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)
This is one of the best audio books ever!!! I have listened to hundreds of books and this one was absolutely one of the very best. The way the author incorporates his characters into the history of Manhattan is genius. They are all fascinating and believable characters. I listened to this audiobook twice. Mark Bramhall's narration was superb. You will love this book. I listened to it twice.
I sometimes have trouble sticking with audiobooks, but this one grabbed me and didn't let go for almost 37 hours.
I had several a-ha moments where historical events I knew by name and key facts from my school days, suddenly made sense in a bigger context.
The narrator was excellent, too.
I'm so glad that I went for the unabridged version...I would have hated to miss anything.
Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton. In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!!
How does Edward Rutherfurd do it? I can barely write a check to pay my mortgage while this author regales us again with his incredible story-telling. I'd read "London" and "Sarum" years ago, before audiobooks and just recently listened to "Princes of Ireland" and "The Rebels of Ireland" - unabridged. Just when I thought Rutherfurd had run out of typewriter ink, here comes this magnificent account of the greatest city in the world. He effortlessly weaves the stories of people who made up what would become "the melting pot" of this country, black, white, poor, rich, young, and old. If you slept through history class, this is the book which will get you caught up in an informative and entertaining way.
At first I was afraid to choose such a long book, but I never regretted my selection. Having lived in New York City for several years definitely helped make the settings of the stories more familiar. Regardless, this book tells the story of the United States through the eyes of the people of New York. Although it includes several different stories that happen years apart, they are all linked very nicely through generational ties and key details or objects that are passed down through the generations. They flow very well together. The main character in the final story is a descendant of the main character mentioned at the beginning of the book. I highly recommend it!
Edward Rutherfurd has created an exciting and interesting story based on historical facts about a city I love: New York. I enjoyed reading this novel and, even though it is rather long, I did not want it to end. The characters were creative and realistic. I had never listened to this narrator before but am looking forward to hearing more works by Mark Bramhall.
I have been a fan of Edward Rutherfurd's work for a long time and was excited to hear about a novel set in America and more specifically, set in New York. Rutherfurd does an amazing job as both a storyteller and historian. As a New Yorker, this novel embodied the spirit and determination of the different families and vast experiences of the American "melting pot." The choice to represent so many cultures and their respective experiences gave a wonderful perspective. The narrator did a very good job as well. My only complaint was his pronunciation of "the Reverend George Whitefield" which in actuality was pronounced as "Whit-field" not "White-field." This book would be a great choice to be incorporated into a high school Social Studies curriculum as well. Highly recommend this book.
I read the book when it first came out and loved it. Listening to it was superior. I have listened to all of Rutherfurd's books more than once, and plan to listen to them again.
Rutherfurd's works are well researched and the research documented. While "Sarum" and "The Forrest, are my favorite Rutherford books, "New York" runs close behind.
Rutherfurd is one of my all time favorite writers. I'll purchase anything he writes. Any of his works is well worth the Credit. The Narrator is a master! He has a wonderful voice that makes the book's character's come alive.
I've read every Edward Rutherfurd book, starting with "Sarum" (still my favorite) twenty years ago. I always enjoy the journey through time and the interconnectivity of lives and families. I love historical fiction and seeing great figures and events from a character's firsthand perspective. The narrator is fantastic, seamlessly switching from character to character and giving distinct voices and convincing accents to the characters. [Akin to Michael Lee, in my opinion.] I did have three minor disappointments with the story, though, compared to his other books.
First, in earlier works, such as "Sarum" or "Russka", we follow the interactions of families over thousands of years. The timeframe in "New York" -- about four centuries -- is the shortest of all his works. Yet the vast majority of the story focuses on one privileged English family. The other families (Indian, Dutch, German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, etc.) give color and heart to the story, bringing the rich history and diversity of the city alive. But they often seem secondary to the narrative, and once introduced they disappear at times for long periods with no explanation of what has happened in between. That works better in a story that spans a few thousand years, but in a story that spans a mere 400 we know the character we cared about in the previous chapter is still alive and they are often never heard from again.
Second, I wish the story had started earlier. Though homage is paid to the Native American inhabitants in Rutherfurd's well-researched style, I would have enjoyed a chapter or two discribing life on Manhattan prior to European arrival. Instead, we begin with the Dutch settlers with depictions of the remaining and displaced natives. I would have liked to have learned more about life before the Europeans came.
Third, everyone seems basically good. There are few "bad" people, but not many. There is no family that spawns generations of thieves and rogues. There are no multi-generational grudges. The criminals are still good at heart. The rich are generally generous and open-minded. Even those we at first dislike often find a redemption and change of heart. And that isn't the way life always works.
These three points are criticisms, but not condemnations. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it. As always, the author weaves a tapestry of the history of a locale with his characters bearing witness as it evolves. And if you haven't read (listened to) Rutherford's earlier works, do so. His journeys are enlightening in their passage through time.
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