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New York [Paperback]

Edward Rutherfurd
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

1 July 2010

Edward Rutherfurd tells the story of this great city as no other author could - from the epic, empty grandeur of the New World to the skyscrapers of the City that Never Sleeps, from the intimate detail of lives long forgotten to those lived today at breakneck speed.

The novel begins with a tiny Indian fishing village and the Dutch traders who first carved out their hopes amidst the splendour of the wilderness. The British settlers and merchants followed, with their aristocratic governors and unpopular taxation which led to rebellion, war, the burning of the city and the birth of the American Nation. Yet a country that had already rent itself asunder once did so again over slavery. As the country fought its bloody Civil War, the city was torn apart by deadly riots.

Hopes and dreams, greed and corruption - they have always been the companions of freedom and opportunity in the city's teeming streets. As the immigrant ships berthed next to Ellis Island in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, they poured more and more Germans, Irish, Italians and Jews into the churning ethnic mix of the city. Deals were struck, politicians corrupted, men bought or assassinated, heiresses wooed, fortunes were speculated on Wall Street and men became rich beyond the dreams of avarice. The heady seesaw of wealth and poverty was seen in the Roaring Twenties and the Great Crash, the city's future symbolised by its buildings which literally touched the sky: the Empire State, the Chrysler Building, the Twin Towers.

Rutherfurd tells this irresistible story through a cast of fictional and true characters whose fates interweave in the rise and fall, fall and rise of the city's fortunes. It is the story of how in four centuries New York became the envy of the world. And in telling the story through the lens of New York, Rutherfurd brings the story of America itself to unforgettable life in this epic masterpiece.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1040 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (1 July 2010)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0099509385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099509387
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Rutherfurd's vast and sweeping tome charts the Big Apple's rise from its beginnings in the 17th century to the present day" (The Times)

"Historical fiction at its best" (Daily Express)

"Sweeping, expertly researched ... a brilliant introduction to the history of New York, full of suspense, adventure and passion" (News of the World)

"A masterful tribute to one of the great cities of the world" (The Good Book Guide)

"It is hard to imagine any other writer combining such astonishing depth of research with the imagination and ingenuity to hold it together" (The Washington Post)

Book Description

The bestselling master of historical fiction weaves a sweeping drama of New York from the city's founding to the present day.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
I have read and loved all of Edward Rutherfurd's books (starting with Sarum, 20 years ago). "New York" is just as good as any of them. Rutherfurd takes us on a 350 year ride through New York's history, from the 1600s to the present day. The fictional characters are well-developed and interesting and we follow them through multiple generations alongside all of the major events in New York's history. New Amsterdam, the Dutch, the War of Independence, Tammany Hall, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, through to the inevitable and tragic conclusion at the World Trade Center.

With Rutherfurd's books it feels more like you're living through the history than reading a history book. There are many enjoyable storylines involving the fictional families, with the historical events as a backdrop, and several of them incorporate real characters from history. George Washington, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Churchill's family, Boss Tweed, and many others, are all here.

At school I thought history was a boring subject. But I found it hard to put this book down, and now that I am finished I will really miss my daily excursions into New York.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb.... Back to Rutherfurd at his best 9 Nov 2010
By Darren Simons TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I make no secret writing this review that I am a fan of Edward Rutherfurd having read nearly all his books to date, starting with London. To those not familiar with Edward Rutherfurd's books he has a very clear and repeated method in writing huge fictional histories of countries or areas. He does this by following the family trees of several families with a backdrop of the history of a particular place, and putting them on the periphery of those historic events. Whilst it may sound a little contrived, for me the method works really well and you end up with a knowledge of the history of a place without reading a text book. Generally this ends up as a series of stories (about 50 pages each) describing something that happened in one generation, and then the next chapter is a story affecting the next generation and any loose ends are tied up.

