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Extended Audio Sample Netherland Audiobook, by Joseph O'Neill Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,353 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph O'Neill Narrator: Jefferson Mays Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2017 ISBN: 9781436169585
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In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11, Hans—a banker originally from the Netherlands-finds himself marooned among the strange occupants of the Chelsea Hotel after his English wife and son return to London. Alone and untethered, feeling lost in the country he had come to regard as home, Hans stumbles upon the vibrant New York subculture of cricket, where he revisits his lost childhood and, thanks to a friendship with a charismatic and charming Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon, begins to reconnect with his life and his adopted country. Ramkissoon, a Gatsby-like figure who is part idealist and part operator, introduces Hans to an “other” New York populated by immigrants and strivers of every race and nationality. Hans is alternately seduced and instructed by Chuck’s particular brand of naiveté and chutzpah-by his ability to a hold fast to a sense of American and human possibility in which Hans has come to lose faith.

Netherland gives us both a flawlessly drawn picture of a little-known New York and a story of much larger, and brilliantly achieved ambition: the grand strangeness and fading promise of 21st century America from an outsider’s vantage point, and the complicated relationship between the American dream and the particular dreamers. Most immediately, though, it is the story of one man-of a marriage foundering and recuperating in its mystery and ordinariness, of the shallows and depths of male friendship, of mourning and memory. Joseph O’Neill’s prose, in its conscientiousness and beauty, involves us utterly in the struggle for meaning that governs any single life.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Johann | 2/3/2014

    " This book had a very slow start for me. I enjoyed the last third. All in all, it never came together for me. This book received rave reviews in literary circles, however, it was not my cup of tea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shom Biswas | 1/29/2014

    " This is incredible. This book tells me, more than anything, that I am relevant. Best book I read this year. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nan Moorman | 1/16/2014

    " I found it to be somewhat difficult to read and rather confusing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew Gaughan | 12/29/2013

    " This book is excellent; interesting, thoughtful, reflective, meandering. It's not really that much of a book about cricket, more about using sport or culture as a way of trying to stabilize one's identity, especially when it's so easy to lose one's identity in a shapeless, changing, migratory world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 12/27/2013

    " Beautifully written, I really liked this book. I can understand that it may not be for everyone--sometimes the back and forth in time periods (months or years, not decades or centuries)had me re-reading to check exactly where he was. Those transitions were seamless, and, it's really the way thought processes happen. Some very wise passages, that I will re-read and read aloud to friends & family. I may adjust this to five stars, but for now I'll leave it at this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krishan | 12/24/2013

    " A beautiful Gatsby-esque short novel. Contains some wonderful meditations on the Meaning of America, New York etc... O'Neill captures the poltical and social atmosphere of post 9-11 America in microcosm, without any grand gestures. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 12/19/2013

    " I'm actually giving a book 5 stars. It's hard for me to say exactly what I loved about this book. And perhaps it's that I'd rather not say. I just want to savor it for myself. I will say that for the first time -- possibly since college -- I wrote in the margins of the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Christin | 12/11/2013

    " This book depicts in moving images, details, and relationships, the reality of life in America. It rings beautifully and sadly true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Leaney | 11/26/2013

    " I know at least three people who couldn't get through this book, but I loved it. Weird, rich language. There's something about O'Neill's writing that reverberates with meaning - like the things that you feel are true but have never been able to articulate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin Tole | 11/16/2013

    " This is a knock out book from Joseph O'Neill about a Dutchman playing cricket in New York and so much more than that. Though kind of slow paced its brilliance lies in the beautiful writing and the depth of characters. A knock out book - best new novel I've read for a while "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 11/13/2013

    " A book about a man originally from the Netherlands who finds a sense of community amongst a group of men gathering for weekend cricket games in Staten Island. This takes place in the early 2000s to mix the city's events with personal changes that simultaneously emerge. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jesse | 5/30/2013

