A great way to learn some of the history of our country that never appeared in my history classes! Love the way the story is told through the blood lines of so many founding and then immigrant families (ok so it is a bit contrived in this way but considering how small the world seems at times not totally without possibility). The only addition (and whats a couple of more pages in an 860 page book) that would be great is a tree of the family lines. Not sure I'm ready to take on London but I can imagine it is just as well written.
Like American author James Michener, Edward Rutherfurd's books are sprawling historical sagas that bind the human passions of fictional characters with well-known events. A lengthy treat for those who like historical and family fiction, New York gives a sense of place throughout time to one of our most fascinating cities.
New York --- by --- Edward Rutherfurd. By turns tragic, romantic, heartbreaking, Rutherfurd once again hits the high notes with New York. Reaching back to the arrival of the Dutch in this American wilderness and ending with the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, this novel follows the rise and fall of numerous families. Arrival as impecunious immigrants; the accumulation of wealth; their contribution to the skyline of metropolis as the scuttle the girders of the Empire State Building; the pain of the descent into economic depressions --- all of these events are limed in the story of New York and the people who call it home over the many years. Rutherfurd does not disappoint: his characters, though often but briefly seen are real. We relate with them. Though of a different are, a different era in history, the joys and losses they feel are ones we can share. They may happen to us all. And behind all of these tales there is the backdrop of New York: a city that reinvents and rebuilds itself as our actors unfurl their lives in front of this stage. Rutherfurd deserves to be read: many avid readers agree.
I grew up there, albeit as far away from Manhattan as one could get. Yesterday I received a phone call (wrong number) and just a few words into the conversation I asked, "What part of New York [City is understood] are you from?" I was right.
I'll have to put this on my To Read Soonest list.
Thoroughly enjoyable historical novel. Touches on many of the interesting times and locations in New York City. In my opinion second only to LONDON.
The long novel traces the history of New York City, primarily Manhattan, through the lives of several families over time. Unlike others of his that I've read, this doesn't include a family chart, but it does have a good map the shows multiple time periods. The time covered here is 1664 to 2009 and characters include natives, Dutch, English, slaves, freemen, Irish, Italians, and Puerto Ricans. There are Quakers, Catholics, Anglicans, other Protestants, and Jews.
In the Revolutionary War period, we have a father and son on opposite sides of the struggle, and detail on the tax and representation issues that led to the war.
In the Civil War period, we see the complex trade issues that were at play.
In the Great Depression time, we see the effect of the collapse on finances of families, both good and bad.
There are self-made men, and those who lives on the inheritances of their predecessors. We see the evolution of skyscrapers including the building of the Empire State Building and the collapse of the World Trade Center. We see the status that Brooks Brothers clothing had for the wearers and the lives of the women sewing for them. We see the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and the building of the New York Public Library and its famous Reading Room. We see the rise of hotels and the Rockefeller Center, and the evolution of Coney Island.
One family line is present from start to finish, the Masters family. Others such as the Van Dycks, the Adlers, the O'Donnells and the Kellers appear and reappear.
There are some real historical figures, with the largest coverage of these given to Lord Cornbury and his likely real habit of crossdressing.
A very interesting book and a good way to learn some history of a very interesting city.
After visiting New York City in the spring, I was keen to read Edward Rutherford's novel. It did not disappoint - once I got into it, I could not put it down! The stories of the generations, from the early Dutch settlers to modern day, are woven into the fabric of the story of the city itself. Names, landmarks, key events and the generations of characters all become part of the rich tapestry. An easy and entertaining way to digest history - highly recommended.
Excellent read!! This was my third attempt at reading Edward Rutherfurd's historical fiction masterpiece "New York: The Novel", but it was worth the long read.
You are taken on an incredible journey that begins when New York was founded by the Dutch all the way to present day, and let me tell you - it is worth it every step of the way.
In Rutherfurd's view, perhaps the only true individual is New York City herself and everyone who made the city who it is was only a cog in a huge machine. James Michener did the same thing. I still was interested in watching the characters interact and live their daily lives. I enjoyed the little details like how and why wampum was made and how Europeans screwed up yet one more beautiful thing the Indians had created. It was also interesting to note how many familiar place names came about and were used and misused (Bowery Boys, Wall Street, Queens). New York is the heart of America in many ways. I loved this book, but I do think it's too long!
There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.
There are no summaries for this title yet.
There are no notices for this title yet.
There are no quotes for this title yet.