Netherland

Joseph O'Neill, Author . Pantheon $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-307-37704-3

Hans van den Broek, the Dutch-born narrator of O'Neill's dense, intelligent novel, observes of his friend, Chuck Ramkissoon, a self-mythologizing entrepreneur-gangster, that “he never quite believed that people would sooner not have their understanding of the world blown up, even by Chuck Ramkissoon.” The image of one's understanding of the world being blown up is poignant—this is Hans's fate after 9/11. He and wife Rachel abandon their downtown loft, and, soon, Rachel leaves him behind at their temporary residence, the Chelsea Hotel, taking their son, Jake, back to London. Hans, an equities analyst, is at loose ends without Rachel, and in the two years he remains Rachel-less in New York City, he gets swept up by Chuck, a Trinidadian expatriate Hans meets at a cricket match. Chuck's dream is to build a cricket stadium in Brooklyn; in the meantime, he operates as a factotum for a Russian gangster. The unlikely (and doomed from the novel's outset) friendship rises and falls in tandem with Hans's marriage, which falls and then, gradually, rises again. O'Neill (This Is the Life ) offers an outsider's view of New York bursting with wisdom, authenticity and a sobering jolt of realism. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 163 pages - 978-0-307-37759-3
Hardcover - 335 pages - 978-1-60285-314-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4361-5542-7
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-307-38877-3
Hardcover - 247 pages - 978-0-00-726906-8
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-0-00-727500-7
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