Golden Hill

Golden Hill

A Novel of Old New York

Book - 2017
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New York, a small town on the tip of Manhattan island, 1746.One rainy evening in November, a handsome young stranger fresh off the boat pitches up at a counting-house door in Golden Hill Street: this is Mr Smith, amiable, charming, yet strangely determined to keep suspicion simmering. For in his pocket, he has what seems to be an order for a thousand pounds, a huge amount, and he won't explain why, or where he comes from, or what he can be planning to do in the colonies that requires so much money. Should the New York merchants trust him? Should they risk their credit and refuse to pay? Should they befriend him, seduce him, arrest him; maybe even kill him? An astonishing first novel, as stuffed with incident as a whole shelf of conventional fiction, Golden Hill is both a book about the eighteenth century, and itself a novel cranked back to the form's eighteenth century beginnings, when anything could happen on the page, and usually did, and a hero was not a hero unless he ran the frequent risk of being hanged.Rich in language and historical perception, yet compulsively readable, Golden Hill has a plot that twists in every chapter, and a puzzle at its heart that won't let go till the last paragraph of the last page.Set a generation before the American Revolution, it paints an irresistible picture of a New York provokingly different from its later self: but subtly shadowed by the great city to come, and already entirely a place where a young man with a fast tongue can invent himself afresh, fall in love - and find a world of trouble.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2017
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781501163876
1501163876
Branch Call Number: FICTION SPUFF...F
Characteristics: 302 pages

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New York, a small town on the tip of Manhattan island, 1746.One rainy evening in November, a handsome young stranger fresh off the boat pitches up at a counting-house door in Golden Hill Street: this is Mr Smith, amiable, charming, yet strangely determined to keep suspicion simmering. For in his ... Read More »


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stewstealth
Jul 04, 2018

Interesting novel with some good characterizations and some that are not well developed. The narrative slows in a number of places and the denouement is telegraphed and not terribly satisfying. Some interesting aspects to it that make the novel worth reading f you are interested.

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EmilyEm
Jun 17, 2018

Young Mr. Smith comes to New York City from London on a mission. Many words and adventures later readers come to a surprising ending. Seemingly very popular and award-winning in the UK, I was underwhelmed and skimmed to the end.

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 05, 2017

Set in mid-1700s New York City, Francis Spufford's "Golden Hill" is an impressive recreation of a long gone age, as well as a tribute to the early British novels of Smollett and Fielding. However, Spufford spends so much time trying to capture the sights, sounds, smells, and language of the period that he neglects the plot and characters. Well, he overplots and the book is half comedy of manners and half thriller without really succeeding at either. English majors might like this. It reminded me of David Liss's books, many of which are also set in the 18th century, although I think his books are far more lively and engaging.

e
Einer2
Oct 05, 2017

An interesting tale!

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