Title: New York: The Novel
Author: Edward Rutherfurd
I’ve always been a sucker for historical fiction. When I was eight years old, my mom would often find me curled up under a blanket at 2:30 a.m. with a Tennis Shoes book. There’s something about mixing fictional events with real ones that has always intrigued me. I believe you get more out of a book when you have to work at it a little (or a lot). Reading historical fiction requires a little digging to determine what real and what isn’t. I love the challenge. It makes me feel like I’m interacting with the story.
That being said, my husband and I don’t need to take a trip to New York City this summer because I felt like I’ve been living there for the past three weeks.
This is great because, hey, I just saved $600. Here’s the sad part: even after more than 800 pages, my perceived view of New York has changed very little. In my mind it’s still an expensive city with expensive food and (really) expensive apartments. Given how little I actually know about the Big Apple (who came up with that nickname anyway? They really couldn’t think of anything but a large fruit?), a good piece of literature should change the way I think, at least a little bit.
It wasn’t a bad read…it’s just not something I’m going to gnaw on for a couple of months. The characters were well built, but given the book covered a 500 year span their stories seemed to end abruptly. The end of one particular story line was almost laughable. It more of less went like this:
“He fell of the Empire State Building and the wind manged to save him.”
Like that terrible high school boyfriend who loves and leaves, Rutherford does the reader a disservice by emotionally attaching them to characters and then leaving them fill in the details of the rest of the character’s life. It’s literary torture.
If you need an easy (and slightly long-winded) read, pick this up at the library. It’s simple, clean and slightly aggravating.
Also, chauvinistic. But I won’t rant any more about that.
READIT: Those taking cross-country road trips this summer
LEAVEIT: New Yorkers, Historians, People with no patience, Feminists