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New York: The Novel
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New York: The Novel

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  14,220 ratings  ·  1,782 reviews
Winner of the David J. Langum, Sr., Prize in American Historical Fiction

Named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post and “Required Reading” by the New York Post


Edward Rutherfurd celebrates America’s greatest city in a rich, engrossing saga, weaving together tales of families rich and poor, native-born and immigrant—a cast of fictional and true characters...more
Paperback, 862 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Sean Kennedy
I like reading somewhat trashy historical family sagas, but I was expecting a little more diversity in this book following four centuries of the history of New York and the people who lived in it. After all, New York is a hubub of multiculturalism, but this book ends up being overwhelmingly Anglocentric. The African-American family disappear halfway through the story, the Italians get a few chapters and then only a few cameos, and the Puerto Ricans just a few appearances as the 'friends' of the...more
Tracy
New York the Novel is a fantastic piece of work that follows several families through the transformation of New Amsterdam to the New York City of the present-day. Each generation is relatable, developed, and interesting, a feat that few writers of multigenerational historical works have been able to do. Each character fits into his or her respected time period so neatly in place, it is like a piece of a puzzle taken out of the whole for a quick viewing. For example, take Dirk vanDyke, the Dutch...more
Katherine Coble
It was only my love for Edward Rutherfurd in general that kept me slogging through this book.

Sarum was the book that converted me to a Rutherfrudite; it's still one of my all-time favourites.

That book was clearly more personal than New York, because Rutherfurd gave it both a strong sense of time and place that kept me riveted. His characters were part of the fabric of their time and place, and the story was memorably strong.


New York, on the other hand, feels like a publisher's mandate to an a...more
Jim
It's a good book. But don't expect diversity in the story. Rutherford tailors his narrative pretty closely to the experiences of the Masters-to the detriment of the other families. Rutherford has chosen to avoid aspects of New York (Five Points/the Harlem Renaissance/the infant film industry/Broadway)that could have been mined for fascinating reading. It's the narrowness of the focus that really is the most frustrating aspect of the book. It's a good book, but it's not diverse.
Michelle
I really enjoyed most of this book. It's for anyone who likes novels that provide great history along with fiction... this novel traces the history of New York... my problem is that he dropped the storyline for the African-American family story line without much ceremony as if African American families didn't have a role in modern New York.
Shari
Like Rutherfurd’s other novels, New York: A Novel is a massive book. It would require dedication and time to read – also patience – for the story begins in the 17 century, during the Dutch colonization, to the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001. That’s 3 ½ centuries of history. Still, in spite of its length, the story didn’t linger very long in some eras. The author highlighted the most historic and momentous events: the coming of the British, the war of independence, the financi...more
Alison Merle
My dad gave me this book for Christmas and I am very glad he did because I'm not sure I would have picked it up on my own but I really enjoyed it. The story traces the lives of members of the Master family and a few other families who become connected to them beginning in the mid-17th century and continuing through to the present.

I literally couldn't put this book down, I was totally immersed in it and carried it with me everywhere I went for weeks just so I could read it whenever I had a minute...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘New York is the true capital of America.’
This novel begins, in 1664, with a tiny Indian village and Dutch traders. It ends in 2009 with an epilogue. In between, the journey through the generations of the fictional families Mr Rutherfurd has created traverses many of the major events in the history of both New York and America.

From New Amsterdam as a Dutch trading settlement, through the period of British colonisation, and the War of Independence, the creation of the American nation, and the Ci...more
Sarah
30 CDs. I think this is the longest audiobook I've ever listened to! I was trying to remember how long the Harry Potters were, but I think this one wins.

And, ohhhh, it was good. I love me a good epic, and Rutherfurd always delivers. This looooong adult novel covers the history of New York from the natives on Manhattan island to the fall of the World Trade Center. Several families are followed along the way, and the intertwining of them all makes the epic fascinating to follow. This kind of book...more
Dorothy
Disappointing. Recommended by a friend whose taste I trust, but I couldn't finish it. John Masters is like an Early American Forrest Gump - not too bright and lots of famous people make cameo appearances in his life... Sam Adams, Ben Franklin, John Jay, etc. I stopped reading after about 250 pages and just skimmed bits to the end. I enjoyed Sarum and thought Rutherfurd was a good storyteller, but his writing seems really simplistic in New York and I was bored.
Regina
Fantastic; thoroughly enjoyed this book and made me want to go out and get his other ones. I love history and have had a fascination with New York since I was a little girl. The author weaves the stories of his fictional characters against the backdrop of all the major events in New York's past so easily, it's almost impossible to tell you're getting a history lesson at the same time. I will definitely be exploring Edward Rutherfurd's other books.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 15, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Interested in New York City History and Historical Fiction
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Suzanne Dobbins
My first Rutherfurd work was Sarum, his novel telling the story of the history of England by focusing on five lineages down the centuries in the area around Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. The style wasn’t anything special, even clunky at times, and with almost 9,000 years of history to cover, few characters ever felt fleshed out. It was a novel more broad than deep; it was historical fiction, almost more dramatized history text than stories with history as a backdrop. All of that can also b...more
Tiffany
The thing with 'New York' is that it tries to capture New York city through many, many narratives in one book which I find is the central issue to the book. This is the kind of story that needs to be in a mini series because of the history and the amount of people who helped build New York to what it is today. I really dislike the fact, that the moment you get into one story - it suddenly jumps to a new story. The author does not give you enough time to get into each character and learn how New...more
Eileen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven Cassidy
I have always thoroughly enjoyed Rutherfurd. His Sarum was a seminal book and captured my imagination. This one is just as long and goes from New Amsterdam all the way to 9/11. The early chapters are very enjoyable and one of them shows a slaves view of early New York which was fascinating.

