Netherland

Netherland➭ Netherland Read ➵ Author Joseph O'Neill – Heartforum.co.uk In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of , Hans a banker originally from the Netherlands finds himself marooned among the strange occupants of the Chelsea Hotel after his English wif In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of, 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 st 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.

Joseph O Neill There isthan one author with this name on GoodreadsJoseph O Neill was born in Cork, Ireland, in and grew up in Mozambique, South Africa, Iran, Turkey, and Holland His previous works include the novels This is the Life and The Breezes, and the non fiction book Blood Dark Track, a family history centered on the mysterious imprisonment of both his grandfathers during World War II, which was an NYT Notable Book He writes regularly for The Atlantic He lives with his family in New York City.

Hardcover  ñ Netherland Kindle Ä
    Hardcover ñ Netherland Kindle Ä 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 st 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."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 269 pages
  • Netherland
  • Joseph O'Neill
  • English
  • 05 September 2017
  • 0307377040

10 thoughts on “Netherland

  1. Edan says:

    I want to say something about this novel because although it impressed me and I respected O Neill s skills as a writer, I didn t find it that enjoyable There s a pleasing boldness to the syntax and diction, and there were a few passages that felt, well, wise, and when I gave myself some time to really dig into the text, I was impressed by the fluid time shifts and how the story felt unstructured and impeccably structured at once But, the novel never pulled me in I never really felt inside of I want to say something about this novel because although it impressed me and I respected O Neill s skills as a writer, I didn t find it that enjoyable There s a pleasing boldness to the syntax and diction, and there were a few passages that felt, well, wise, and when I gave myself some time to really dig into the text, I was impressed by the fluid time shifts and how the story felt unstructured and impeccably structured at once But, the novel never pulled me in I never really felt inside of the story It felt a bit too over manicured, a bit too studied A bit too perfect, perhaps I haven t lived in New York, either, and so all the descriptions of the city didn t do much for me, as wonderfully written as they were I must admit, I hate when people wax poetic about NY Yeah, yeah, we know, it s amazing there the pizza, the energy, blah blah blah Likewise, I ve never played cricket or seen it being played, and even now I feel the need to look online to understand the sport I liked how cricket managed to be a metaphor for many things for Hans, but I only liked that on an intellectual level I felt nothing I found myself, too, frustrated by Hans continual memories of his boyhood I had a hard time caring, to be blunt I would also hit passages that overwhelmed me with their abstract quality, like this one Unlike many others, I managed to stay awake and could not help thinking, as I endured an ominous dramatization of the loss of vision produced by alcohol and by nightfall and the disastrous consequences thereof, of my father s life ending in a smashup presumably just like those being presented on the screen, and of the fact, unconsidered by me before, that on top of everything else his early death had given an unfairly morganatic quality to his marriage he had been posthumously robbed, in his son s sentiments, of a ranking equal to that of his wife Maybe people do think like this, do make connections in this way, but I m having a hard time believing it I know this is a retrospective tale, but at times that studied retrospection has the effect of filing down and buffing to keep up this manicure metaphor consciousness to something overly designed.So, I m giving this three stars not because I necessarily liked it, but because it s a truly admirable novel, and I can understand why someone else might love it Oh, and I thought Chuck was a terrific and fascinating character

  2. Joshua says:

    Am I the only one who didn t like this book I rarely if ever give up on a book, but if I wasn t reading this for a book club, I would have stopped reading early on The main character is boring, dry and unmotivated He doesn t seem to care much about anything, so why should we Aren t books supposed to be about the most exciting scary miserable wonderful parts of the character s lives, not the drudgery of day to day, ho hum slogging through a miserable existence Perhaps I missed something Thi Am I the only one who didn t like this book I rarely if ever give up on a book, but if I wasn t reading this for a book club, I would have stopped reading early on The main character is boring, dry and unmotivated He doesn t seem to care much about anything, so why should we Aren t books supposed to be about the most exciting scary miserable wonderful parts of the character s lives, not the drudgery of day to day, ho hum slogging through a miserable existence Perhaps I missed something This book is not about 9 11 It is just about some people who lived near it At times it is hard to follow due to the stream of consciousness style it is written in What makes that worse is that when a jump was made, I hardly cared due to the fact that I was not invested in this sad man s life

