Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill

This was our latest book club pick. The story itself didn't grab me, particularly, but everything came together beautifully at the end, and on an intellectual level, it is a truly interesting book. I mean, it feels like literature, something that would reward rereading and studying and teaching. We had one of our best book club discussions ever about it!

It's about a Dutch guy (yay! there is some Dutch!) living in New York after 9/11, playing cricket with other immigrants. It's definitely the best "post-911" book I've read; it handles it in a subtle, pitch-perfect way.

We talked, in our book club meeting, about parenthood, about displacement, we discussed similarities to Martin Dressler and The Great Gatsby, and we debated the (very well drawn, we agreed) characters of Chuck and Hans and Rachel. Also some of the individual images and metaphors that were just gorgeous.

A Great American Novel for sure, and one I didn't love until I got to the end--but I recommend it!


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