New York 1609: A Historical Novel (Omnibus Edition) Kindle Edition
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-- Anne Holt, Discovering Diamonds Historical Fiction Reviews
"A thoroughly good read, with lively engaging characters, clever blending of real and fictional personages, a strong historical narrative, and some excellent plot twistings throughout. I really enjoyed this entertaining book, and recommend it."
-- Sam Law, It's Good To Read book blog
"An incredibly visual and epic story of a changing culture and landscape. It's a beautifully told story about family, friends and community through colonisation . . . A wonderful mixture of historical fact and fiction, expertly written."
-- Peter Donnelly, founder, The Reading Desk
""A terrific novel, telling of the 'discovery' of Manhattan Island by Henry Hudson, and the beginning of the callous and careless ruination of the Native American way of life . . . This is a long book, but at no time did it feel overwritten or padded out . . . Highly recommended."
-- Terry Tyler, Terry Tyler Book Reviews
"A good one for fans of Mannahatta."
-- Dr. Eric W. Sanderson, author of Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City
"Harald Johnson's 1609 [The Manhattan Series, Book 1] will entice you with the distinctive voices of explorer Henry Hudson and Dancing Fish of the Manahate band, a compelling drama, and just the right amount of historical detail to transport you in time and place."
-- M.K. Tod, author of Time and Regret and historical fiction blogger at A Writer of History
From the Author
- ASIN : B07D2N3X2V
- Publisher : Phoozl, LLC (May 13, 2018)
- Publication date : May 13, 2018
- Language: : English
- File size : 6097 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 579 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #113,571 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Book/Part 1: 1609: As someone who loves history (and to a lesser extent, historical fiction) I found this book to be both educational and thought-provoking. The author's use of descriptive phrases about the weather, water, wind, beverages, etc. had me feeling like I was on Manhattan island 400+ years ago with the native indian people, and in a sailing ship exploring "new" territory that of course, had been discovered probably thousands of years earlier by those who lived off the land. It's sad to think of the plight of those who lost their land, and this book goes into that as well.
I think that the author's experience as a swimmer, as he mentions at the end of the book, as well as the many books and other resources he consulted before writing the book, help give it a feeling of being actual history, without referencing too many facts, and instead focusing on the story and characters.
Book/Part 2: 1612: Once again, Harald Johnson has taken us back in time and delivered a story that brings us front and center into a culture rarely explored by western authors. I especially like how the author paints a picture of characters in just a few words or sentences, but in ways that really bring them to life. This book has more plot twists than the first, and I look forward to what intrigue is unveiled in the next book!
Book/Part 3: 1625: This is the third book of this series, and without giving away too much, the author packed this one with a lot more action (and some surprises). I especially like how pictures are painted by the author in just a few words that bring the characters to life. He also doesn't waste time on most scenes; a lot happens during this installment and I look forward to the next one!
Book/Part 4: 1640: As I read the last book in this Omnibus edition, the author really brings to life the characters in ways that make me feel as though I am witnessing the start of a concerted attempt of western European powers to take what they want from who they want with little thought about the native peoples.
New York has always been one of my favorite states to visit and I picked up 1609 because I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the history of the place. There’s no shortage of historical fiction set in New York but I think the vast majority is set in the 19th or 20th century and I really appreciate that Harold Johnson tried a different tack by setting his story firmly in the early 17th century. Moreover, the story is told largely from the perspective of Amerindian characters which appealed to me on a narrative level as well as a historical level.
The protagonist of the story is Dancing Fish and we learn that early on that he is no stranger to tragedy. He loses his parents when he is just a child and constantly grapples with the guilt that comes with being a lone survivor. Nonetheless, he is fortunate to be accepted by the Manahate people and cares deeply about the well-being of his adopted family.
Consequently, the arrival of Captain Hudson and his crew, on an island now known as Manhattan, piques Dancing Fish’s interest. Captain Hudson and his men speak languages none of the Manahate have ever heard of and travel in ships unlike any they have ever seen. Determined to learn more about these strange people, Dancing Fish agrees to accompany them on a journey upriver.
After all, doing so will help him learn more about the inland nations and learn more about the people who have just recently arrived in his home. What he learns distresses him greatly and he quickly realizes that Hudson and his ilk have sinister designs for his homeland. Convinced nothing can be gained by staying with Hudson, Dancing Fish abandons ship after seriously injuring one of Hudson’s crew members.
In the process, he suffers a pretty serious injury himself but I think what I found most memorable about this scene was the interaction between Hudson and Dancing Fish. Hudson is confounded that Dancing Fish would want to abandon his company and entices him to return by telling him “our world is the future.” Hudson’s appeal falls on deaf ears and Dancing Fish responds by letting him know “I see only how you look to our land, to our animals, even to us. We are only for your using. This is not the way to be brothers in peace.”
In some respects, the characters talk past each other during this exchange and I think that’s part of what makes this scene powerful. Neither character can deny the charges made, Dancing Fish understands the Manahate are too few in number to successfully oppose the Dutch East India company and Hudson understands that he is more invader than savior, but neither want to admit this truth. Ultimately, they both seem to realize that dialogue is futile so long as their world views cannot be reconciled and relations between the Manahate and the Dutch East India company become irreparably strained.
Owing to the emotional stakes of this scene, I imagine it is one that most readers will remember long after they finish the book. Having said that, I think there are some scenes that readers will remember for the wrong reason. The scene where Willow and High Limb first become intimate did not sit right with me, it made little sense from a character standpoint and validates a really awful way of thinking, and I wish the scene had been nixed since it has little importance to the larger story. For that matter, I do also wish 1609 had been a bit longer and I am glad the omnibus version combines the sequels because I think some of the sequels were too short to stand on their own. In any case, I enjoyed 1609 quite a bit and would recommend it to anyone interested in the history of European colonization of the Northeast or Amerindian history.