- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1619 KB
- Print Length: 321 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (24 May 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01FQVWXPW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 544 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #130,887 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Golden Hill Kindle Edition
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|Length: 321 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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About the Author
Golden Hill possesses a fluency and immediacy, a feast of the senses.-- "Washington Post"
A fast-paced romp that keeps its eyes on the moral conundrums of America.-- "New Yorker"
Delirious storytelling backfilled with this much intelligence is a rare and happy sight.-- "New York Times"
Gorgeously crafted...Spufford's sprawling recreation here is pitch perfect.-- "NPR"
Nothing short of a masterpiece.-- " Guardian (London)" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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Every chapter provides an element of surprise, a twist which has the reader wondering what will happen next. First there are the various adventures of Mr Smith, as well as the question as to how the bill was to be honoured given the scarcity of cash. And then, just to complicate matters further, there’s a question over the validity of the bill. Mr Smith’s circumstances are fluid to say the least.
Read this novel: enter the eighteenth century with its coffee shops and stratified society, enter a tale (or two) of derring-do, and wonder until the end whether our hero will survive, who he might be and what he is about. To say more could spoil the read.
I enjoyed this novel, it’s both clever and entertaining. While the ending came as a surprise, it is fitting as well as mostly satisfying. Only mostly satisfying? Well, some of the characters were still living on in my mind and I wanted to keep reading, to know what happened next.
This is Mr Spufford’s first novel. I’ve read two of his books of non-fiction and thoroughly enjoyed them.
Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Faber & Faber Ltd. for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
I have to admit, it took me several tries to begin reading this book. My biggest obstacle was the extremely long, rambling opening sentence (about 1 page long). It was a bit of a struggle to convince myself to keep reading. The next obstacle I struggled with was the "rich prose" which made engaging with the story a bit challenging. In between plot twists, sometimes the story dragged a bit. An abundance of uncommon words and complex sentences throughout the book kept pulling me out of the story to look up words or to re-read passages.
Having said that, I was captivated by the story. I can see why it is an award winning novel. I also can see why the prose is considered so rich. The descriptions and use of humor and a bit of sarcasm truly overcame the complexities of the words, sentences, and phrases. I loved all the main characters, but my favorite was the smelly, drunk prisoner, Capting! I enjoyed the twists and turns, the betrayals, and the ever evolving characters that always managed to surprise me. Despite my criticisms, this is a wonderful book, well worth reading. I definitely recommend it!
Top international reviews
The main theme is gossip. Is it a crime to keep to yourself? In this book it is. Everyone is hostile in response to Smith's secrecy about his money and his plans, and this leads to so many problems for him that you just wouldn't forsee for a character whose mission is to keep his head down until he has achieved what he has set out to do. I loved the fact that every event created a new identity for him in the city: fraud, turkish magician, actor etc.
I felt very comfortable reading this book. It was just my kind of thing. I wouldn't have known this from the cover and the blurb, which are terrible! They need updating immediately, they don't suit the story at all.
I learned some new words which I will not repeat here...all I'll say is they're so old they've either fallen out of use or have changed their meanings.
The writing is just lovely, and sometimes reminded me so much of some much loved classics that it was easy to forget that it was published in 2016.
While I was reading i was discussing with a friend about whether or not it could be considered funny. I'd say it's Shakespeare funny. It's more quick wit than laugh out loud, though the whole of part four (and beginning of part 5) read like a skit of two bickering criminals.
I loved Tabitha and Smith's relationship. They reminded me of Scarlet O'Hara and Rhett Bulter, although in the book they repeatedly compare themselves to Benedick and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing, which is probably more accurate and I wonder if that's who they're based on.
I would recommend this to fans of The Essex Serpent, Pride and Prejudice, The Crimson Petal and the White, Gone With the Wind.
The prose crackles in this acclaimed winner of the Costa First Novel Award, particularly in the dialogue and in the descriptions of the filthy, mercenary and dangerous back streets of antique New York. There is a dull acting section and a somewhat implausible long letter from Smith to his father, but otherwise Golden Hill is thoroughly entertaining and fascinating, ‘the best 18th century novel since the 18th century,’ as one critic put it.
It was certainly different, the main plot of the novel was fine, but with an excess of flowery prose, for me it made the story a difficult read in certain places ( more the first half of the book).
Reviewers have also praised the end of the book, but I found it wanting.
I did find certain historical facts interesting, the many forms of currency for instance.
This suggests to me that the author who is more used to writing non fiction , perhaps produces better novels in that form.
lets see what my book club makes of it!
I’m sure many will find the writing style verbose and archaic, but to me it’s a wonderful evocation of our mother tongue, using words as an artist uses colour and form, supporting a well-observed and intriguing storyline centred on colonial New York and slavery. The author paints a vivid and atmospheric picture of the Apple before it became big, and the 18th century pitfalls that attended on a young emancipated intruder into the town’s regimented social hierarchy, rooted firmly, as it was then, in an interesting cross-culture of Dutch and English. The charactarisations are beautifully constructed, with no party being unmitigatedly evil or good, a trap so many authors fall into, but credible in their profusion of traits.
Follow up the book, if possible, with a visit to the Van Cotlandt House Museum in the Bronx, to get a real flavour of the times and places of this novel.
This book was a joy, and I dearly hope Mr Spufford has a second novel under way; I’ll be first in the queue.
I relied on the Kindle’s dictionary feature at times for the archaic language but I felt the illustrative narrative was key to my feeling of involvement and I found the historical references fascinating. Minor spoiler alert: the ending was brilliant and it makes you replay bits of the book in your head with the new-found knowledge and understanding of Richard’s motivations and Tabitha’s mindset.
I have been working my way through the Costa Book Awards’ first novel winners and this has been one of my favourites so far. I can understand the hype and the success the book has had - I highly recommend you give it a try.
The premise is great but the language used fights against the intention of keeping the narrative flowing. It is jarring and takes the excitement out of what should be a great thriller.
I plodded through the first 50 pages but then gave up - I'm happy to struggle with a book if it is worth it but this one isn't.