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    Brian Doyle 9780870717543

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Netherland

Netherland Cover

ISBN13: 9781135870041
ISBN10: 1135870047
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Hans van den Broek, the Dutch-born narrator of O'Neill's dense, intelligent novel, observes of his friend, Chuck Ramkissoon, a self-mythologizing entrepreneur-gangster, that 'he never quite believed that people would sooner not have their understanding of the world blown up, even by Chuck Ramkissoon.' The image of one's understanding of the world being blown up is poignant — this is Hans's fate after 9/11. He and wife Rachel abandon their downtown loft, and, soon, Rachel leaves him behind at their temporary residence, the Chelsea Hotel, taking their son, Jake, back to London. Hans, an equities analyst, is at loose ends without Rachel, and in the two years he remains Rachel-less in New York City, he gets swept up by Chuck, a Trinidadian expatriate Hans meets at a cricket match. Chuck's dream is to build a cricket stadium in Brooklyn; in the meantime, he operates as a factotum for a Russian gangster. The unlikely (and doomed from the novel's outset) friendship rises and falls in tandem with Hans's marriage, which falls and then, gradually, rises again. O'Neill (This Is the Life) offers an outsider's view of New York bursting with wisdom, authenticity and a sobering jolt of realism." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Joseph O'Neill was born in Ireland and raised primarily in Holland. He received a law degree from Cambridge University and worked as a barrister in London. He writes regularly The Atlantic Monthly and is the author of two previous novels, This Is the Life and The Breezes, and a family history, Blood-Dark-Track, which was a New York Times Notable Book. He lives with his family in New York City.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Mary W., July 5, 2008 (view all comments by Mary W.)
Much of Netherland is about the game of cricket, and it is a credit to the genius of O’Neill’s writing that a reader can approach the book knowing nothing about the game, hear the narrator sigh mid-explanation about how tired he is of trying to explain it to everyone and give up the attempt, and finish reading the novel still not know anything much about cricket, but have enjoyed the whole book anyway. In that way, it reminded me a little of Field of Dreams vis á vis baseball. I can see a film that will satisfy popular interest coming out of Netherland as well, but this is a far more important book in terms of where we are as a society right now than Field of Dreams ever tried to be. In Netherland, for the first time post 9/11 I have read a book about the disaster that exploded in New York and shook every corner of the world, and seen not only what we've lost, but also what we've gained.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781135870041
Publisher:
Pantheon Books
Binding:
Hardcover
Author:
O'Neill, Joseph
Language:
English
Pages:
272

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Netherland
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 272 pages Pantheon Books - English 9781135870041 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Hans van den Broek, the Dutch-born narrator of O'Neill's dense, intelligent novel, observes of his friend, Chuck Ramkissoon, a self-mythologizing entrepreneur-gangster, that 'he never quite believed that people would sooner not have their understanding of the world blown up, even by Chuck Ramkissoon.' The image of one's understanding of the world being blown up is poignant — this is Hans's fate after 9/11. He and wife Rachel abandon their downtown loft, and, soon, Rachel leaves him behind at their temporary residence, the Chelsea Hotel, taking their son, Jake, back to London. Hans, an equities analyst, is at loose ends without Rachel, and in the two years he remains Rachel-less in New York City, he gets swept up by Chuck, a Trinidadian expatriate Hans meets at a cricket match. Chuck's dream is to build a cricket stadium in Brooklyn; in the meantime, he operates as a factotum for a Russian gangster. The unlikely (and doomed from the novel's outset) friendship rises and falls in tandem with Hans's marriage, which falls and then, gradually, rises again. O'Neill (This Is the Life) offers an outsider's view of New York bursting with wisdom, authenticity and a sobering jolt of realism." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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