Fate arrives one day to chastise Geniek Janowski: fireman, loving husband, father of two boys, co-owner of a pony and respectable citizen of Heerlen.
His colleagues at the C-brigade, who simply call Janowski “the Polack”, rally to see him through the crisis, while fellow fireman Beckers’ wife shows up at the door with comfort food. These attempts at consolation, however, bring on only more calamity. The Polack decides not to be repulsed by that, but to embrace it.
Goede mannen is a touching, despairing novel about a father who thinks that a good man always steps aside, that being good amounts to little more than desiring the good. Desires that aren’t so good one covers with the cloak of silence.
Can calamity be averted in that way? What can we actually avert, anyway?