Book - 2009
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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.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Contemporaries, 2009, c2008.
Edition: 1st Vintage Contemporaries ed.
ISBN: 9780307388773
Characteristics: 256 p. ; 21 cm.


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Apr 19, 2017

Well written but unbelievably boring. It tried to be exciting but fell well short .... I rarely skim over long descriptions but found myself doing this frequently. I stuck with it until the end hoping one or two of the promised things would happen. Nope. It didn't even end really...just faded away like the author also got bored.

Jan 08, 2017

A complicated book. Too much cricket for my taste, and long, tangled sentences but overall the writing is really good. There are profound ideas about relationships and how the places we live affect us. At one point the main character talks about the paucity of associations he brings to a conversation at a party and I could so relate to that.

subwaysam Feb 24, 2016

Chuck Ramkissoon, our heroes's avatar, is vividly described. He seemed real.

Mar 26, 2012

Although recommended to me, I found this book disappointing. It was poorly written, with sentences that were sometimes half a page long. I kept hoping this book would get better. It didn't. I rate it a C minus.

Jul 04, 2011

While I appreciated many things about the book, in my opinion it failed to live up to the rave reviews it has received from many.
There were a number of really interesting characters in the novel but I didn't feel that I really learned their motivations; therefore it felt somewhat superficial to me. I read the whole book because I was curious about the outcome and I liked the characters but in the end, I was disappointed.
If you don't understand why a couple split apart then you can't understand why they re-united. If you don't understand how a man who is so intelligent and optimistic could also do illegal and violent things, then we can't understand his murder. If we don't understand how a usually shy guy decides to rescue a man who allegedly jumped off a roof, then we don't understand why he loses himself in a silent reverie of his childhood while talking to the jumper. It doesn't make sense to me and I wanted it to make sense, to make the characters believable and understandable. Although maybe that was the point, that we never really know everything there is to know about a person and have to be content with the bits & pieces we do know and the incomprehesibility of the rest.


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micky93 Jun 25, 2012

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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Apr 08, 2011

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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