Netherland

by Joseph O'neill

eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Netherland

 

Reviewed on Richard & Judy's Book Club 2009 on Wednesday 4 March.

 

We loved reading this book. It is the story about a Dutchman and New York and cricket. But don't worry if you're not interested in Dutchmen, New York or cricket. This book provides a beautifully written insight into the mind of the protagonist, Hans van den Broek. The essence of the story is his exploration into the importance of friendship and human relationships versus the shallowness of his money-grabbing job in a Wall Street bank - which makes the timing of the book as brilliant as the writing. Our only negative is the rather weak pun in the title 'Netherland' because yes, we know Dutchmen come from the Netherlands but no, we don't think Hans faces a neither-here-nor-there dilemma. O'Neill writes wonderfully about real people in the real world struggling to make a living against the shallowness of the financial markets. His story is real and his values are right - as you will find in this book and as we all know now.

 

Netherland Synopsis

In London, a Dutch banker named Hans van den Broek hears the news, and remembers his unlikely friendship with Chuck and the off-kilter New York in which it flourished: the New York of 9/11, the powercut and the Iraq war. Those years were difficult for Hans – his English wife Rachel left with their son after the attack, as if that event revealed the cracks and silences in their marriage, and he spent two strange years in New York’s Chelsea Hotel, passing stranger evenings with the eccentric residents. Lost in a country he'd regarded as his new home, Hans sought comfort in a most alien place – the thriving but almost invisible world of New York cricket, in which immigrants from Asia and the West Indies play a beautiful, mystifying game on the city's most marginal parks. It was during these games that Hans befriends Chuck Ramkissoon, who dreamed of establishing the city's first proper cricket field. Over the course of a summer, Hans grew to share Chuck's dream and Chuck's sense of American possibility – until he began to glimpse the darker meaning of his new friend's activities and ambitions. ‘Netherland’ is a novel of belonging and not belonging, and the uneasy state in between. It is a novel of a marriage foundering and recuperating, and of the shallows and depths of male friendship. With it, Joseph O'Neill has taken the anxieties and uncertainties of our new century and fashioned a work of extraordinary beauty and brilliance.

 

Win a signed copy of The Ghost Tree

Win a signed copy of The Ghost Tree

Closing date: 07/09/2018

Barbara Erskine's fabulous new book The Ghost Tree is out on the 23rd August. In order to celebrate we are giving away a SIGNED copy of the new book to THREE lucky winners!! The competiton closes on the 7th Septmber 2018. The winner will be informed by the 17th September 2018. The past is about to become the present... The inspiration for The Ghost Tree lies in Barbara Erskine's own personal history - branching back to the days of Thomas Erskine, her great grandfather, five times removed. Once again, the Sunday Times bestselling author brings the past to life in vivid, spellbinding colour. 

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Netherland Press Reviews

‘[I have] not read anything that quite so brilliantly captured the exuberant madness and cultural diversity of [New York].’ Jeremy Paxman, Guardian (Books of the Year)

‘There is a very special sort of gratitude you can feel for a book that is so formidably written that it has you anxious to get back to it and pining a little bit to be away from it .’ Sebastian Barry, Guardian (Books of the Year)

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007275700
Publication date: 05/01/2009
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007275700
Publication date: 5th January 2009
Author: Joseph O'neill
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 300 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Joseph O'neill

Joseph O’Neill is an Irish barrister living in New York. He is the author of three previous novels, Netherland (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008), This Is the Life and The Breezes, as well as a memoir, Blood Dark Track.

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