  3. Cory says:

    Beautiful At times, devastating.Firstly this book is not about the sport of cricket, so if that s at all a hindrance to your reading it, let that go Sure there s some talk of the game and its particulars, and it creates a central catalyst from which the action of the story takes place, but it is about so muchthe city of New York post 9 11, the state of being lost, and the nation one comes from, goes to, and feels an outsider of or assimilated into, not to mention the vast universe of r Beautiful At times, devastating.Firstly this book is not about the sport of cricket, so if that s at all a hindrance to your reading it, let that go Sure there s some talk of the game and its particulars, and it creates a central catalyst from which the action of the story takes place, but it is about so muchthe city of New York post 9 11, the state of being lost, and the nation one comes from, goes to, and feels an outsider of or assimilated into, not to mention the vast universe of relationships marital, parental, friend al and the responsibilities and heartbreaks inherent in each.A few disclosures that may have affected how moved I was by the book 1 I lived in New York for the exact number of years, even the exact years, 1998 2003, as the narrator I think he did a great job reflecting on those post shock days of 2001, without going overboard on descriptions It simpressionistic than that But if you haven t lived in New York, or visited for at least a small amount of time, some of the references and reveries may not mean as much to you as they did to me If you haven t seen the man dancing tango with a full sized female mannequin a femalequinn in the Times Square subway stop, the narrator s description of him may seem like so much novelistic invention Rather, to me, it s a detail that he draws from actuality that makes me that muchabsorbed into the surrounding invention.2 I read this at a time when I, like the narrator, was feeling a bit lost and raw Sometimes there s a perfect collision of the right book at the right time, and this was definitely one of those for me 3 During my time in NYC, I dated a girl named Cricket honestly although it wasn t her given name Books like this are why I read They re worth the slog through mediocrity and the not quite thereness of other books if you find one that hits the sweet spot This particular book may not be that for everyone, but let me know when you get to O Neill s definition of a fathom and tell me if you don t have to catch your breath a little bit

  4. Will Byrnes says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Chuck is dead The rest is flashback Hans van den Broek is from Holland, but lives in New York City circa 9 11 with his British wife He is a successful equities trader with plenty of money, and an abiding love for cricket After 9 11 his wife returns to London with their child, leaving not only New York, but her husband Lonely and a bit lost, Hans gets involved playing cricket, forming a family for himself, a community at least O Neill writes about cricket at the same level of expertise that Chuck is dead The rest is flashback Hans van den Broek is from Holland, but lives in New York City circa 9 11 with his British wife He is a successful equities trader with plenty of money, and an abiding love for cricket After 9 11 his wife returns to London with their child, leaving not only New York, but her husband Lonely and a bit lost, Hans gets involved playing cricket, forming a family for himself, a community at least O Neill writes about cricket at the same level of expertise that a super fan might write about baseball It is warming, if a bit confusing It is during a heavily contested match that Hans encounters Chuck, one of the game umpires They form a lovely friendship, one that helps Hans during times of emotional need There is a lot about belonging in this book, feelings for place, whether Holland, New York, London O Neill does a masterful job of describing parts of New York that are very familiar to me, but may seemthan ordinary for the non native His DMV scene is incredibly true to life, not only his physical description, but the tone of the workers, the whole ambience and Kafka esque mentality This is not a 9 11 book, per se, but he captures the bewilderment that wafted through the air of the city like the reek of the lower Manhattan months long charnel house fires There are several characters I found very engaging, the angel in particular, an oddball living at the Chelsea Hotel, Chuck s wife Ann, his girlfriend Eliza, Chuck s partner.It was a satisfying read My only real issue was that I was not entirely convinced about why Rachel decided to move back to the mother country She did say that she was afraid of another attack in New York, and felt safer in London, but it seemed that there should have beento it, at leastto it that was explained to the reader A small quibble This is a very nice book about belonging, relationships, men and women, place Not jump up and down and scream wonderful, but satisfying like a large, well cooked meal