New York follows this same method starting with the Dutch settlers in New York, going through the War for Independence, the Civil War, the Depression, racism and most recently terrorism. From this perspective if you are new to Edward Rutherfurd's books I would definitely recommend this as a good book to start with.

For those who have read Rutherfurd's books, however, there are some subtle differences in the way this has been written. Firstly rather than following lots of families in parallel Rutherfurd has chosen to focus on just one (the Masters and their predecessors the van Dycks) and there's no doubt the characters in this book are less strong than in the others. Certainly families come and go and there is not the continuity from other books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book! 14 Nov 2009
By E. Duke
I could not wait to get my hands on this book. The cover alone pulled me in. I started it exactly two weeks ago and just finished it in the early hours of this morning, literally with baited breath to see if the characters would escape the atrocities of 9/11. I have been savoring this book every night, and I was very sad to end it. It was as if I were saying goodbye to some well loved friends.

This book tells the story of New York through the eyes of a family, down the centuries. I love how the author makes descendants of well loved characters pop up again and again through the years. Even the wampum belt... This book was fantastic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Long and uninspiring read 25 Sep 2010
An author with the ability and experience of Rutherford should have been able to make a fantastic job of New York, such an exciting and vibrant city..
I started reading this after a trip to New York, I was inspired and keen to know more, but it has taken me a couple of months to wade through this and I was far too easily diverted to read other books. Over a 1,000 pages is a long and painful read if you are not engaged!

Rutherford overlays the history of New Your from it's Dutch settlement origins through to 9/11. He balances the development of the City and it's people with stories of individuals, with a main focus on the various generations of the Masters family. But this approach means it lacks any narrative tension and as you become interested in someone, we suddenly shift forward 50 years. Quite a few interesting characters are cast aside rather easily (the black Hudson family) or just die off in the background. Against this we have the city itself and sometimes the author tries too hard to bolt in landmarks "..this took them past the fine concert hall that Mr Carnegie, the steel magnate, had financed" - this works in moderation but at times felt too forced.
I remarked to my wife that the reasons I was struggling with this one and she said it sounded like the Queen Musical "We will Rock You" as in 'let's take in lots of random songs and build a story around them'.

This is not to say that the book is not interesting in parts, but a book has to make you want to turn the next page, not sigh about how many more you have to go.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting more
I've read Edward Rutherford's books on Sarum, London and Russia, each starting centuries earlier.
They were exhaustive and gripping
New York was a disappointment because... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Gerald Pieti
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Great insight into the history of New York told through generations of interesting families. As someone who has never studied American history I found the book to shed some light... Read more
Published 8 days ago by ryan whelan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great History of New York
Brilliant colourful history of New York. Anyone who loves the 'Big Apple' should read this. Excellent research surrounded by wonderful saga. Could not put it done. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Janet M Pinn
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
I have read this as a book twice and now that it is on my Kindle I will be reading it many times in the future
Published 1 month ago by BRENDA ADAMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting.
This fictional book is strongly based in fact, which makes it interesting reading, especially if you have some prior knowledge of New York and the surrounding area. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Macdonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read
I just love these historical fictions.... And the way Edward Rutherford writes I really feel part of the story.... A big fan
Published 2 months ago by miss j s walters
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Good Read
I have read this book when I borrowed it. So impressed that I had to have a copy of my own. Also recommend London and Dublin
Published 2 months ago by P Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG ! -I loved this book - it's a long story but I want to read it...
Ok - maybe my review is a bit biased as I love New York , but that love of New York has led me on to find out more , not just as a tourist or a traveller, but it started to get a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by sharon johns
5.0 out of 5 stars New York history
Excellent and very good historically. I have spent many holidays in New York with family and it was good to be able to identify many of the sites in the book with present day... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Wendy Sandison
4.0 out of 5 stars New York
I love Edward Rutherford's books but thought this one was not as interesting as the others such as London, Sarum, Dublin etc. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jenny De Schutter
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