Destinee Sutton's Reviews > Netherland

Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
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Dec 09, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: new-york, immigrant-experience, grown-up-books
Recommended to Destinee by: NY Times
Read in March, 2009

This book is about a few things: New York City, immigrant communities, marriage, and cricket. The main character, Hans, is a bland kind of guy, but he's a good narrator. He moves backwards and forwards in time as he tells the story in a very cool and seamless way--the way, I think, that a lot of people actually tell long stories.

The review I read in the NYT made me think this was going to be about post-9/11 life in New York City, but that's not really what I took away from it. If anything, Hans made me think about the loneliness of being in a foreign city. He has no close friends, a troubled marriage, a detached way of looking at himself and the world. And then he gets drawn into this cricket community and ends up spending a lot of time with this mysterious Trinidadian businessman named Chuck Ramkissoon. When people compare this book to The Great Gatsby, they must be thinking of Chuck as Gatsby, which would make Hans Nick. If I were in college that is totally what I'd write my paper about.

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