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I'm a grad student, an avid reader, a huge nerd, fervent roleplayer, wife, cat lover, tea snob, and obsessive keeper of lists.
Netherland - Joseph O'Neill I don't get it.

I like to flatter myself that I'm not a particularly unperceptive reader, but when it comes to this book, I don't get it. I don't get anything about it. I don't hate it, but I have no idea what this book is about. I have no idea why it won so many prizes.

I don't get it.

(Disclaimer: I read a good deal of this while nervously watching over a cat that had had two seizures in a day, so part of the not getting it might be related to sleep deprivation and short attention span.)

Is it about post-9/11 New York? Sort of? Not really?

The New York that has been colonized by immigrants, who have their own distinctive subcultures, but come together over cricket? And why does the back of this book call it post-colonial, anyway?

Is it about a man who...well, who just drifts through his own life, plays cricket, drives his friend around, and goes to London twice monthly to visit his estranged wife and their son?

The book is so detached from its characters that I have no idea what it's about.

And the female characters seem to be there to be irrational, erratic, accusatory, or asleep. Or to want an s/m scene with a guy they just picked up off the street.

I don't get it. I just don't.