Friday, May 23, 2014

First 50 Friday - Netherland by Joseph O'Neill

The First 50 Project is something that I made for myself to help me get through my backlog of books. I own over 200 books that I have not read, not including ebooks, but my first love is new books. In order to help reconcile my warring book lust and guilt, I came up with the First 50 Project. My goal is to read at least the first 50 pages of all 200+ books. Here is my latest First 50 Book:


4. Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
256 pp.

First line: The afternoon before I left London for New York--Rachel had flown out six weeks previously--I was in my cubicle at work, boxing up my possessions, when a senior vice-president at the bank, an Englishman in his fifties, came to wish me well.

Summary of what I read:
Netherland is a post-9/11 novel. In it, Hans's wife and son have decamped for London following the 9/11 tragedy. A native Englishwoman, she tells Hans that she no longer feels safe in New York. Hans is left behind. In the absence of his family, he turns to his childhood sport of cricket to help fill his time. A friend named Chuck Ramkissoon is mentioned, but we do not meet him in the first 50 pages. Years later, Chuck has been found murdered and Hans is contacted by a reporter seeking information.

My thoughts:
In the first 50 pages, there is what feels like a lot about cricket and a little about Hans and his family. For most of it I was bored and not sure I could make it through even 50 pages, but I'm glad I persevered. Somewhere after page 24 it picked up for me. I'm still not sure if I will go back to it, but I'm glad I gave it a better chance than I was initially inclined to give.


  1. What a neat idea! I am glad this one got better for you the more you read. At least now you know what to expect if you do decide to finish it.

  2. Thanks! I find it hard to stop at 50 pages though!

  3. It tried to read this book a couple of years ago and had to put it down. That's something I rarely do, but I just couldn't get into it.