  5. Glenn Sumi says:

    I know many people loved this book It made several best of the year lists when it was published in 2008 and won the prestigious PEN Faulkner Award More than one reviewer I respect compared it to The Great Gatsby Yes, author Joseph O Neill certainly knows how to write a gorgeous sentence or two, and the last few pages have an elegiac, Gatsby like quality.But I found Netherland a slog, one of the longest, most pointless 250 page novels I ve recently read.In a New York City still recovering fr I know many people loved this book It made several best of the year lists when it was published in 2008 and won the prestigious PEN Faulkner Award More than one reviewer I respect compared it to The Great Gatsby Yes, author Joseph O Neill certainly knows how to write a gorgeous sentence or two, and the last few pages have an elegiac, Gatsby like quality.But I found Netherland a slog, one of the longest, most pointless 250 page novels I ve recently read.In a New York City still recovering from the events of September 11, 2001, Hans van den Broek, a calm, rich, white, middle aged, Netherlands born equities analyst separated from his wife, who s taken their young son back to London discovers a cricket playing subculture in the city s various boroughs This conjures up his own childhood playing the sport in the Hague.I think I know what O Neill, an Ireland born New Yorker who s lived a peripatetic life Mozambique, South Africa, Iran, Turkey and Holland is trying to do by focusing on this game, which draws the city s mostly unseen immigrants to it.The sport of cricket, we re told, is a metaphor for various cultures from Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to live in harmony Early on, after a bit of violence flares up at a game Hans attends, an enterprising Trinidadian American named Chuck Ramkissoon intercedesCricket,than any other sport, is, I want to say Chuck paused for effect a lesson in civility We all know this I do not need to sayabout it A few heads were nodding Something else We are playing this game in the United States This is a difficult environment for us We play where we can, wherever they let us Here at Walker Park, we re lucky we have locker room facilities, which we share with strangers and passersby Most other places we must find a tree or bush It doesn t matter that this ground was built as a cricket ground Is there one good cricket facility in this city No Not one It doesn t matter that we havethan one hundred and fifty clubs playing in the New York area It doesn t matter that cricket is the biggest, fastest growing bat and ball game in the world None of it matters In this country, we re nowhere We re a joke Cricket How funny So we play as a matter of indulgence And if we step out of line, believe me, this indulgence disappears That s a rousing, compelling passage, and the ambitious Chuck whose violent death is presaged in the book s first pages is certainly aarticulate, colourful character than Hans.But here and elsewhere O Neill underscores his points a bit too insistently the reaction to black and brown immigrants in the paranoid wake of 9 11 the fact that cricket is itself a quaint product of colonialism how Hans, like those Dutch settlers centuries before him, is discovering this new land Oh yeah, Hans specializes in analyzing oil and gas stocks, with all that that implies about globalization, aggression and greed.I also found the book s meandering structure now we re in London, now New York, or is it the Netherlands or St Kitts needlessly challenging And Hans and his wife remain ciphers I have no idea what drew them together, and I don t believe his bond with his son, although Hans keeps jetting over to London to be with him.I should also point out that Hans is staying temporarily at the Chelsea Hotel, where he meets figures who feel like authorial contrivances one walks around with angel wings rather than real people or even intriguing symbol people If the whole book had been like this, fine, but these sections are jarring Cricket as a metaphorWell, yeah, sure, okay if you say so I personally found it dull But are you telling me, Joseph O Neill, that given this strained metaphor, you re not even going to give us some sort of climactic game so we can see all of your ideas and half baked characters IN ACTION That, folks, is simply lazy

