Becky's Reviews > Netherland

Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
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Feb 08, 11

Read from February 01 to 08, 2011

This book is a perfect example of how good, even excellent, writing is not enough to make a book great. It has some of the most insightful, sparkling, interesting prose of any book I've read in a long time. O'Neill is apparently incapable of writing a boring or poorly constructed sentence. But as a whole, it just never connected with me. It's kind of like a cross between a 9/11 novel and a postcolonial retelling of The Great Gatsby. The main character is a Dutch banker living in New York whose marriage falls apart after 9/11 and who finds solace in an unlikely friendship with a Trinidadian cricket umpire/entrepreneur/gambling ring overseer chasing the American dream. There are a lot of fantastic moments, but ultimately it's depressing and really thin on plot, and while normally that doesn't matter that much to me, it doesn't have enough good qualities to compensate for that deficiency.
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