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New York

The Novel
Written by: Edward Rutherfurd
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 37 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling master of historical fiction weaves a grand, sweeping drama of New York from the city's founding to the present day. 

Rutherfurd celebrates America's greatest city in a rich, engrossing saga that showcases his extraordinary ability to combine impeccable historical research and storytelling flair. As in his earlier, best-selling novels, he illuminates cultural, social, and political upheavals through the lives of a remarkably diverse set of families. 

As he recounts the intertwining fates of characters rich and poor, black and white, native born and immigrant, Rutherfurd brings to life the momentous events that shaped New York and America: the Revolutionary War, the emergence of the city as a great trading and financial center, the excesses of the Gilded Age, the explosion of immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the trials of World War II, the near-demise of New York in the 1970s and its roaring rebirth in the '90s, and the attacks on the World Trade Center. Sprinkled throughout are captivating cameo appearances by historical figures ranging from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Babe Ruth. 

New York is the book that millions of Rutherfurd's American fans have been waiting for. A brilliant mix of romance, war, family drama, and personal triumphs, it gloriously captures the search for freedom and prosperity at the heart of our nation's history.

©2009 Edward Rutherford (P)2009 Random House

What the critics say

"Like James Michener and Leon Uris, Rutherfurd does a magnificent job of packaging a crackling good yarn within a digestible overview of complex historical circumstances and events." (Booklist)

"History has never been so fun to read.... Rutherfurd's research is exhaustive...fun.... This is history, but with a very readable story line." (USA Today)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MP
  • 2018-11-10

Good family saga

Good multi-generational story. Straight chronological no confusion that way. Although centered on the Master family, developing a little more the other families that come along would have been a rich addition as it is mainly Anglocentric NY multiculturalism and ethnicity is just lightly represented on the sideline of the Master family. Somewhat disappointed that Hudson's Africain american family disapears half way through the book. Narration is fine.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty good

Pretty interesting story, but all the characters are somewhat boring and not diverse. Everything always works out in the end, and the story mostly focuses on white rich people.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 2009-12-17

Fantastic!

I sometimes have trouble sticking with audiobooks, but this one grabbed me and didn't let go for almost 37 hours.

I had several a-ha moments where historical events I knew by name and key facts from my school days, suddenly made sense in a bigger context.

The narrator was excellent, too.

I'm so glad that I went for the unabridged version...I would have hated to miss anything.

46 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chuck
  • 2009-12-13

Stunning

This is one of the best audio books ever!!! I have listened to hundreds of books and this one was absolutely one of the very best. The way the author incorporates his characters into the history of Manhattan is genius. They are all fascinating and believable characters. I listened to this audiobook twice. Mark Bramhall's narration was superb. You will love this book. I listened to it twice.

37 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gregg Branum
  • 2011-12-22

Good, fun tour, but not Rutherfurd's best.

I've read every Edward Rutherfurd book, starting with "Sarum" (still my favorite) twenty years ago. I always enjoy the journey through time and the interconnectivity of lives and families. I love historical fiction and seeing great figures and events from a character's firsthand perspective. The narrator is fantastic, seamlessly switching from character to character and giving distinct voices and convincing accents to the characters. [Akin to Michael Lee, in my opinion.] I did have three minor disappointments with the story, though, compared to his other books.

First, in earlier works, such as "Sarum" or "Russka", we follow the interactions of families over thousands of years. The timeframe in "New York" -- about four centuries -- is the shortest of all his works. Yet the vast majority of the story focuses on one privileged English family. The other families (Indian, Dutch, German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, etc.) give color and heart to the story, bringing the rich history and diversity of the city alive. But they often seem secondary to the narrative, and once introduced they disappear at times for long periods with no explanation of what has happened in between. That works better in a story that spans a few thousand years, but in a story that spans a mere 400 we know the character we cared about in the previous chapter is still alive and they are often never heard from again.

Second, I wish the story had started earlier. Though homage is paid to the Native American inhabitants in Rutherfurd's well-researched style, I would have enjoyed a chapter or two discribing life on Manhattan prior to European arrival. Instead, we begin with the Dutch settlers with depictions of the remaining and displaced natives. I would have liked to have learned more about life before the Europeans came.