    " Very slow and not a lot of beauty. End is okay. Mostly just one great passage about the main character floundering in adulthood, w/o his mother by his side. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 3/8/2013

    " I admired but didn't warm to this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dbain | 2/10/2013

    " I wanted to read this book ever since President Obama told an interviewer that he was reading it. Once more, I gained a new perspective on what it's like to be an immigrant in America, specifically New York City after 9/11. I also learned a lot about the game of cricket. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bazu | 1/2/2013

    " It was weird to read this one abroad- being in England and reading about NYC definitely added to the eerie displacement thing this book has going on. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen Donmoyer | 12/25/2012

    " Well written - just not my cup of tea. However, the fact that it as so well written compelled me to finish it. Have to admit I found it boring though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tracie | 11/3/2012

    " This book is terrible. I kept waiting for something to happen. This is what Obama spent his vacation reading? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shirley | 9/7/2012

    " A very interesting look at the multicultural immigrant population in post 9/11 New York City through the eyes of a Dutch businessman. It was interesting to see their views of and experiences in the "land of plenty". All this and the game of cricket, too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 7/8/2012

    " A worthwhile novel about diversity in NYC after 9/11. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 6/13/2012

    " I wouldn't pick this to read on my own, but as a bookclub selection it widened my range. I skimmed all the cricket yada-yada- Way too much of that. Immigrants, New Yorkers, post 9/11, marriage, and friendships and ambition are the themes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alison | 5/10/2012

    " Everyone seems to like this book except me. I found the protagonist to be irritating and the picture of post 9/11 New York to be contrived. I just found it hard to get through and I did not really care much about what happened in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron Thomas | 9/7/2011

    " A dutch transplant living in American and the affects on his life after 911. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 5/17/2011

    " This book helped me understand the meaning and passion surrounding cricket, which is such a central part of so many cultures around the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dvora | 5/10/2011

    " Ok very well written, very character driven, and about cricket. Save to say it's interesting. I'd recommend it, though also point out it's not necessarily for everyone "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 5/6/2011

    " A book about a man originally from the Netherlands who finds a sense of community amongst a group of men gathering for weekend cricket games in Staten Island. This takes place in the early 2000s to mix the city's events with personal changes that simultaneously emerge. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara | 5/1/2011

    " Zadie Smith has the best analysis of this book. I have nothing to add. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terry | 4/29/2011

    " This is a great novel; its characters are memorable and some of its passages are startlingly well-written. I'll definitely re-read it more than once. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marsha | 4/26/2011

    " Somewhat interesting... a man's point of view of marriage and life (if you boil it down). Although this man was pretty uninspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 4/25/2011

    " The truth of finding comfort, compassion, and escape in a game, even one as foreign to me as cricket, is an idea to which I relate on a base level. A sympathetic tale of a husband trying to find his way home. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Juliana | 4/24/2011

    " I'm torn about this book. It's beautifully written, and the author clearly paints a picture of a certain era in New York. However, I didn't really care that much about the main character, which made it hard to get really into the story.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nifer | 4/12/2011

    " I thought this book was gorgeous, but slow. The writing was absolutely beautiful in parts, but I had a tough time motivating to finish it. "

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About the Author

Joseph O’Neill, a novelist and non-fiction writer, was born in Ireland. His novel Netherland was awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and he has garnered numerous other nominations and accolades for his work. Additionally, O’Neill writes literary and cultural criticism, most regularly for the Atlantic Monthly. He practiced law for ten years in Ireland before moving to New York City, where he currently teaches at Bard College. 

About the Narrator

Jefferson Mays has won two AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audio narrations. He is also an award-winning theater and film actor. In 2004 he won a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Obie Award, and a Theatre World Award for his solo Broadway performance in I Am My Own Wife, a Pulitzer Prize–winning play by Doug Wright. He holds a BA from Yale College and an MFA from University of California–San Diego.