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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Solid Work from This Excellent Historical Novelist
"New York" is a new novel by Edward Rutherfurd, similar in type to his earlier books about Sarum and London. The conceit here is that he takes representative families from the city, starting from its founding, and follows the same families through the centuries to showcase the rise and fall of different groups of people. In the case of New York, he starts in 1664, when...
Published on March 25 2012 by Alison S. Coad

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was hoping for
I read this over several days while using a treadmill so to say I was concentrating would be a lie.

While the book does a good job of detailing some of the history of the city I was disappointed in the stories and situations facing the main characters. The potential for stories existed - Dutch trader torn between his Dutch wife and the native woman he loves,...
Published on April 3 2010 by not dark yet


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Solid Work from This Excellent Historical Novelist, March 25 2012
By 
Alison S. Coad (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New York: The Novel (Paperback)
"New York" is a new novel by Edward Rutherfurd, similar in type to his earlier books about Sarum and London. The conceit here is that he takes representative families from the city, starting from its founding, and follows the same families through the centuries to showcase the rise and fall of different groups of people. In the case of New York, he starts in 1664, when it was called New Amsterdam and the primary families were Dutch, along with the Native American tribes already there; then the English take over and subsequently the colony grows (complete with both slaves and free Blacks) until the American Revolution, followed by a brief period during which NYC was the capital of the United States. Then in come the Irish, and the Italians, and the Puerto Ricans, all living through all the events that occurred in the tumultuous 1800s and 1900s, ending up in the current millenium with focus given, not surprisingly, to September 11th, but ending with a brief coda set in 2009. So it's pretty comprehensive and up-to-date. I like all of Rutherfurd's histories, because I find his method of interweaving numerous representative families into the fabric and events of the times in which they live to be quite interesting, though I have to say I was bored with the long chapters leading up to and through the Revolution. Nevertheless, this is a big, sweeping historical novel, some 860 pages long, and if you like such dramatic retellings of historical events, Rutherfurd is a ton of fun to read. Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New York, March 28 2014
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This review is from: New York (Hardcover)
Great read! Historical novel full of facts and information about the history of New York. We live in Canada and have travelled to NY many times. This book brought much insight and appreciation for this great city.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rutherfurd God I love You!, March 26 2014
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This review is from: New York: The Novel (Paperback)
I have not read all of this books yet I have read Paris and London and now New York. I do not know how he does it.. His books are breath taking. To begin with I was not much of a reader before I found this man. I found Paris and said "hey I like history and Paris as we all know is rich with her history" so I gave it a shot. Holy meatballs was it good!! All his books have the same formula so for those who do not like knowing somewhat what is coming than it may not work for you but I love when you have modern families and you follow them through their lives and see their ancestory and while doing so watch history unfold before you.

I do not want to give much away but all of the crucial and important historical figures of America I can think of are present and all of the historical events that have changed are world are present aswell. This is a must read for history fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Rutherfurd ... A great read, Oct. 20 2010
By 
C. J. Thompson "Arctic John" (Pond Inlet, Nunavut Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New York: The Novel (Paperback)
Rutherfurd's first book Sarum: The Novel of England is widely reckoned to be his best and it is one of my all time favorite novels. His later works then seemed to decline progressively; London: The Novel and Russka: The Novel of Russia, were both excellent but not quite as good as the first, and The Forest was only moderately enjoyable. His later Irish novels were, sad to say, all but unreadable in my opinion. I am glad to say, though, that my willingness to give this author another chance was well rewarded with this latest book. It is in the same form as all his earlier works although, understandably, the temporal scope is not of the same epic span as in 'Sarum' and 'Russka'. Like all of Rutherfurd's works, I find the last few chapters a bit weak and uninteresting but the rest of the book is hugely entertaining. It's not his best work but is still well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weaving History and Fiction Seamlessly, April 8 2010
By 
Jeffrey Swystun (Toronto & Mont Tremblant) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New York (Hardcover)
This is a thoroughly entertaining weave of history and fiction through 350 years of history. It begins with a Dutch family and branches off as family trees do to other relations along with people met along the way. Rutherford uses a wampum belt as physical connection passed from generation to generation which proves a clever device. It is the first book by the author that I have read and I take it that he has created a unique franchise (London, Russka). New York provides a rich backdrop both for history and character development. Indeed, Manhattan and the other boroughs are characters unto themselves.

