The overall idea of the book is nice - it follows several generations of families over centuries, giving a personal perspective of historic events. Yet, many of the characters are not described in depth, so that their stories become uninteresting. It also feels that the authors' choice of historical events to focus on (especially in the later periods) are driven by the tastes of potential readers, rather than by the actual significance of those events.
The narration was very good
The narration was terrific. The story was fun. Picked up a little incidental history. Rutherford continues to deliver. Pretty good for a Brit!
This is, by far, one of my most favorite books.
I bought the book hoping to learn about New York City but the storyline & characters made the history relatable. The ending was so beautiful I want to listen again.
If you love New York, want to learn more about the great city & it's sometimes little known history - this is the book.
I have always loved Rutherford's novels, and this one is just as excellent as always. I learned so much about New York and was surprised about its roots as a society. New York has a genuine culture all its own. This book even inspired me to find something of my own to leave behind for future generations. Thank you Mr. Rutherford for the inspiration.
The narrator of this masterpiece was fabulous in every way. What talent! I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Rutherfurd's successful attempt at bringing NYC's history to life with vivid characters and great fluidity.
There is some debate about which of the 3 versions available is the best to listen to. I picked the first one made -- 1994 I think --- and I'm very glad I did. The reader was wonderful to listen to.
The interconnected storyline kept my interest throughout the reading and made it easier to remember characters in each time period. However the length and details of the individual lives made it hard to remember all of the interesting historical details.
Because I haven't been to New York City a map would have been appreciated but of course, being an Audiobook, this wouldn't have helped.
British radio producer; storyteller, folk historian and book addict. I rely on audio books to help me fit in extra reading.
I love Rutherfurd's work. I've read most of his books, and love them all; including this.
This isn't his best (I shall say why in a moment); but Rutherfurd good is better than most people brilliant!
As in all of his books, Rutherfurd has taken a place, and some characters and allowed us to follow them over the centuries. Unlike many of his others, not a lot of centuries.
The descriptions of New York were fascinating, leading me to download maps, search for other books on New York, and get to know the city better.
Where Rutherfurd lost points was in losing some of the people. People I became fascinated with, disappeared , or didn't show up for many a decade. I would have been completely fascinated had the Native American line been pursued. We had a great story about an Italian family that became a footnote.
An African American line, that I wish hadn't been killed off so soon; a Jewish family, that arrived too late, and stayed too little.
The Master family, although interesting, were too rich and privileged for me to be really enthralled . I liked them...but not their story as much as I liked the others.
I'm being hard on Rutherfurd. This is still a compelling read.
The reading was good .Sometimes the accents were a bit much ...but this is a common problem. The performance was good. The book was good. All in all I didn't regret a moment of the listen.
The author spends so little time with each of the characters, and develops them so little, that it's hard to care what happens to them. All of the characters he spends any time with are extremely well-off, and they experience no real hardship. At the end, I felt like the story was about Old Money and how great it is to be rich, yet how mind-bogglingly petty and boring it is as well.
I love listening to a good book read by a great narrator while driving or doing mundane tasks like housekeeping. Characters come alive!
Having been born and raised in New York City, the story intrigued me. Mark Bramhall does an excellent job, making the characters come alive. The novel spans generations, with a thread of love and family through more than three centuries. I enjoyed hearing about the history of the great city. Why not make this required reading in high schools throughout America?