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Francis Spufford

Autor(a) de Golden Hill

15+ Works 4,687 Membros 177 Reviews 5 Favorited

About the Author

Francis Spufford is also the author of I May Be Some Time. He was named Sunday Times (London) Young Writer of the Year and received the 1997 Somerset Maugham and Writers' Guild awards. He lives in London

Obras de Francis Spufford

Associated Works

The Worst Journey in the World (1922) — Introdução, algumas edições1,913 cópias
Growing Up Weightless (1993) — Introdução, algumas edições358 cópias
The Best American Essays 2003 (2003) — Contribuinte — 314 cópias
Granta 77: What We Think of America (2002) — Contribuinte — 218 cópias
Granta 67: Women and Children First (1999) — Contribuinte — 143 cópias
Ice: Stories of Survival from Polar Exploration (1999) — Contribuinte — 60 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



Golden Hill by Francis Spufford em Historical Fiction (Fevereiro 2017)


It's not often I finish a book I don't like. Did people in those days really capitalize random words when they wrote? I thought it had too many words, whether capitalized or not, and so I started skimming parts. That helped get me, finally, to the end.
dvoratreis | outras 61 resenhas | May 22, 2024 |
Spufford has equalled his excellent novel of old New York, Golden Hill, with a tale set in a 1920s America whose Native American people, never decimated by disease as in our world, maintained their civilizations and came to a significantly different accommodation with the European invaders. The former nation of Cahokia, its capital city across the river from the tiny village of St. Louis, chose to enter the Union as a state in the nineteenth century and is now a bustling center of commerce and a crossroads to the Western states. Detective Joe Barrow, an Indian but an outsider with origins in a Nebraska orphanage, and his white partner Phineas Drummond come across the body of a white man “sacrificed” in grisly fashion at the top of the city’s tallest skyscraper. Was it the work of radical Native nationalists? Or of a cabal of white supremacists stoking the flames of racial tension?

Barrow and Drummond’s investigation has them interviewing everyone from wealthy industrialists to witch doctors, from Klan members to hereditary (but now ceremonial) royalty. All have both open and secret agendas, and no one is entirely who they seem to be. Can the murder be solved before the KKK marches into the central plaza and the city breaks down into chaos?

This being by Spufford, the noir setup frames a story about the individual and his responsibility to respond to the moral failings of his time. In Golden Hill, the issue was the slave trade. In Cahokia Jazz, the issue, put most simply, is race—but more broadly, the balance one must find between loyalty to individuals and loyalty to one’s people. It’s difficult to describe how rich this book is in world-building detail, how emotionally convincing, how vivid in painting a Jazz Age metropolis that’s like Chicago but also like nothing we’ve seen: a city that makes the real-life cultural fusion of New Orleans seem simple by comparison.

Spufford keeps writing the books that I would try to write if I were a writer, and writing them better than anyone could humanly expect.
… (mais)
john.cooper | outras 10 resenhas | May 8, 2024 |
My relationship with this book changed as I read it. From the first page it was clear I was going to become immersed in the reality of parochial Dutch- English New York, a cosy city of some 6000 souls where everone knows everyone. Here was 18th century America made real, even down to the choice of language. And yet, as I admired it, I found I wasn't truly engaged, and I wanted to finish the book. Which I did, a week ago. And now I find myself remembering it, reflecting on it, and deciding that yes, to get the best from it, I must read it again.

A certain Mr. Smith lands in New York fresh from England, and in need of exchanging an order for £1000. Such a phenomenal amount of money makes him the subject of much gossip, and an assured place in society. But all does not run smoothly. Pick pockets, a shrewish woman whom he nevertheless falls for, dissenters, bankers, churchgoers all rollick through the narrative. There are roof-top adventures, river trips, gaols, long mornings in coffee houses. Surprise tumbles in after surprise, though the biggest one of all is kept till last. I'm glad I read it. I repeat. I must read it again.
… (mais)
Margaret09 | outras 61 resenhas | Apr 15, 2024 |
Is this a novel? I've never read a novel though with 60 pages of footnotes. Is this a history book? History books don't usually mix a cast of entirely fictional characters with known figures from history. Spufford himself describes it as a 'half-way house on the borders of fiction'.

It's clever. Each section of the book is prefaced by the relevant section of mid-20th century Russian economic and political history. Each is then succeeeded by a few chapters of, well, vignettes really, in which we meet factory workers, lovers, members of the scientific elite, managers.... With one exception, we never revisit these characters, nor are their stories complete tales. What we are given is a slice from their lives, one which, when read with the others, and with the accompanying history provides a rich and illuminating picture of Russia's planned economy and its effect on day-to-day life.

You'll learn about economics, and politics, but most of all, you'll learn about people, and how by being unpredictable, tired and human they, together with ideologies that were sometimes shortsighted or perverse prevented the realisation of the Great Soviet Dream.
… (mais)
1 vote
Margaret09 | outras 31 resenhas | Apr 15, 2024 |



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