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Publisher's Summary

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 un-tethered, 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 naiveté 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.
©2008 Joseph O'Neill (P)2008 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 04-13-12

Get Your Post-Colonial Gatsby ON!

One of the best post-9/11 and postcolonial books I've read. Easily in the same infield as Delillo's post-9/11 short novels ('Falling Man', 'Cosmopolis', 'Point Omega'). In someways it surpasses these shorter Delillo works and stands closer to 'Underworld'. Besides the obvious Baseball vs. Cricket, Underworld and Netherland are looking at the same point from the views of New Yorker in New York vs Immigrant in New York, and Big vs. Small. Also, at the same time 'Netherland' is a retelling of 'The Great Gatsby'. I only recognized this after reading James Wood's New Yorker review, but all it took was the briefest mention of Gatsby and the floodgates opened. Anyway, brilliant.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Doggy Bird on 02-25-09

Very good book, excellent Narrator

THis book came as somewhat of a surprise, I didn't think I would be in the mood, but it starts off so well and the reader is so good, I just couldn't put it down and was engaged before I could protest. THe reader's accents were perfect and the tone was so perfect for the character, I must say I was very impressed with both the reading and the very moving story told in such an associative way rather than chronologically--I liked that. I look forward to hearing the book again soon, I read it so fast the first time I want time to savor it more slowly again.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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