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?
History at It's very best
It made me enjoy the book from start to finish
Just read it!
Edward Rutherfurd's New York follows the lives of New York families from the days of the Dutch through post-9/11 Manhattan to give the readers a unique perspective on the history and people of the greatest city on earth. The city itself comes alive as perhaps the most important character of all in the book, and what could be slow and boring is instead fast paced and exciting. ER makes the intelligent choice to not dwell too much on any one event or period, but instead drops in at key moments and fills in the gaps quickly if necessary. Mark Bramhall's narration was excellent as well. I was somewhat skeptical going in but this is the best (serious) book I have read in months. At 38 hours or so it is definitely worth a credit.
The overall story was good. However, if I wanted to put myself to sleep, I would listen to this book-- something about the narration.
If you like the Rutherford formula of following multiple families from one geographic area over a few hundred years, then this will satisfy you. He doesn't let his characters get in the way of the interesting history, which makes for a straightforward, but soulless, narrative.
I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't get past the horribly stereotyped characters: evil stepmother, loyal black slave. Yuck.
No. I enjoy historical fiction but I must say this is the 2nd book by Rutherfurd I've tried and couldn't finish. I can't undertand his appeal. I will skip his other books and look for another history or historical fiction about New York.
The narrator was great. Too bad he had such poor material to work with.