3.41 (17,672 ratings by Goodreads)
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In early 2006, Chuck Ramkissoon is found dead at the bottom of a New York canal. 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 the 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 befriended 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 141 x 222mm | 433g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0007269064
  • 9780007269068
  • 386,465

Review quote

'Great cricket novels can be counted on one hand!Netherland looks as if it may top the lot!' Observer Sports 'O'Neill is an elegant stylist and his sensibility is engagingly wry!Netherland is paced like a thriller, but resolution of the mystery of Chuck's death is beside the point. In its poise, bizarreness, moral ambiguity and preoccupation with perspective, this novel recalls Hitchcock: it is the kind of haunting book he might have made into a poignant film." The Telegraph 'O'Neill is a serious, honest, resolutely unflashy writer. Ramkisoon is a memorable creation, New York a vivid presence, and there is no doubting the book's integrity. But for this middle--aged cricketer, Hans's struggles were too familiar!The book, similarly, has long stretches of placid defence, and only occasionally flashing boundaries. In this era of Twenty 20, the crowd may become a little restless.' TLS 'New York is not what most people imagine it to be. Just as marriage, family, friendship and manhood are not. Netherland is suspensful, artful, psychologically pitch-perfect, and a wonderful read. But more than any of that, it's revelatory. Joseph O'Neill has managed to paint the most famous city in the world, and the most familiar concept in the world (love) in an entirely new way.' Jonathan Safran Foer 'O'Neill writes a prose of Banvillean grace and beauty, shimmering with truthfulness, as poised as it unsettling. As well, this is a story that is hard to put down, for its characters are so real and their preoccupations so urgently of the now, that the book has the vividness of breaking news. He is a master of the long sentence, of the half-missed moment, of the strange archeology of the troubled marriage. Many have tried to write a great American novel. Joseph O'Neill has succeeded.' Joseph O'Connor 'Somewhere between the towns of Saul Bellow and Ian McEwan, O'Neill has pitched his miraculous tent ! The reader, almost imperceptibly, becomes little by little scorched by the novel's brilliance, irradiated by it, benignly." Sebastian Barry
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About Joseph O'Neill

Joseph O'Neill is an Irish barrister living in New York. He is the author of two previous novels, 'This Is The Life' and 'The Breezes', and a memoir, 'Blood Dark Track'.
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Rating details

17,672 ratings
3.41 out of 5 stars
5 15% (2,611)
4 34% (5,981)
3 33% (5,861)
2 14% (2,454)
1 4% (765)
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