  6. Ken-ichi says:

    I don t know, I might get back to this I like the side characters, the writing is nice, but God, middle aged apathy and anomie is just about the most boring subject imaginable, pretty much on par with teenage vampire romance LaterAfter sampling the praise heaped upon this novel by the literary establishment and at least one of myliterarily inclined friends , sitting down and reading it did nothing to assuage my acute sense of literary insecurity What, exactly, am I not getting here I don t know, I might get back to this I like the side characters, the writing is nice, but God, middle aged apathy and anomie is just about the most boring subject imaginable, pretty much on par with teenage vampire romance LaterAfter sampling the praise heaped upon this novel by the literary establishment and at least one of myliterarily inclined friends , sitting down and reading it did nothing to assuage my acute sense of literary insecurity What, exactly, am I not getting here Brilliant, stunning, and touched by greatness were not the adjectives awaiting enunciation as I closed the book More like, dull, lacking direction, or untouched and untouching Hans, a wealthy Dutch financial analyst specializing in oil stocks, is a profoundly boring protagonist I recently heard Laura Miller from Salon.com criticizing Bella from Twilight as being too bland, too lacking in individuality to hold the reader s attention, which I thought to be unfair, given my belief that stories requiring the reader s immersion and participation actually need a somewhat featureless protagonist so the reader can comfortably inhabit them without too much dissonance a belief largely fed by Scott McCloud s thoughts on the appeal of cartoon abstractions Hans, however, seems too insubstantial to inhabit What does he like What does he think What would he do if X happened He seems surrounded by characters with very strong opinions and the will to act upon them Chuck, Rachel , but all he ever seems to do is react His wealth and typical mid life marital disintegration make it difficult to muster sympathy for his travails, and cricket, his one passion in life, is so incomprehensible and irrelevant that it can t serve as a point of psychological attachment either, at least from an American perspective He s just lame.Rachel and Chuck and the host of side characters are muchfun, as are O Neill s many elegantly wrought micro digressions on matters ranging from distance and death to the entitled braggadocio of New Yorkers I loved the way Abelsky s clipped, ridiculous, present tense, up talking monologues These guys One hundred percent ass holes contrasted with Chuck s ebullient perorations and the narrator s mellifluousness Lots of small bits of beautiful detailing.The whole, though This is not a narrative, with direction and boundaries The major plot points, that Hans and Rachel end up back together and Chuck eventually meets a grisly end, are laid out in the first pages So is itof a depiction of post 9 11 lower upper class life A paean to one of New York s infinite subcultures A tone poem about post 9 11 anxiety and emotional cauterization A structural commentary about how life can be random yet not absurd Maybe the questions of what the book is or what it s trying to communicate are the wrong ones, but if so what should I be asking I would recommend this to people who think boring Dutch dudes are awesome If you like cricket, double win Words pluvial adj of or relating to rain Latin strikes from beyond the grave Again p 89 poleaxed adj felled with a poleaxe, a kind of battle axe Ok p 91 exodist n member of an exodus I guess Seems made up p 224

  7. Steve says:

    If you feel culturally discombobulated reading this most recent book by Joseph O Neill the prize winning half Irish, half Turkish writer narrated by Hans the Dutch investment analyst working in New York by way of London whose two main topics are cricket as played by ex pat West Indians and his wife the Venusian to his Martian , that may have been part of the point Hans doesn t feel completely at home in any of his worlds He confesses to being lost and clueless Theyou read, though If you feel culturally discombobulated reading this most recent book by Joseph O Neill the prize winning half Irish, half Turkish writer narrated by Hans the Dutch investment analyst working in New York by way of London whose two main topics are cricket as played by ex pat West Indians and his wife the Venusian to his Martian , that may have been part of the point Hans doesn t feel completely at home in any of his worlds He confesses to being lost and clueless Theyou read, though, theyou don t believe it In fact, there are several examples where you re convinced he s sandbagging He ll say he doesn t understand something, but as he elaborates, you realize he picks up on plenty Questions of why people are the way they are mystify us all, and for Hans the puzzlement is at an advanced level The issues he raises are themselves evidence of insight It helps, too, that the writing is so rich.Part of what I liked about the book is how the foreign is madefamiliar The bits on the cricketing subculture were actually pretty interesting It was also intriguing to get an outsider s point of view on the competitive theorizing that the well educated applied to society s ills in the aftermath of 9 11 O Neill was quoted as saying this was a novel of voice With Hans, he had a compelling one, complete with nuance and lilt.It was also a book with stories The most vivid one involved a larger than life Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon Chuck had a missionary s zeal for cricket, an immigrant s hope for the future, and a wheeler dealer s sense of compromise between legality and success Hans had his own story, too, with a wife and young son at the heart of it New York at that time was not the only shaky ground Between Chuck s ambitious dreams and Hans s lifting fog, what stories there were to be told carried their bigger points well enough