I am an (extremely) amateur New York History buff so when reading this I was reminded of three "sources" on the city's past. These are the PBS documentary on the city by Ric Burns, The Bowery Boys podcast, and Pete Hamill's Forever. The latter is also a fictionalized account of New York through the centuries as witnessed firsthand by the lead character who cannot die unless he leaves the island. In any event, all seem to reinforce each other in that they stress the same key events which lends credibility to Rutherford's research.

He begins with the incredibly influential Dutch in 1664. He twines in the early and sustained conflicts with the Native tribes as the city moves from "New Amsterdam" to "New York". Through his engrossing narrative we learn of the revolution, social change, slavery, the Civil War, the gangs of New York, immigration, labour rights, civil rights, Wall Streets ups and downs, near bankruptcy for the city, and the changes since 9/11. Rutherford puts his characters in the most influential events. They witness battles in the Revolutionary War, debate leading figures of the day, seek shelter during the draft riots, confront the horror of poor working conditions, experience racism and prejudice, contemplate suicide in down markets, participate in the counter-culture, all the time marvelling at the resilience of their fellow New Yorkers. And it does not come across as forced or false.

The format is deeply involving as you want to see how the weave continues through the decades and how the primary family makes out. Once I put it down, I thought how enjoyable it will be to read it again in a few years time. And it has also prompted me to read London.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable journey through the history of the Big Apple, July 10 2014
This review is from: New York: The Novel (Paperback)
In this beautiful book, Edward Rutherfurd, specialist of family sagas, tells the story of the most important American city (and one of the most fascinating in the world), seen through the vicissitudes of the Master family, from the moment it was founded by Dutch (with the name of New Amsterdam) to the present day.
Rutherfurd, a native of Salisbury, to which he dedicated a book in the 80s (the beautiful "Sarum"), engages this time in narrating the lives of his characters in what is his city of adoption, New York.
Even if history itself plays a key role in this novel, leaving us a glimpse of the enormous work of research done by the author, its presence is discreet, not invasive, also because it is supposed that those who read the book already have some knowledge of it, to which, however, interesting details are added. History is however only the background on which the Masters move, showing them to us sometimes directly and sometimes through the eyes of characters associated with them. Through this family we learn about the contradictions and complexity of American society, from the moment of its birth until today, particularly those related to ethnic and religious minorities, different from each other (American Indians, blacks, Irish, Germans, Italians, Jews), but all united by the discrimination to which they have been subjected over the centuries. Some of these stories have happy endings; some are stories of resignation to the condition of their protagonists. All of them, however, are exciting and keep you glued to the pages, to know their outcome and eventually discover how these are linked by the common thread represented by a belt made of shells, a small work of art symbol of the love of a daughter for his father.
The final chapters set in the past decade are particularly moving, in which it is perhaps easier to identify with, as they are based on events still fresh in our memory like the 11th of September. Here in my opinion the author gives the best of himself transporting us into that New York, in the minds and souls of the people who lived through those tragic moments, just because he has lived them and the difference compared to the narrative of the previous centuries appears evident.
Whether you like or not New York, whether you love or not historical reconstructions, certainly you cannot remain indifferent to this intense, but quite smooth work. The pleasant feeling you get at the end of the reading, a mixture of satisfaction and melancholy, is actually typical only of the best books.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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5.0 out of 5 stars History of New York, Jan. 28 2014
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This review is from: New York (Kindle Edition)
A very good history of New York City going back to the mid 1600s. It is made interesting by the use of a combination of non-fictional and fictional characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, Oct. 4 2013
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Like his novel Paris, it is wonderfully entertaining and very instructive. Rutherfurd comes up with interesting multidimentional characters. There is love, crime, politics, business, war, suspense and lots of detailed historical references and interaction with the fictional elements.

Bravo!

Marcel
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rutherford is the masterful writer of historical fiction..., Aug. 27 2013
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This review is from: New York (Kindle Edition)
A splendid journey through the history of one of the greatest cities in the world. I enjoyed the book immensely and am a big fan of Rutherford's spectacular work. His interweaving of historical fact and fiction is on par with the late, great J.A Michener, whom I consider one of the twentieth century's literary geniuses. I have recommended this read to several in my circle.of friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars New York, The Novel, Aug. 24 2013
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This review is from: New York: The Novel (Paperback)
One of my favourite reads. I actually read it twice. That is the first time I ever did that!! Soooo good!
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New York
New York by Edward Rutherfurd (Hardcover - Nov. 10 2009)
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