6th Grade Netherland

Hotel Netherland, 1893-1927

Having thoroughly enjoyed Joseph O’Neill’s novel The Dog, I decided to re-read Netherland.

This time round I was particularly smitten with the narrator’s description of his driver’s ed class. Let’s just say, at this point in the year, it’s hard to read without a certain wistfulness:

…a compassionate understanding tacitly arose among the students that we should do everything to assist this individual, an agreeable and no doubt clever man whose life had plainly come to some kind of ruin. Accordingly we were a well-behaved and reasonably responsive class and, an hour or so later, did our best to abide by his request not to sleep…