A defining American story, never before told with such breadth of scope, lavish research, and resounding spirit.
With more than three million foreign-born residents today, New York has been America's defining port of entry for nearly four centuries, a magnet for transplants from all over the globe. These migrants have brought their hundreds of languages and distinct cultures to the city, and from there to the entire country. More immigrants have come to New York than all other entry points combined.
City of Dreams is peopled with memorable characters both beloved and unfamiliar, whose lives unfold in rich detail: the young man from the Caribbean who passed through New York on his way to becoming a Founding Father; the 10-year-old Angelo Siciliano from Calabria, who transformed into Charles Atlas, bodybuilder; Dominican-born Oscar de la Renta, whose couture designs have dressed first ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama.
Tyler Anbinder's story is one of innovators and artists, revolutionaries and rioters, staggering deprivation and soaring triumphs, all playing out against the powerful backdrop of New York City, at once ever changing and profoundly, permanently itself. City of Dreams provides a vivid sense of what New York looked like, sounded like, smelled like, and felt like over the centuries of its development and maturation into the city we know today.
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Even as a history, not engaging
Even as a history, a book should be more than a collection of data or facts. I've given up on this audiobook. It left me flat. It wasn't written in an engaging manner or style. Facts and data are, to me, threads from which the author should weave an interesting story. This one took me nowhere. It didn't help that the reader or narrator seemed to me to have a halting style of speaking.
I prefer non-fiction; particularly histories and biographies. I'll continue with books in this genre, and I'll avoid work by this author and narrator.
Narrator's voice would have been easier to take if it was warmer, friendlier and maybe more confident.
Having read a favorable review of this book in the Wall Street Journal, I had much higher expectations for this audiobook, and was looking forward to listening and enjoying it.
I don't feel good or satisfied leaving a review for a book I didn't finish, but I'm not going to invest another 20 or so hours to complete this, so I've given up, and I want to record my disappointment.
- Patrick Kelly
Probably a good book, but...