The Game Changer

The Game Changer


Fiction - Humor/Comedy
390 Pages
Reviewed on 01/27/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dave Dröge (Vlaardingen, 1966) worked 24 years in IT (creative development and design) and graduated in psychology at both the Erasmus University and the Open University, including a NIP BAPD qualification for diagnostics. From 2010, he mainly writes novels: the first two years a trilogy about three writers who have an ambitious plan, establish a metaphysical revolution through an artistic event, simultaneously held in Paris and Amsterdam. The following year he wrote a relatively short novel which describes a dream world faced with a harsh reality. Recently he wrote The Game Changer, a large-scale novel about a company doctor in the port of Rotterdam. Currently, he is working on a new novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

The Game Changer by Dave Dröge is a gorgeous read, a beautiful mix of crime, intrigue, and thriller, featuring great and interesting characters. Henk van Wijnen-Swarttouw is a successful entrepreneur, but his business is not without shady dealings and he may not escape charges of corruption and tax evasion this time around. At the same time that his company is about to go under, Henk has a new challenge. His daughter, Julia, who has just turned eighteen is very intelligent and has her own plans, and they may be just the contrary of everything the dubious entrepreneur has stood for. Her obsession for art and her recent involvement with the Moroccan named El Bachir, coupled with her dream about sustainability, are issues that challenge Henk. Readers are introduced to a powerful drama taking place between father and daughter, each poised to change the other.

I adored the way Julia's character is developed and how aptly she justifies the title of this absorbing novel. She is intelligent and determined. The conflict evolves around her and themes like art, education, love and passion, among others, are neatly built into her world. The writing is gorgeous, laced with manifold descriptions that are vivid and captivating. The plot is complex, propelled forward by a multilayered conflict and the compelling and believable characters. There is a nagging sense of suspense that dominates this work, evoked through the shifts in perspective and scenes. The narrative voice is so clear it has readers absorbed. Dave Dröge is a gifted writer and The Game Changer is a great piece of entertainment.

Ray Simmons

Books about art are always a bit of a struggle for me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a beautiful painting or two, but I was never taught the skills needed to deconstruct the process necessary to critique them, so I find myself lost sometimes when others go on detailed descriptions of art, the art scene, art themes, and the art lifestyle. But I am always eager to learn so I jump into the art world whenever I can. It has been a very long time since I have read a novel as art centered as The Game Changer by Dave Dröge. If I were told I had to recommend one book about art and the art world to an eager reader who wanted to gain some knowledge of art, as well as get a feel for the lifestyle of Rotterdam, then The Game Changer is the novel I would recommend.

The Game Changer is art in and of itself. I found many wheels within wheels as I devoured the lifestyles of the citizens of Rotterdam. Rotterdam seemed a piece of art itself as described by the skillful pen of Dave Dröge. I have lived in a lot of colorful, exciting cities with people from everywhere, but this is the first time a novel evoked such a strong yearning to visit a place and make some friends there. The characters are beautifully written, and heartbreakingly realistic. The Game Changer is funny, serious, and ironic. But most of all, it is a great read if you are even the slightest bit interested in art.

Christian Sia

The Game Changer by Dave Dröge is a novel set mainly around the city of Rotterdam, bubbling with life and commerce. It features very compelling characters: a businessman whose enterprise is about to sink and who would do anything to save his company from going bankrupt, a daughter who is an art lover determined to transform her father’s way of doing business and the world around her, and other well-developed, exciting characters. Readers are introduced to powerful themes, including intrigue, love, family, art, and sustainable living.

Henk van Wijnen-Swarttouw is a great character to follow, a man whose intelligence and business acumen are marred only by his obsessive sense of control over a daughter set for success. Julia, his daughter, is an intelligent and beautiful young woman with a lot of promise and a vision that drives her. Can her father succeed in getting her to live the way of life he wants her to live? Readers watch two powerful wills in a struggle to determine the path the other should take.

Dave Dröge’s writing is filled with life and the reader is so enthralled with the flowing, beautiful prose that they will find it hard to put the book down. From the very first page that captures a news article about a major art theft, the reader’s curiosity is piqued and the reader is drawn into an exciting world. The fast-paced plot, with its many twists and surprises will have the reader turning the pages, longing to know what happens next to the characters and what they care about. The conflict builds up fast and it is introduced from the very early stages of the story, moving with great momentum, and readers are keen to follow as it escalates. The Game Changer is an exciting story that deals with real issues and readers will fall in love with the great plot, the biting humor, and, of course, the memorable characters.

Deborah Lloyd

The fascinating port city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands is the setting for the intriguing novel The Game Changer by Dave Dröge. Henk van Wijnen-Swarttouw, an entrepreneur and company doctor, is the colorful main character. His eighteen-year-old daughter Julia, enjoying a sabbatical year before medical school, displays her provocative and shocking art in her parents’ art gallery. She is also fighting for sustainability and embroiled in a complicated relationship with a Moroccan man. While Henk is trying to focus on an investigation of his chemical company while preventing its bankruptcy, he becomes obsessed with his daughter’s actions. Many other characters – Cor Figee, a committed company manager; Tatjana, the housekeeper; Johanna, the barmaid; German psychiatrist von Sturmer; to name a few – add to the satisfying layers of complexity in the novel.

Engaging the reader from the first page to the last, author Dave Dröge exhibits his competency for exciting, complicated storytelling in The Game Changer. He has interwoven a number of plots, and subplots, in a realistic format. Every aspect of the story, as well as each character, is believable, as the reader becomes more and more embroiled in this knotty fictional work. Blending the professional challenges of Henk’s life, as well as his familial and inner personal struggles, creates interesting entanglements not often found in today’s fiction books. And, it mimics the conflicts experienced by real people who find challenges in straddling both the corporate and relationship realms. This book is not a fast, easy read, but the reader’s efforts are well rewarded.

Tracy Slowiak

In an exciting new work by author Dave Dröge, The Game Changer is a book that will have readers breathlessly turning the pages from the start all the way through until the very end. Intertwining related stories, those of Dr. Henk van Wijnen-Swarttouw, his eighteen-year-old daughter and artist, Julia, Cor Figee, a man with a disabled daughter who he is certain Henk can help, this novel will take readers through all the twists and turns of the main players' lives in a way that is both entertaining and meaningful. Included in the journey is a cast of other highly entertaining individuals who each keep the momentum of the story line moving forward in their own unique way.

Author Dave Dröge has done a great job of providing his readers with a look into what seems to be a realistic portrait of life in the modern day city of Rotterdam, and does so with an authentic voice and a great knack for story telling. His characters leap off the page with a feeling of authenticity, and his ability to weave together what could, at first glance, appear to be disparate stories is simply second to none. There may be some issues with the translation of this book, but in general, those small areas were not enough to keep this reader from thoroughly enjoying this satisfying read. I am pleased to be able to recommend The Game Changer, and I certainly look forward to reading more from author Dave Dröge in the very near future!