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Netherland - Joseph O'Neill
Netherland
by: (author)
2.72 145
In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11, Hans--a banker originally from the Netherlands--finds himself marooned among the strange occupants of the Chelsea Hotel after his English wife and son return to London. Alone and untethered, feeling lost in the country he had come to... show more
In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11, Hans--a banker originally from the Netherlands--finds himself marooned among the strange occupants of the Chelsea Hotel after his English wife and son return to London. Alone and untethered, feeling lost in the country he had come to regard as home, Hans stumbles upon the vibrant New York subculture of cricket, where he revisits his lost childhood and, thanks to a friendship with a charismatic and charming Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon, begins to reconnect with his life and his adopted country. Ramkissoon, a Gatsby-like figure who is part idealist and part operator, introduces Hans to an “other” New York populated by immigrants and strivers of every race and nationality. Hans is alternately seduced and instructed by Chuck’s particular brand of naivete and chutzpah--by his ability to a hold fast to a sense of American and human possibility in which Hans has come to lose faith. Netherland gives us both a flawlessly drawn picture of a little-known New York and a story of much larger, and brilliantly achieved ambition: the grand strangeness and fading promise of 21st century America from an outsider’s vantage point, and the complicated relationship between the American dream and the particular dreamers. Most immediately, though, it is the story of one man--of a marriage foundering and recuperating in its mystery and ordinariness, of the shallows and depths of male friendship, of mourning and memory. Joseph O’Neill’s prose, in its conscientiousness and beauty, involves us utterly in the struggle for meaning that governs any single life.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780307377043 (0307377040)
Publisher: Pantheon
Pages no: 256
Edition language: English
Bookstores:
Community Reviews
moving under skies
moving under skies rated it
4.0 Netherland
Along with the NYT, I counted this as one of my own best reads of 2008--which was, by the way, a complete surprise, since the blurb struck me as wholly unexciting and almost pretentious. However, the book was a thorough delight: gorgeous, tragic, full of a lasting emotional resonance.
meganbaxter
meganbaxter rated it
I don't get it. I like to flatter myself that I'm not a particularly unperceptive reader, but when it comes to this book, I don't get it. I don't get anything about it. I don't hate it, but I have no idea what this book is about. I have no idea why it won so many prizes.I don't get it.(Disclaimer: I...
I'm Reading...
I'm Reading... rated it
4.0
This book was ok! I didn't connect with the story when cricket was involved, although I do understand when someone seeks refuge for the world and its problems in a game. But I really liked the parts about Hans' relationships with his wife, mother and friends. Hans seems to be seeking... something...
donnambrownuk
donnambrownuk rated it
3.0 Netherland
This is a well written book covering some difficult and very emotive subjects. Joseph O'Neill writes well, though I did find it difficult to connect with some of the characters in the book. Perhaps the events of the book have so much depth and poignancy that it's difficult for the characters to stan...
Lillie Loves to Read
Lillie Loves to Read rated it
1.0
I see that others loved this book, me, not so much. The main character was just so lethargic, so uncaring of the world around him. Actually, he didn't even seem to care about himself. His wife (another winner! Very self absorbed) left him and he couldn't seem to do anything about it. He had no frien...
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