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Old 01-10-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
rjfarrell
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Excellent Novel and History Lesson!

Excellent Novel and History Lesson!

New York: The Novel by Edward Rutherford

Most enjoyable Novel which contains factual information about the founding of the United States as told thru the biographical stories of the common people.

I am listening to this one thru Audible, but it is available thru the Sony Store as well. The narrator in the Audible version is just excellent.

I highly recommend this book.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:39 AM   #2
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That's great to know. I bought it for my Sony when it dropped to $9.99. Sounded like it was right up my alley. How long did it take to read? That's been my only stopping point, it looks awfully big.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:17 AM   #3
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Sheer coincidence, RjFarrel ... I just recommended Rutherford (and Michener) to Lilac in another thread. You read his amazing *London*? Neil
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:34 AM   #4
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Sheer coincidence, RjFarrel ... I just recommended Rutherford (and Michener) to Lilac in another thread. You read his amazing *London*? Neil
You did? I must not have seen it yet.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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Read *London* in harback and got a copy in French for my wife, Lilac. Again, it's linked short stories following the generations of a group of families from ancient times to the present, so your fiction-fix is there while Rutherford drips in the 'real' historical elements. You come out feeling satisfied ... then suddenly realise you're also a heck of a lot better educated than you were when you cracked the spine.

I've read all Rutherford's stuff (except *Dublin* [high on the list]) and all of Michener's. Without even trying, I'm now something of a history buff.

I'm pretty catholic in my reading tastes, but if I was forced to name a preferred genre, I think I'd have to go for historical fiction/faction, legely because of these two excellent and honest authors ... but also because of many other tremendous researcher/story tellers who specialise in this fasncinating field.

Cheers. Neil
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:16 PM   #6
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Yup, this New York Novel is in the same genre. Historical fiction in linked short stories following the generations of a group of families! Well Said, Neil. That is it!

I believe I may be hooked on Rutherford as well.

I am listening to it thru Audible, so I am not sure of the reading time. But it is a 40 hour audible read, which is a good long book in the Audible world. I imagine about the same reading time as Atlas Shrugged....
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:25 AM   #7
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Sold! Thanks for the heads-up, RJ. Yup, all of Rutherfurd's and Michener's novels tend to be pretty hefty tomes. I guess they must be to cover such extended family sagas. Well worth the investment of reading time, though. You come away with so darned much. Cheers. Neil
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:53 AM   #8
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I thought 'Sarum' was okay, but that his writing had improved a good deal in 'London' and 'The Forest' - both which I recommend. If you liked 'London' you'd like 'The Forest'.

I was deeply disappointed with the first of the 'Dublin' books, and barely made it through it. He has a tendency to 'over-explain', which was kept in check in 'London' and 'The Forest', but here's it's been given free rein again and it's much worse than Sarum. I'm not going to read the second book. 'New York' is still not for sale in Europe (I think), but I might try out a sample. After the 'Dublin' disaster I won't spend more money until I find out if it's worth it.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:05 AM   #9
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the Dublin work's the only Rutherfurd apart from New York that I've not tackled yet, Ea. Sorry you were so disappointed. Rutherfurd actually went to live in Ireland for some years to research the books. I guess he found it tough to resist the temptation of displaying what he'd learned. I agree -- that's a bad trait in an author. Hope he manages to curb his enthusiasm in future books and reduces the information load so that he explains only what's necessary to the story and the characters that populate it. That's plenty for most readers to be going on with. And I also agree that Sarum wasn't his best writing. You must admit, though ... it wasn't a bad start. Cheers. Neil

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:44 AM   #10
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the Dublin work's the only Rutherfurd apart from New York that I've not tackled yet, Ea. Sorry you were so disappointed. Rutherfurd actually went to live in Ireland for some years to research the books. I guess he found it tough to resist the temptation of displaying what he'd learned. I agree -- that's a bad trait in an author. Hope he manages to curb his enthusiasm in future books and reduces the information load so that he explains only what's necessary to the story and the characters that populate it. That's plenty for most readers to be going on with. And I also agree that Sarum wasn't his best writing. You must admit, though ... it wasn't a bad start. Cheers. Neil
Exactly. Sarum wasn't a bad start, but I thought he'd keep up on the level of London and The Forest. I wonder if he's had a different editor. The Princes of Ireland was definitely below Sarum in quality.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:17 PM   #11
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I know from experience, Ea, that fiction involving factual input really does need a pretty ruthless editorial hand gripping the blue pencil.

An author writing fiction based on rigorous research -- and about which he becomes passionate -- must be dissuaded from telling (rather than showing) what he knows.

One of my own authors, for instance (no names, no pack drill) has an incredible personal history, speaks several languages fluenty, lectures and writes on political topics ... and my first job is to slash and burn his raw mss by at least 50% to even start making the work readable.

In a nutshell, an author tells a story and populates it with fascinating characters. Facts should merely support the scribe's offering, not become intrusive.

(Mind you, I'm a fact miner and don't really mind too much as long as I'm not expected to turn the full glare of the lesson onto my innocent readers.)

Hoots. Neil
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:29 PM   #12
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I agree completely, Neil. I've wondered whether 'The Forest' and 'London' felt that much better because they'd had a more ruthless editor. That's also why I'm still wiling to give 'New York' a chance since it's a single volume book.

I wrote a little fan fiction story last year, where I wanted to show a little slice of life of possible viking age yule celebration. I know a lot about that time, but of course I ended up telling far too much. I've recently read it again - euch! I kind friend said it read rather like history channel.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:25 PM   #13
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I liked Russka the best of Rutherford's novels. Perhaps because I've spent a little time in Moscow and understand a bit of the culture.
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