the hands of a writer called Michael, adds another juicy meta-layer to Driessen’s blood-curdling story. For eighty pages, this master seducer captures you again in his flawless virtuoso game. Eighty pages of refined and expert writing pleasure.’ HUMO

‘A plea for imagination, an ode to the unlimited possibilities of pure fiction. The storytelling fun splashes off the pages.’ TROUW


  • Uitgeverij Van Oorschot NL (original publisher, March 2022)

Material: Finished copies Dutch edition (89pp)