  8. Yulia says:

    Mr O Neill, please don t condescend to explain to us the history of cricket in New York City, how our fields are all wrong but really have their own common charm or tell us the aeteliogy of aftermath, making a broad and awkward simile about how lawn mowing really does remind those who are inclined to make general observations you of memory, of how it keeps growing back not matter how much you want it to be tidy or of how what passes for grass is not flagrant in the States and never well m Mr O Neill, please don t condescend to explain to us the history of cricket in New York City, how our fields are all wrong but really have their own common charm or tell us the aeteliogy of aftermath, making a broad and awkward simile about how lawn mowing really does remind those who are inclined to make general observations you of memory, of how it keeps growing back not matter how much you want it to be tidy or of how what passes for grass is not flagrant in the States and never well mowed, thus contradicting your own simile about memory s lawny quality or be so generous as to mention all the boroughs, even your character s brave taxi ride through the Bronx to Riverdale, past people playing cricket on an overlapping court in Van Cortland Park, which is really like a Bruegel when you think of it Yes, yes, I ve pulled up an image of a Bruegel and it really does remind me of Van Cortland Park How apropos I m sure yourworldly and culturally literate friends will eat your book up, much as a cow gnaws on grasses, you could say if you were the type to make agrarian connections But not you You re busy telling us what we don t know about New York Do tellsomeone else I m astute enough to know when a writer intends for a character to be obnoxious and foolish and when the writer himself can t prevent but have his own limitations come out in his character s voice Or, I could edit my review and say how unbearably tiresome a character O Neill has knowingly constructed for our frustration But I don t think he did

  9. Lauren says:

    It s really too late to talk about this book, but I had to finish it tonight and that should say it all The loneliness of New York and let s face it modern life or whatever that means to you is so palpable in this book Chuck and Hans are two unlikely friends, thrown together in a post 9 11 New York, out of step with their families and connected by a love of cricket This connection makes up for the wayward actions played out by these men Postcolonial, post 9 11 Isn t it all about finding It s really too late to talk about this book, but I had to finish it tonight and that should say it all The loneliness of New York and let s face it modern life or whatever that means to you is so palpable in this book Chuck and Hans are two unlikely friends, thrown together in a post 9 11 New York, out of step with their families and connected by a love of cricket This connection makes up for the wayward actions played out by these men Postcolonial, post 9 11 Isn t it all about finding common humanity despite the utterly scarred and screwed up state of the world This book speaks to all the unlikely friendships that see us through the horrors of history and the wrenching pain of loss and fractured family Those people haunt us and make us better people, despite the confusion and disconnect that they so often leave in their wake This book reminds me of the nostalgia and wistfulness of Fitzgerald You ache to see connection where there is none and doing so makes you treasure all thethe fleeting moments of togetherness that mark these characters lives And your own

  10. Paul Bryant says:

    Man with megaphone Bryant stop reading now Move away from the book, slowly Yes, this was a mistake, so here s a little warning for potential readers this novel is about cricket it really is Cricket matches, cricket pitches, cricketers, crickety situations, cricket as a Metaphor for Life given that I dislike sport as much as it dislikes me except maybe tennis and even that mostly sets my teeth on edge Andy Murray in total monotone It was a really tough martch, he is a very tough op Man with megaphone Bryant stop reading now Move away from the book, slowly Yes, this was a mistake, so here s a little warning for potential readers this novel is about cricket it really is Cricket matches, cricket pitches, cricketers, crickety situations, cricket as a Metaphor for Life given that I dislike sport as much as it dislikes me except maybe tennis and even that mostly sets my teeth on edge Andy Murray in total monotone It was a really tough martch, he is a very tough opponent, I was lucky to come through, I had a really tough breakfast today, at this level of the competition all breakfasts are tough this was not the right novel for little moi My idea of a terminally boring movie Field of Dreams.What movie did Netherland remind me very strongly of Hint Not I Spit on Your Grave.Also, this novel is written in the melancholic, mature, midlife, manly meditational style you come across in stuff like Independence Day and The Risk Pool and I can t take anyof that aftershave voice

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