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.
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.