Golden Hill ~ by Francis Spufford

This book won some awards and made several  best seller lists last year,  besides intriguing me for a couple reasons.  But I didn’t get around to it and it fell off my personal little wish list.  Then we had to nominate books for the BookGroupList,  an online  reading group,  and I just picked this one as something I thought the group would like to read. It got selected – and then I read it.   Finally.   🙂   Too bad –

The audible version is read by a woman who is a very good reader but does not distinguish between voices,  not even male/female.  As a result there are places where he/she sounds like a giggly and flirtatious girl.  Other times the girls sound like they have more masculine voices than the characters of the actual masculine roles.

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*******
Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York
by Francis Spufford
2016 /  321 pages
read by Sarah Rogers- 10h 46m
rating-  6.5  / historical fiction 
******* 

What intrigued me?   It was  written by a very talented British writer and takes place in New York circa 1746 –  that is,  a couple decades prior to the War of Independence.   The book was widely published in Europe prior to its being published in the US,  but I had no idea it was so different from standard US historical fiction of the era.

Fiction wasn’t published in the colonies until a few years after theRevolution but religious and political tracts were common.

Spufford took his inspiration from books actually published during the times –  Fanny Hill and Tristram Shandy,  maybe others.  Fortunately I’ve read those – and in some ways it reminds me a bit of The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth.

The plot – Richard Smith arrives in New York from London with a note which makes him the recipient of 1,000 pounds –  which he is unable to get cashed immediately – as it turns out  he’s going to have to wait for a ship from England for 6 weeks.

So,  he and a couple friends/acquaintances have some adventures – and then all’s well that ends well –  kind of sad in a way,  maybe.

http://www.librarything.com/work/17834463/reviews/144202238

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/03/golden-hill-a-crackerjack-novel-of-old-manhattan

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