Netherland

The way I see it, there can be three problems that arise in a novel and make it fall short.  First, the plot can just be something that is not interesting to you so no matter how well it is written and how artistic and creative is, you are just simply disinterested.  Second, the grammar and writing style can be so frustrating to the reader that it makes the reader hate the characters and/or the author.  And third, the character development just isn’t there.  For Netherland, the last issue was the one that got to me.  When you sit down to read a book about a person and their experience for almost 300 pages, you better like the person.  Joseph O’Neill (the author) never gave me any reason to really care about Hans van den Broek or his problems.  The idea behind the novel was a decent one.  It follows the story of a dutch banker and how he is enmeshed in the multicultural city of New York, mainly through meeting people on the cricket field.  However, I felt it never really got all the way into the story, and I never actually cared what happened to the protagonist or his friends.

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