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.
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Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Joseph O'Neill
Joseph O’Neill was born in Ireland and raised in Holland. He received a law degree from Cambridge University and worked as a barrister in London. He writes regularly for The Atlantic Monthly and is the author of two previous novels, This Is the Life and The Breezes, and of a family history, Blood-Dark Track, which was a New York Times Notable Book. O'Neill received the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his third novel, Netherland. He lives with his family in New York City.
Question: President Obama mentioned in a New York Times Magazine profile that he’s reading Netherland. How do you feel about the President reading your book?
Joseph O'Neill: I'm very honored, of course.Question: How is the world of Netherland particular to the United States after 9/11?
Joseph O'Neill: The story takes place in the aftermath of 9/11. One of the things it does is try to evoke the disorientation and darkness of that time, which we only emerged from with the election of President Obama.Question: What is the importance of the sport of cricket in this book? Do you play?
Joseph O'Neill: I love sport and play cricket and golf myself. Sport is a wonderful way to bring together people who would otherwise have no connection to each other.Question: One of your reviewers calls Netherland an answer to The Great Gatsby. Were you influenced by Fitzgerald’s book, and was your book written with that book in mind?
Joseph O'Neill: Halfway through the book I realized with a slightly sinking feeling that the plot of Netherland was eerily reminiscent of the Gatsby plot: dreamer drowns, bystander remembers. But there are only about 5 plots in existence, so I didn't let it bother me too much. Fitzgerald thankfully steered clear of cricket.Question: Many reviewers have commented on the “voice” of this novel. How it is more a novel of voice than of plot? Do you agree with this?
Joseph O'Neill: Yes, I would agree with that comment. This is not a novel of eventful twists and turns. It is more like a long-form international cricket match (which can last for 5 days without a winner emerging), about nuance and ambiguity and small slippages of insight. And about language, of course.
(Photo © Lisa Acherman)About the Author:
Né en 1964 en Irlande, Joseph O’Neill a passé son enfance entre le Mozambique, l’Iran et les Pays-Bas. Après quelques années à Londres, il s’installe à New York en 1998. Netherland, son troisième roman, a été unanimement salué par la critique.
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Book Description Fourth Estate, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007269064
Book Description Fourth Estate, London, United Kingdom, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First UK Edition, First Printing. This is a true first edition, first printing (first impression) with a single number  to the copyright page therefore indicating a true first print in a pristine jacket. This copy SIGNED, Dated and Lined by the Author to the title page.[Think Fantastic.Joseph O'Neill, New York City, July 31st 2008]. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 004513
Book Description Fourth Estate, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007269064
Book Description Fourth Estate London, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition... This is the top of the league edition. The Fourth Estate hardcover first printing was the FIRST true appearance of this mighty novel, one of President Obama's key books. This is pristine, sealed , and with the belly band that declares 'Topping and Company Signed First Edition'. Language: eng Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1325103517