Netherland

  • by Joseph O'Neill
  • Narrated by Jefferson Mays
  • 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

Why You Should Read Netherland

Essentially a novel for men (lots of sports and sports metaphors), this is a book about a guy whose wife dumps him and who ends up living alone in post-911 New York City. Cricket is his salvation, and through it he becomes involved with a fascinating West Indian subculture. It's a book about human migration, about love and work and sex and the loss of a charismatic (and enigmatic) friend. Wonderfully written and narrated.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-02-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books