Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

Into the Wild

Read Golden Hill Online Free - 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?

As fast as a heist movie, as stuffed with incident as a whole shelf of conventional fiction, Golden Hill is both a novel about the 18th century, and itself a book cranked back to the novel's 18th 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.

This is Fielding's Tom Jones recast on Broadway - when Broadway was a tree-lined avenue two hundreds yards long, with a fort at one end flying the Union Jack and a common at the other, grazed by cows.

Rich in language and historical perception, yet compulsively readable, Golden Hill has a plot that twists 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.

Title : Golden Hill
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0571225195
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 330 pages


Paromjit rated it ★★★★★

March 22, 2017

Francis Spufford has written a brilliant and cracking historical yarn for his fictional debut. It is set in the New York of 1746, it has a population of 7ooo and, whilst unlike the great city of today, the seeds of its future are indisputably present. An Englishman, Richard Smith, arrives in New...

Annet rated it ★★★★☆

August 16, 2017

A wonderful and surprising book indeed. This is what a book should be, full of unexpected tales and events, up until the very end. Sparkling, challenging, daring. The fifth star (or say o,5, I rate this book 4.5) is lacking because I did at times find some of the reading of this book challenging....

Adina rated it ★★☆☆☆

November 23, 2017

All 10 of my friends that read Golden Hill gave it stellar reviews with an average of 4.50. As a result, I had high expectations from this novel, especially because the blurb sounded to be exactly what I love about historical fiction. Unfortunately, it did not work for me as much as I wanted. I e...

Maureen rated it ★★★★☆

February 06, 2017

The year is 1746 when a young Englishman Richard Smith, arrives in New York with a bill of exchange to the value of £1,000, an enormous amount of money at the time. He seeks out a trader by the name of Lovell, on Golden Hill Street, who has 60 days to honour the bill. Exactly who Smith is and what...

Marita rated it ★★★★★

December 18, 2016

Surprise, surprise, surprise. That is what you can expect when you read this debut novel.* The twists and turns multiply as we follow the young and enigmatic Mr Smith, newly arrived from England, around New York City in the year 1746. Our hero has a mission, and to accomplish it he needs the cash...

Diane S ☔ rated it ★★★★☆

June 04, 2017

Patience is a virtue they say and I have to say after reading the first half of this novel, I was feeling very virtueous. The first part sets the scene of a New York, little more than twenty years before the revolution, and is extremely detailed. Many, many words but it does do the job, aquaintin...

Angela M rated it ★★★☆☆

June 04, 2017

There are many glowing reviews of this both in the press and on Goodreads and I really thought I would love this story. I must admit that I found it less than interesting in spite of the secrecy surrounding Mr. Smith's business in New York, a robbery, a sexual indiscretion, and a duel. It wasn't...

Esil rated it ★★★☆☆

June 04, 2017

I wish I liked Golden Hill more than I did. I am a tough customer when it comes to historical fiction, especially books set prior to 1900. I don't like books that romanticize the past or books that imprint contemporary sensibilities on historical characters. Golden Hill doesn't suffer from either...

Emma rated it ★★★★★

February 10, 2017

Blunder upon blunder; nothing but blunders; half a hundred blunders. 4.5 stars. Fantastic! New York, 1746. Population 7,000. Loved this book. Is it a comedy? A tragedy? A farce? A mystery? All of this and more. Mr Smith lands in New York and stirs up a veritable hornet's nest of trouble in the clos...

PattyMacDotComma rated it ★★★★★

April 22, 2017

5★ What a surprise! What started out as possibly a light-hearted romp turned out to be a completely absorbing story of New York in 1746, thirty years before the Revolutionary War. It is written in the language of the time, with some simplification of heavy Dutch accents for the English language re...

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