On Sale: May 20, 2008
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Literature and Fiction Literary
a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11,
banker originally from the Netherlands--finds himself
the strange occupants of the Chelsea Hotel after his English
son return to London. Alone and untethered, feeling lost in
he had come to regard as home, Hans stumbles upon the
vibrant New York
subculture of cricket, where he revisits his lost childhood
to a friendship with a charismatic and charming Trinidadian
Ramkissoon, begins to reconnect with his life and his
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
naivete and chutzpah--by his ability to a hold fast to a
American and human possibility in which Hans has come to
us both a flawlessly drawn picture of a little-known New
York and a
story of much larger, and brilliantly achieved ambition: the
strangeness and fading promise of 21st century America from an
outsider’s vantage point, and the complicated relationship
American dream and the particular dreamers. Most
it is the story of one man--of a marriage foundering and
in its mystery and ordinariness, of the shallows and depths
friendship, of mourning and memory. Joseph O’Neill’s prose,
conscientiousness and beauty, involves us utterly in the
meaning that governs any single life.
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