Den Uyl came from a Reformed family. His father Jacob den Uyl (1894-1982) was a police officer. His mother Anna Josefine Rosenkranz (1896-1968) was born in Philadelphia (United States), but it was at the time of her marriage a German national. Bob den Uyl was a great-great-nephew of the politician Joop den Uyl , because they have common grandparents.
After secondary school have gone through, he did b- MO -A French and English. He had various office jobs before settling in 1968 devoted himself entirely to writing. From 1948 to 1957 he also acted as a jazz trumpet player with several jazz orchestras on.
After he had been in 1963 debuted with Birdwatching , he only gained greater familiarity with God's ways are obscure and rarely pleasant 1975.
His writing style is ironic and observant, with the main theme of the futility and absurdity of existence. His early work consists mainly of absurd stories. Later shifts the focus of his work autobiographical stories, especially about his travels (often by bicycle) by the Netherlands neighboring countries. In his story "The development of an anger 'in the eponymous short story he formulated the" Law of Den Uyl', "You do not find what you're looking for, but only that which you are not looking."
Recurring elements in his work:
- His experiences as a child in World War II
- His bumbling in social life and in dealing with devices
- The First World War , in which he immerses himself immensely
- His love of cycling
- His alcohol
- The city of Rotterdam
- Experiences in Belgium
During his lifetime Den Uyl won the following literary awards :
- In 1965 the Prose Prize of the city of Amsterdam for Birds Watching
- In 1968 the Anna Blaman Price for a soft whistling
- In 1976 the Multatuli Price for God's ways are obscure and rarely pleasant
- Bird Watching (1963)
- A soft whistle (1968)
- What ride there? (1970)
- With one foot in the grave (1971)
- The development of a rage (1972)
- Greenland and worse (1974)
- God's ways are obscure and rarely pleasant (1975)
- The Flying Bike (1976)
- A nomadic life (1978)
- Strange phenomena (1978)
- The bleeding Train (1980)
- Quatro Primi (1980) (Omnibus first four collections of short stories)
- Rise & Fall of the Black Sweater (1981)
- Fully poetry 1960-1980 (1981)
- How and why Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Raven (1983)
- The landscape of the living (1984)
- The Flying Bike (1986)
- A delirious love (1986)
- Writers are abused and other charges (1987)
- The country is not ungrateful (1989)
- The wrong track (1991)
- This is not right (1996)
- Traveling requires strong nerves (2004)
- Nothing could go wrong (2005)
- Ineradicable misunderstanding (2006)
- The human can stands for nothing (2007)
- The tomb of Bach (2008)
- Nico Keuning: A certain discomfort. A biography of Bob den Uyl (2008).
- Ivar Schute: Bob's Trumpet (2008).
- Mark van Leeuwen and Ivar Schute: Beautiful vistas that our journey embitter A walk through Rotterdam on the basis of Bob den Uyl (2010).
- In 2004 , the editors of the VPRO guide the Bob den Uyl Prize for stories set.