Rutherfurd celebrates America's greatest city in a rich, engrossing saga that showcases his extraordinary ability to combine impeccable historical research and storytelling flair. As in his earlier, best-selling novels, he illuminates cultural, social, and political upheavals through the lives of a remarkably diverse set of families.
As he recounts the intertwining fates of characters rich and poor, black and white, native born and immigrant, Rutherfurd brings to life the momentous events that shaped New York and America: the Revolutionary War, the emergence of the city as a great trading and financial center, the excesses of the Gilded Age, the explosion of immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the trials of World War II, the near-demise of New York in the 1970s and its roaring rebirth in the '90s, and the attacks on the World Trade Center. Sprinkled throughout are captivating cameo appearances by historical figures ranging from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Babe Ruth.
New York is the book that millions of Rutherfurd's American fans have been waiting for. A brilliant mix of romance, war, family drama, and personal triumphs, it gloriously captures the search for freedom and prosperity at the heart of our nation's history.
©2009 Edward Rutherford; (P)2009 Random House
"Like James Michener and Leon Uris, Rutherfurd does a magnificent job of packaging a crackling good yarn within a digestible overview of complex historical circumstances and events." (Booklist)
New York, the novel, is a masterpiece. It provides a very good overview of key historical periods and events of this great city. Prior to listening to this audiobook, I knew some of New York's history, but I have learned so much more now. Edward Rutherfurd has done a great job researching, and translating it into enjoyable stories. The book has a wide appeal, it discusses historical events, as well as architecture, art, trade, political, and society aspects of life. The characters are well developed, and I emphatized with most of them. Contrary to earlier works by Edward Rutherfurd (London, Sarum), there are no true villains in "New York", which is no judgment either positive or negative, but more a sign of Rutherfurd's style development. Narration of the novel is fine as well.
Every now and then I love a book and can't wait to drive somewhere to keep listening. This was one of those times. Fascinating.
I loved this epic fictional account of the history of Manhatten. It was a gret listen, and I learned a lot as well.
Whis it was still going on, didn't want it to end. This is the only review I have done but then it was the best book i have gotten here, well worth 2 credits
After reading the other glowing reviews I decided to listen to New York. What a disappointment! The first part of the book was pretty good but it really fell apart after that. The later characters were just not as well developed.
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After having read Sarum, I was excited to jump into New York and I enjoyed it very much… just not as much as Sarum; I think it’s because the novelty for the style wore off. After being immediately impressed by a captivating start, I had to eventually downgrade it from “5-star-favourite” to “4-star-terrific”. Still high praise.
If you’ve read any books in the series you know it’s essentially a collection of interconnected short stories about a family spanning hundreds of years (or thousands in Sarum), but I didn’t find them all as interesting or compelling this time. I LOVED the start (New Amsterdam in 1664) and I was completely engrossed by the story of Dirk Van Dyck and his secret daughter Pale Feather, then as the story continued though the eyes of their slave Quash, I was equality riveted. But after that it went from ‘fantastic’ to ‘very good’ to ‘ good’ to ‘maybe the next part will be great’… although I did perk up again with the story of Sarah and Charlie that started in the 1950s.
I wished the Wampum Belt would have made an appearance more often because I liked the way it reminded you of the connectivity to past generations. I would sometimes forget how the current protagonist was related to the previous one, so a little extra exposition every now and then would have been very helpful for me. I also would have enjoyed some blurbs following the construction of the Statue of Liberty – nothing long and detailed, more like an occasion mention in the background.
In addition, I felt that the end of the book was a little rushed; as if he has expended all his good ideas up front and just wanted to hurry up and finish he book so he could start writing a new one.
Still, overall, I am a fan. Can’t say I will read all his books but I will definitely read Paris and I can’t wait for its release in April… I already pre ordered it!
The first half of this "novel" was enjoyable, right up until the Gilded Age. After that it was an unbearable slog. In fact, I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing it. This not your typical novel. Characters are introduced and stuff happens but characters also disappear to never return and there's really no central conflict. A family of slaves are part of the first third or so but are never reintroduced. Ethnicities are stereotyped and seem to be introduced and taken away at the whim of the author. If you're looking for something that might illustrate NYC's history then this is okay. Otherwise skip it.
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