Fiction: Netherland, by Joseph O’Neill

Our challenge book for August.

I liked it more than Dad did (he reports having to flog himself through it) but overall, as time has passed, it didn’t leave that much of an impression. It felt like there was an awful lot of that male midlife meandering (the way Philip Roth and David Hodges novels are getting to be)… The modern stuff was a lot sharper, the drooling down memory lane stuff (moonings over mama and cricket) bored us both. Dude’s wife was a totally infuriating character; that relationship was nearly inexplicable. We both liked Chuck but his role is weirdly peripheral and pivotal at the same time.

It was a decent enough book but we have no idea why it got the hype it did. I guess the 9/11 references were probably what brought it to people’s attention. Eh.

This is what I’ve learned on the subject of women: never delay. The more quickly you act, the greater the chance of success.

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