Does O'Neill glamorise criminality/the gangster in his character Chuck Ramkissoon?

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She tells me that Chuck's 'remains' have been found in the Gowanus Canal. There were handcuffs around his wrists and evidently he was the victim of a murder.

In Joseph O'Neill's award-winning 2008 novel, the protagonist and narrator, Hans, a Dutch banker and expatriate living in New York City, befriends a fellow immigrant, Chuck Ramkissoon, a gregarious, charming, and enigmatic character with an unalloyed love of cricket. When the novel opens, Hans learns about the Ramkissoon's death, which was most likely a homicide.

I hesitate to describe Chuck as a criminal or gangster. While he is involved with some shady dealings (namely running numbers) and shady characters, his passion is for playing cricket, starting a cricket club, and, somewhat quixotically, making the game big in America. Hans plays cricket with Chuck and through him meets other immigrants, most of them people of color. If he does glamorize Chuck, it's more as a larger than life character and raconteur who offers him entree into a very different New York than the one on the surface, one that's more colorful, scrappy, and dangerous.

So, no, I do not think Hans glamorizes Chuck's criminal behavior, partly because I do not consider Chuck a criminal. He is more a hustler and survivor, and it is these qualities that Hans, who is reserved and rather passive, admires. Both are immigrants but Chuck's story is far more compelling and, well, American: "His legend was transparently derived from the local one of rags and riches" (133).

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