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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)--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Weak story and weak character development.
Once in a great while an author comes along who writes such beautiful, elegant prose that it hardly matters if the plot of the book is at all interesting.
I felt as if I was waiting for something to happen all the way through the book, and it just didn't get there.
I'm glad I didn't read any reviews in this group. I chose the novel on the recommendation of a San Francisco Chronicle review. Read morePublished 20 days ago by georgia anderson
An excellent book, beautifully written. Joseph O'Neill wrote with great originality and it is a book that makes you think about it afterwards and ponder the comparison with that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Patrizia
Whether you like the fiction of "the internal narrative" or not this is a wonderful example of it, well done and well felt. Read morePublished 1 month ago by F. Richmond Murray
I love good prose. However, good prose doesn't do much without a plot. This book might as well have been a poem about cricket.Published 1 month ago by Teredge
I read this book via James Woods whose high regard of it had me licking my chops. Needless to say, my literary appetite was satiated and then some. Read morePublished 2 months ago by dogstar
At first I wasn't sure about where it was going and whether I wanted to go, but all of a sudden it caught me and I didn't really want it to end. Read morePublished 2 months ago by jordiw
I didn’t pay attention to the review extracts that adorned the novel. As it turned out, that was a good idea, as I had no expectations, except that a friend, whose taste I respect,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by W. Albert
Thumbs down from Bookclub
The author is clearly highly intelligent but this came out as forced prose trying to be clever for the sake of it. Read more