Third, everyone seems basically good. There are few "bad" people, but not many. There is no family that spawns generations of thieves and rogues. There are no multi-generational grudges. The criminals are still good at heart. The rich are generally generous and open-minded. Even those we at first dislike often find a redemption and change of heart. And that isn't the way life always works.

These three points are criticisms, but not condemnations. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it. As always, the author weaves a tapestry of the history of a locale with his characters bearing witness as it evolves. And if you haven't read (listened to) Rutherford's earlier works, do so. His journeys are enlightening in their passage through time.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • The Louligan
  • DC-MEM-SF-MD-VA-OAK-LA-ATL-PHX
  • 2009-11-18

INCREDIBLE!

How does Edward Rutherfurd do it? I can barely write a check to pay my mortgage while this author regales us again with his incredible story-telling. I'd read "London" and "Sarum" years ago, before audiobooks and just recently listened to "Princes of Ireland" and "The Rebels of Ireland" - unabridged. Just when I thought Rutherfurd had run out of typewriter ink, here comes this magnificent account of the greatest city in the world. He effortlessly weaves the stories of people who made up what would become "the melting pot" of this country, black, white, poor, rich, young, and old. If you slept through history class, this is the book which will get you caught up in an informative and entertaining way.

83 of 91 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • 2010-06-06

Absolutely fascinating! Never boring!

At first I was afraid to choose such a long book, but I never regretted my selection. Having lived in New York City for several years definitely helped make the settings of the stories more familiar. Regardless, this book tells the story of the United States through the eyes of the people of New York. Although it includes several different stories that happen years apart, they are all linked very nicely through generational ties and key details or objects that are passed down through the generations. They flow very well together. The main character in the final story is a descendant of the main character mentioned at the beginning of the book. I highly recommend it!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • eedgirl
  • 2013-03-03

This Book Is Historical Fiction Made Fun For Sure!

What made the experience of listening to New York the most enjoyable?

New York is how historical fiction should be, but often falls short. The Dublin Saga was just "alright" for me, but then came New York! Rutherfurd's literary formula has woven a tale that transported me through generations that were full of rich visual tapestry.

I felt a connection to these characters much like Scrooge's bird's eye view of his own past.
Edward Rutherfurd has succeeded in bringing the impact of New York's historical evolution (events both known and little known) on his characters to the forefront of any readers consciousness. The "Big Apple", in all it's splendor has taken on a new appreciation due to the research and detail that Rutherfurd provided me in this read, from the early Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam and its native American tribes through the city's importance as it relates to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, right up to 9/11.

I read a fair amount of history and New York even offered me some previously unknown details about events and historical figures (Lord Cornbury, the Astors, Boss Tweed, etc.). I loved how Rutherfurds fictional characters are inner-woven with actual historical figures in a way that makes his story appear like completely non-fictional history. New York makes me want to build a wompum belt of my own.

Listening to the book is a daunting endeavor, as it is over 36 hours long, but Mark Bramhall made the listen enjoyable as well.

What did you like best about this story?

The personal connection to the characters of history that I felt reading New York

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • 2013-01-02

Great Story!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a great book, taking the reader from 17th Century New York (Manhattan) through the early (very early) 21st Century in a narrative that engages the reader. The details are historically accurate and offer the lessor known fine points of historical New York. This is an enjoyable, leisurely read.

What other book might you compare New York to and why?

Hummm.....The first book that comes to mind is Diana Gabaldon's Highlander series.

Have you listened to any of Mark Bramhall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first Mark Bramhall performance, which was enjoyable. His pronunciation and timing make listening enjoyable.

If you could rename New York, what would you call it?

The New World

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pat McRoberts
  • Saratoga, CA United States
  • 2012-12-05

GREAT book - GREAT reader

What did you love best about New York?

The story is wonderful-a fantastic historical novel.The reader is THE BEST. He nails it on every count.

What did you like best about this story?

factual, humorous, interesting with a few real surprises, too

Have you listened to any of Mark Bramhall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first of many-I love him

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Living the history of New York

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jancie
  • Melbourne Beach, FL
  • 2010-05-28

Couldn't stop listening!

This was my first novel by this author, and now I can't wait to read the rest! I love history,and I could picture every era of the history of New York as I listened. I enjoyed the format told through the experiences of several families. The narrator was excellent as well.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Egerton
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 2009-12-17

Fun

Fun to read and a great way to learn history.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful