He is a charming friend to everyone. He made a rapid career at a young age and soon managed millions of assets. But his life in the concrete jungle slowly squeezes all the joy out of him.
His only salvation is the stadium, the weekends with the boys from the stands. On the news they are called scum and hooligans, but to him they are sacred. They keep him going. The rush of fighting makes life real.
But then the foundations are knocked away from under him. His mentor dies and his best friend is forced to go into hiding with him. Slowly his double life begins to falter and he finds himself alone. What choice do you make when you are forced to choose between your two lives?
'You don't have to deal with the hammer blow of a novel every day, not even every five years. Well, Freek van Kraaikamp hit me with Elitepauper as if I had received a particularly hard penalty right in the middle of my chance. Van Kraaikamp is a new major talent in literature.'
– Herman Brusselmans
'Elitepauper is one lump of raw aggression, with football as a side issue and blood as an aftertaste. Stuck between a concrete jungle and a grandstand, this grim debut novel exudes the atmosphere of Fight Club. And that's what it is: fighting for your club. Then buy.'
– New Revu
'Elitepauper is a kind of polder combination of Trainspotting and Hooligans, full of speed and with comical asides. Van Kraaikamp effortlessly held my attention and, in this debut, introduced me, quite rarely, to a world that I usually never read about.'
– Thomas Heerma van Voss (Metro)
'An ode to the rawness of football culture.'
'The intense passages and raw dialogue will not be to everyone's taste, but it does fit the image of the novel. Moreover, Van Kraaikamp has succeeded in involving readers in the world of his characters. His writing style contributes to this: the main character tells his truth about life directly and without embellishment.'
'It is a special book, written with speed and the experiences of the characters will not soon be forgotten.'
'Elitepauper is full of black humour, aggression and zest for life.'
'Freek van Kraaikamp, chronicler of the rawest football culture.'
' This is pure football culture: merciless and full of pitch-black humor and struggle.
Elitepauper is a novel by the boys from the tribune, for the boys from the tribune'
'With Elitepauper, Van Kraaikamp pays tribute to football culture in the form of a beautiful literary novel.'
– In The Fences