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Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
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Netherland (edition 2009)

by Joseph O'Neill

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2,6291352,275 (3.45)216
Member:beachbabes
Title:Netherland
Authors:Joseph O'Neill
Info:Vintage (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:2012-10, Pen/Faulkner Award Winner, CD

Work details

Netherland by Joseph O'Neill (Author)

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» See also 216 mentions

English (129)  Dutch (4)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (135)
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
Much to be said for long, slow, contemplative exposition. ( )
  ronmartinez | Dec 21, 2014 |
3.5 stars. Love the outer borough details and the Dutch connection. Never that interested in the narrator's emotional life and marital ins and outs. ( )
  AThurman | Dec 7, 2014 |
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 stand out amongst them? Nonetheless, the story is well developed and O'Neill shows a great capacity for using language effectively. ( )
  donnambr | Nov 27, 2014 |
Read this a while ago. I did not really enjoy the tale or characters that much. Remember most just slogging through. ( )
  tsgood | May 30, 2014 |
I don't understand all the fuss over this, in my opinion, not particularly interesting nor well-written novel. In fact, I've enjoyed reading reviews of the novel more than reading the novel itself. I at first thought that my lack of appreciation stemmed from ignorance of the game of cricket, which functions as an extended metaphor for the immigrant postcolonial experience (here,in post 9/11 NYC)and also as a model for a mulitethnic, 21st century, urban, getting-along-in-a -civil-and-productive-fashion life. But O'Neill pushes the cricket references to the point where they become a conceit and, to my mind, simply boring. The disrupted love story between Hans and his estranged-for-awhile wife Rachel is unconvincing. Rachel is a rather selfish know-it-all and I found myself disappointed (to the extent that I could work up any emotional involvement in this novel at all)that Hans reunites with her (granted, his relationship with his son Jake is at stake). The story of Chuck Ramkissoon, the autodidact Trinidadian savant and businessman cum gangster (or vice versa) who ends up murdered (we never find out by whom) and floating in the Gowanus Canal is somewhat more intriguing than the story of Hans and Rachel, but not enough to pull the novel as a whole out of its doldrums. Enough said. ( )
  Paulagraph | May 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
added by AAGP | editSlate Audio Book Club (Jul 16, 2008)
 
...the narrative is unwieldily organised, the supporting characters are underdeveloped and the dialogue is often pretty bad....

The biggest problem, though, is Hans himself. In addition to being much less interesting than Chuck, he tells the story in a determinedly overambitious style....

O'Neill's take on the notion of the American dream is both unsentimental and cleverly attuned to that notion's grip on the local imagination. Perhaps stories of striving immigrants and America's ambiguous promise speak to New York reviewers on frequencies inaudible to outsiders. O'Neill has said that he wrote the book as "an American novel ... My first novel as an American novelist", and in this respect, he seems to have succeeded.
 
Netherland has been described variously as a "post-colonial" and a "Great American" novel. But this beguilingly subtle work transcends old geographical, political and temporal confinements as it renders the strange mutations, partial visions and bewilderments of our globalised world.
added by zhejw | editThe Guardain, Pankaj Mishra (Jun 6, 2008)
 
Despite cricket’s seeming irrelevance to America, the game makes his exquisitely written novel “Netherland” a large fictional achievement, and one of the most remarkable post-colonial books I have ever read.
added by zhejw | editThe New Yorker, James Wood (May 26, 2008)
 
...the wittiest, angriest, most exacting and most desolate work of fiction we’ve yet had about life in New York and London after the World Trade Center fell. On a micro level, it’s about a couple and their young son living in Lower Manhattan when the planes hit, and about the event’s rippling emotional aftermath in their lives. On a macro level, it’s about nearly everything: family, politics, identity. I devoured it in three thirsty gulps, gulps that satisfied a craving I didn’t know I had.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Dwight Garner (May 18, 2008)
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
O'Neill, JosephAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leistra, AukeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I dream'd in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;

I dream'd that was the new City of Friends.

Whitman
Dedication
To Sally
First words
The afternoon before I left London for New York - Rachel had flown out six weeks previously - I was in my cubicle at work, boxing up my possessions, when a senior vice president at the bank, an Englishman in his fifties, came to wish me well.
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Hans et Rachel vivent à New York avec leur jeune fils lorsque surviennent les attentats du 11 Septembre. Quelque jours plus tard , ils se séparent , et Hans se retrouvent seul , perdu dan Manhatatn , où il ne ent plus chez lui . Sur des terrains de fortune Hans tente d'echapper à la mélancolie . Ce très beau livre , souvent compare à Gatsby le Magnifique , est à la fois une parabole sur la findu rêve américain et un roman d'amour aux résonances poignantes.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307388778, Paperback)

Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Joseph O'Neill

Joseph O’Neill was born in Ireland and raised in Holland. He received a law degree from Cambridge University and worked as a barrister in London. He writes regularly for The Atlantic Monthly and is the author of two previous novels, This Is the Life and The Breezes, and of a family history, Blood-Dark Track, which was a New York Times Notable Book. O'Neill received the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his third novel, Netherland. He lives with his family in New York City.

Question: President Obama mentioned in a New York Times Magazine profile that he’s reading Netherland. How do you feel about the President reading your book?

Joseph O'Neill: I'm very honored, of course.

Question: How is the world of Netherland particular to the United States after 9/11?

Joseph O'Neill: The story takes place in the aftermath of 9/11. One of the things it does is try to evoke the disorientation and darkness of that time, which we only emerged from with the election of President Obama.

Question: What is the importance of the sport of cricket in this book? Do you play?

Joseph O'Neill: I love sport and play cricket and golf myself. Sport is a wonderful way to bring together people who would otherwise have no connection to each other.

Question: One of your reviewers calls Netherland an answer to The Great Gatsby. Were you influenced by Fitzgerald’s book, and was your book written with that book in mind?

Joseph O'Neill: Halfway through the book I realized with a slightly sinking feeling that the plot of Netherland was eerily reminiscent of the Gatsby plot: dreamer drowns, bystander remembers. But there are only about 5 plots in existence, so I didn't let it bother me too much. Fitzgerald thankfully steered clear of cricket.

Question: Many reviewers have commented on the “voice” of this novel. How it is more a novel of voice than of plot? Do you agree with this?

Joseph O'Neill: Yes, I would agree with that comment. This is not a novel of eventful twists and turns. It is more like a long-form international cricket match (which can last for 5 days without a winner emerging), about nuance and ambiguity and small slippages of insight. And about language, of course.

(Photo © Lisa Acherman)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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