Netherland

Netherland

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
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.

Baker & Taylor
Abandoned amid the offbeat inhabitants of the Chelsea Hotel when his English wife and son return to London following September 11th, Hans, a banker originally from the Netherlands, struggles to find himself in his adopted country, until he stumbles upon a vibrant New York cricket subculture and the charismatic Chuck Ramkissoon. 40,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
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 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 twenty-first-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.

Baker
& Taylor

Abandoned amid the offbeat inhabitants of the Chelsea Hotel when his English wife and son return to London following September 11th, Hans, a banker originally from the Netherlands, struggles to find himself in his adopted country.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2008
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780307377043
Branch Call Number: FIC ONE
Characteristics: 256 p. ;,24 cm.

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c
cherstaite
Apr 19, 2017

Well written but unbelievably boring. It tried to be exciting but fell well short .... I rarely skim over long descriptions but found myself doing this frequently. I stuck with it until the end hoping one or two of the promised things would happen. Nope. It didn't even end really...just faded away like the author also got bored.

d
diannehildebrand
Jan 08, 2017

A complicated book. Too much cricket for my taste, and long, tangled sentences but overall the writing is really good. There are profound ideas about relationships and how the places we live affect us. At one point the main character talks about the paucity of associations he brings to a conversation at a party and I could so relate to that.

subwaysam Feb 24, 2016

Chuck Ramkissoon, our heroes's avatar, is vividly described. He seemed real.

t
tedrich2921
Mar 26, 2012

Although recommended to me, I found this book disappointing. It was poorly written, with sentences that were sometimes half a page long. I kept hoping this book would get better. It didn't. I rate it a C minus.

f
floy
Jul 04, 2011

While I appreciated many things about the book, in my opinion it failed to live up to the rave reviews it has received from many.
There were a number of really interesting characters in the novel but I didn't feel that I really learned their motivations; therefore it felt somewhat superficial to me. I read the whole book because I was curious about the outcome and I liked the characters but in the end, I was disappointed.
If you don't understand why a couple split apart then you can't understand why they re-united. If you don't understand how a man who is so intelligent and optimistic could also do illegal and violent things, then we can't understand his murder. If we don't understand how a usually shy guy decides to rescue a man who allegedly jumped off a roof, then we don't understand why he loses himself in a silent reverie of his childhood while talking to the jumper. It doesn't make sense to me and I wanted it to make sense, to make the characters believable and understandable. Although maybe that was the point, that we never really know everything there is to know about a person and have to be content with the bits & pieces we do know and the incomprehesibility of the rest.

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micky93 Jun 25, 2012

In the wake of 9/11, Hans van den Brock, a Dutch broker living in Manhattan is abandoned by his wife, Rachel, who also takes their young son with her back to London. As Hans begins to feel lost, and see no direction in life, he stumbles upon a cricket field in Staten Island, where he meets other immigrants, and befriends Chuck Ramkissoon, a charming, larger-than-life Trinidadian businessman who dreams of building a cricket stadium. As Hans tries to reconcile with Rachel, he starts to learn more about his friend, Chuck, and starts to question his goals.

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ndp21f
Apr 08, 2011

I am led to consider [. . .] what I might one day transmit to my son to ensure that he does not grow up like his father, which is to say, without warning. I still have no firm idea, not least because I have no firm idea whether my own descent into disorder was referable to an Achilles' heel or whether it's a generally punishable folly to approach life trustingly--carelessly, some might say. All I know is that unhappiness took me unawares.

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