NetherlandBook - 2009
New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Yearnbsp;
In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11, and left alone after his English wife and son return to London, Hans van den Broek 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. As the two men share their vastly different experiences of contemporary immigrant life in America, an unforgettable portrait emerges of an "other" New York populated by immigrants and strivers of every race and nationality.
From the critics
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In the wake of 9/11, Hans van den Brock, a Dutch broker living in Manhattan is abandoned by his wife, Rachel, who also takes their young son with her back to London. As Hans begins to feel lost, and see no direction in life, he stumbles upon a cricket field in Staten Island, where he meets other immigrants, and befriends Chuck Ramkissoon, a charming, larger-than-life Trinidadian businessman who dreams of building a cricket stadium. As Hans tries to reconcile with Rachel, he starts to learn more about his friend, Chuck, and starts to question his goals.
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I am led to consider [. . .] what I might one day transmit to my son to ensure that he does not grow up like his father, which is to say, without warning. I still have no firm idea, not least because I have no firm idea whether my own descent into disorder was referable to an Achilles' heel or whether it's a generally punishable folly to approach life trustingly--carelessly, some might say. All I know is that unhappiness took me unawares.
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