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New York

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,461 Ratings  ·  2,216 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
Paperback, 862 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published September 3rd 2009)
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Marie Baird My grandfather (a Canadian WW1 soldier) and my grandmother (a London girl) were married in London, England on November 11, 1918 (the day we've come to…moreMy grandfather (a Canadian WW1 soldier) and my grandmother (a London girl) were married in London, England on November 11, 1918 (the day we've come to recognize as the Armistice Day). My grandfather's best man (who looks rather thin and warn in the formal wedding photo) died two days later of the influenza. It's a story that's been passed down in our family by my grandpa and then my mother. The wedding photo has always had a rather haunting quality for me ... knowing, from the distance of time, what would be the fates of many of the individuals pictured there. (less)
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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
Jan 18, 2015 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. So much so that I wrote an article about it.

... The author managed to tell not only the historical story of the city but also conveys the changes in mood, attitude, and life for New Yorkers over the centuries. For example, the way the characters relate to each other during the Revolutionary War, such as the concern for the whole rather than the individual, is vastly different from how they interact at the close of the book during the summer of 2009 and as it should be. The onl
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
Jan 02, 2010 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Jul 28, 2013 Shari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 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 financia ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Jan 21, 2010 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘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
Apr 29, 2011 Regina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alison Merle
Feb 01, 2010 Alison Merle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 08, 2014 Kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: susp-mys-drama
An epic historical novel that begins in 1664 and ends with the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001. The story focuses mainly on the Master family and spans generations. Throughout the years, the Master family members are linked in different ways to other ethnic groups, so a lot of side stories develop. All of the stories take place in New York, so the city becomes a central focal point with a life of its own.
We learn about the early Dutch settlements, the local Indian villages, the War o
Apr 21, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2010 Dorothy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Marc  A.
Nov 17, 2014 Marc A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another thoroughly enchanting and engaging historical fiction by Edward Rutherford. A master of the "James Michener School" of long, exhaustively researched, examinations of important historical places, achieved by creating compelling narratives at crucial points along the historical timeline that bring to life for the reader the place and the events that make it matter.

Some years ago, I read Rutherford's "London" in the hope that it would enhance my enjoyment of a then planned visit to the gre
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 15, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven Cassidy
Sep 05, 2010 Steven Cassidy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 05, 2014 Aries rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanzo
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
Nov 06, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting for someone who has no knowledge of New York history.
Sep 24, 2015 KatieMc rated it really liked it
A showcase of New York history from 1664 to the present day, told through the stories of several New York based (mostly old money Anglo and Dutch) families. I initially found it very frustrating because the narrative would switch to a new character/generation just as something interesting seemed to happen. There isn't a plot in the traditional sense, and once I accepted the tempo, I started to enjoy it more. Don't feel bad if you completely forget character names because they come and go.

Lisa - (Aussie Girl)
An easy and enjoyable way to read history as Rutherfurd takes us on a journey from the earliest Dutch settlers to the tragedy that was September 11 (which I found a very difficult chapter to get through).

Although this follows the same style as his previous books the characters and link between generations were not as engaging as say perhaps London or The Forest. But nevertheless it was a fascinating read about undoubtedly one of the world's most dynamic and loved cities.
May 31, 2010 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2010 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I’ve long loved the City of New York. I love it even more after reading Edward Rutherfurd’s excellent and comprehensive historical fiction, ‘New York: The Novel’.

It’s cliché to say of a particularly good book that you couldn’t put it down; and when you had to, you couldn’t wait to pick it up again. It’s cliché and, in the case of Rutherfurd’s enjoyable writing, it is absolutely true. He writes the most compelling and engaging characters that you simply want to know
Jan 22, 2012 Fibrelady rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Aug 07, 2011 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 07, 2012 Sistermagpie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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
Aug 02, 2013 thewanderingjew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"New York" is a well researched, wonderful inter-generational saga that spans several centuries, from the mid 1600’s until 2011. It traces the generations of several families through feast and famine, prosperity and poverty, hope and despair. Many of the characters develop and reconnect seamlessly and realistically, as time goes by.
The amazing history of New York is told wondrously in this novel, while adhering to the facts perfectly, albeit using a mixture of real and fictional characters. Sev
Feb 27, 2013 Ariadna73 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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
Oct 31, 2012 Jeanine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Jeanine by: My husband and my cousin
Thank you amazon for the review. 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.
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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.” 52 likes
“All empires become arrogant. It is their nature.” 11 likes
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