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Extended Audio Sample North River, by Pete Hamill Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.46 out of 53.46 out of 53.46 out of 53.46 out of 53.46 out of 5 3.46 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pete Hamill Narrator: Henry Strozier Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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It is 1934 and New York City is in the icy grip of the Great Depression. With enormous compassion, Dr. James Delaney tends to his hurt, sick, and poor neighbors, who include gangsters, day laborers, prostitutes, and housewives. If they can’t pay he treats them anyway. 

But in his own life, Delaney is emotionally numb, haunted by the slaughters of the Great War. His only daughter has left for Mexico, and his wife Molly vanished months before, leaving him to wonder if she is alive or dead. Then, on a snowy New Year’s Day, the doctor returns home to find his three year old grandson on his doorstep, left by his mother. Coping with this unexpected arrival, Delaney hires Rose, a tough, decent Sicilian woman with a secret in her past. Slowly, as Rose and the boy begin to care for the good doctor, the numbness in Delaney begins to melt. 

Recreating 1930s New York with the vibrancy and rich detail that are his trademarks, Pete Hamill weaves a story of honor, family, and one man’s simple courage that no reader will soon forget.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Once again, Pete Hamill is in a New York state of mind…The city is the beloved muse of this former newspaperman who has made a deft transition to novelist…North River courses along with an undercurrent of gentle melancholy that makes you root for its characters, especially the appealingly tough-but-tender Delaney…One of the real pleasures of a Hamill novel is taking a guided tour of bygone New York. Like Carlito, you’ll marvel as you ride the Third Avenue El and gaze up with wonder at an astonishing new skyscraper: the Chrysler Building.”

    USA Today

  • “Hamill’s quietly engrossing novel skillfully conjures the gritty world of lower Manhattan during the Depression, weaving elements of suspense, comedy and romance as Jim Delaney navigates the melting pot city…Listening to Strozier read Hamill’s evocative descriptions of Delaney walking through Union Square, Greenwich Village and Chinatown and his encounters with a wide variety of New York denizens, one can almost feel that former Manhattan resurrected.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Pete Hamill’s story of a disillusioned Depression-era doctor is notably enhanced by Henry Strozier’s magnificent narration…His portrayal of Delaney is honest and mature, and you never doubt that Rose is a warm Sicilian woman. Strozier’s Carlito is a sweet little boy, not an adult trying to sound like a little boy. This is an audiobook that shines as a masterful marriage of the written and spoken word.”


  • “Hamill is as closely identified with his native city as the Empire State Building or the Bowery. As usual, his new novel draws closely and intensely from the streets of New York, but also usual for him, the book’s appeal extends far beyond the five boroughs…Hamill is not ordinarily thought of as a historical novelist, but if, as the saying goes, the shoe fits, wear it. It is an extremely good fit here.”

    Booklist (Starred Review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Stefanie Marshall | 2/8/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book! Interesting story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Linda Ferguson | 2/3/2014

    " I enjoyed this book, an easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Afton | 1/21/2014

    " I really loved this book. One of the best I've read in a long time. I totally enjoyed the author's detail to the NYC neighborhoods. Manhattan seemed like it was another character in this beautiful WWII historical fiction novel. I was fascinated by the life of this doctor who made house calls, made peace with gangsters in the mob, and raised his 2-year-old grandson with the help of a feisty Italian woman. It had enough mystery and innocent romance to keep me hooked everyday. In fact, I couldn't wait to finish it on my drive, so I read the last chapter at home! The narrator did an excellent job with the voices, pacing, and Italian and Irish accents. I am very interested in Hamill's other books now! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Diane | 1/18/2014

    " Not many books set in the Depression era are as rewarding and uplifting as this story. Dr. James Delaney finds his three year old grandson abandoned on his doorstep by his flightly daughter who goes off in search of her revolutionary husband. The good doctor, barely able to support himself must now find a way to care for his grandson while maintaining his neighborhood practice which also caters to memebers of the mob. Into his life comes a young Sicilian woman to care for his grandson and remind him of the meaning of home and family. Secrets are revealed in an interesting story of struggles, love, and family set during one of the countries most difficult periods of time. "

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