If I have any quibbles only that characters do tend to exit off stage. I wanted to know what happened to the flawed Margaretha De Styl, the Dutch merchants character who did the dirty on the elderly slave - bu...more
Aries
In vista della prossima partenza per la mia amata Grande Mela, ho deciso di immergermi in un mood adeguato dedicandomi alla lettura del non esile romanzo di Edward Rutherfurd.
"New York" non è un saggio sulla storia della città, non è una semplice sequenza di vicende lì ambientate, ma è la storia di chi quella città l'ha fondata, vissuta, vista crescere, crollare, rinascere.
Non si tratta neanche di un'unica storia, se vogliamo, ma di squarci più o meno lunghi sulle vite di alcuni personaggi, fami...more
Debbie
Interesting for someone who has no knowledge of New York history.
Suzanne
It’s no secret that Edward Rutherfurd is at the top of my list when it comes to favorite authors of historical fiction. I have been dying to read his latest New York since it first came out. I decided to wait, however, and put it on my book club reading list. Finally, the wait was over, and was it ever worth the wait!

In New York, Rutherfurd opens the novel in the year 1664, when the city was just a settlement called New Amsterdam. Like his other novels, the author takes a family or two, and carr...more
Ashley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fibrelady
Jan 22, 2012 Fibrelady rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fibrelady by: Myrna
Well, I'm glad I've finished it - I can get on with my life. A wonderfully written book that grabs you from the minute you pick it up. The history of the building of a modern city from a village right through 9/11 kept me wanting to keep on reading. It was fascinating to follow the same families through their generations as they settle in the city. The story of a lot of greed, some entitlement, compassion, drive and stamina to survive through the roller coaster of New York as a financial hub.
Tom
interesting fictional account of NY history dating back to 1600s. Very well developed early on. almost too in depth. its as if the author realized this. seems to race through last several chapters.
Sistermagpie
I've read a couple of Rutherford's books. My first was London, which remains my favorite. Unfortunately a lot of the things that were so fun for me in that book didn't really translate to New York. What I liked in London was the way he introduced different families representing recognizeable London types and had them pop up at different periods of history as both the same and not the same as the originally had been. So there was a sense, looking at a modern person, of the historical people--the...more
Ariadna73
07-21-2011: Finished it. The last couple of pages are the best of all the book. It is obvious that the author worked very hard in those. It also helps that the 9-11 events are closer to the readers than any of the other events described in the novel. But the way he describes the last journey of the wampum belt. At that point the reader realizes that all this novel was written to tell was the story of that little piece of art; that symbolizes the love and devotion of a daughter to her father; the...more
Jeanine
Oct 31, 2012 Jeanine rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Jeanine by: My husband and my cousin
Thank you amazon for the review.

Amazon.com Review
Edward Rutherfurd on New York

Strangely, I suspect it was Viking ancestors who drew me to New York.

For centuries my father's family lived on Britain's biggest tidal river, the Severn, on which there was a huge trade with the interior, and through the port of Bristol with America. In the nineteenth century they were in shipping from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and on the great rivers of Europe--the Rhine, the Danube, even the Russian River Dnieper....more
Steven Z.
Over the years I have grown more impressed with the historical novels of Edward Rutherfurd. Beginning with SARUM years ago to the present novel, NEW YORK: A NOVEL I read the last page of each book with a feeling of satisfaction that I have just completed a remarkable blend of historical license and impeccable research. In his latest effort Rutherford presents another "Michneresque" type journey, this time through the history of New York City from the 17th through the 20th century. What drew me t...more
Alex Telander
From the author that brought you the great, sweeping, historical fiction epics of London, Russka, and Princes of Ireland comes his next magnificent tome, New York. While Rutherfurd’s works are fiction per se, he employs so much research and detail that at the end the readers feels as if he or she has taken a course in the history of this particular location. Charting a chronological timeline from the very beginning of this civilization to its present day, using families and telling stories throu...more
Judy
I enjoyed this book. The author 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. The chapter covering the Panic of 1907 is...more
Julie Ellis
Rutherfurd is a modern day James Michener - he tells the story of a place by following families down through the centuries. Rutherfurd is British, and this is his first book about the US. He definitely has a different viewpoint on American history - even slightly politically incorrect. I find that refreshing. Very readable and a great way to learn some history without realizing it!
Deb
This is a sprawling novel covering the development of New York City from its Dutch colonization to the 21st century. The narrative follows several families, the Dutch merchant vanDykes, the English Masters, the Irish O'Donnells, the German Kellers, and the Italian Carusos. It also follows the descendants of the African American slave Quash who belonged to the Dutch merchant family. Each family represents one of the major groups of settlers and immigrants who helped create the society and culture...more
Sheri
I read London about 10 years ago and remember liking it. I don't recall it well enough to review, but I don't know much about the history of NY (as opposed to London, of which I knew a bit before reading) and so I figured this would be a "good for me" book.

It was okay. As others have complained, Rutherfurd takes a remarkably white perspective on the city. He starts with the Dutch settlers (which were, obviously white) and follows the English Masters throughout the 300+ year span. However, his co...more
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Francis Edward Wintle, best known under his pen name Edward Rutherfurd, was born in the cathedral city of Salisbury. Educated locally, and at the universities of Cambridge, and Stanford, California, he worked in political research, bookselling and publishing. After numerous attempts to write books and plays, he finally abandoned his career in the book trade in 1983, and returned to his childhood h...more
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“You can do what you like, sir, but I'll tell you this. New York is the true capital of America. Every New Yorker knows it, and by God, we always shall.” 40 likes
“All empires become arrogant. It is their nature.” 7 likes
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