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Extended Audio Sample North River Audiobook, by Pete Hamill Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.86 out of 53.86 out of 53.86 out of 53.86 out of 53.86 out of 5 3.86 (44 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: June 2007 ISBN: 9781436102377
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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.”

    AudioFile

  • “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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 1/11/2014

    " I loved this story of a NYC doctor during the Depression. There wasn't really any intrigue, but the characters really came alive for me. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 1/2/2014

    " This was a very gentle story set in the Depression years in New York City where a physician in a poor neighborhood finds his small grandson left at his door. Through caring for the child and with the help of the child's caretaker Rose, Delaney comes to life again, for the first time since his wife's disappearance almost two years before. The novel covers the gang wars that erupt and the meager existence of city dwellers during the Depression. There is no big climactic moment but rather a gradual unfolding of the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 12/24/2013

    " Happened on this one at the western-most used bookstore in the US (Kanapepe, Kauai). I really enjoyed it: richly drawn and endearing characters combined with a vivid portrait of New York City in the 1930s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina Hickerson | 12/22/2013

    " A nice humbling tale, of how a man finds love and life again after tremedous loss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita | 12/1/2013

    " Not quit as good as Forever, but a nice historical fiction taking place in NY "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Leader | 11/29/2013

    " This was good read and gives a bit of history about New York City in the 1930's. Predictable ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce | 11/25/2013

    " Really enjoyed this book. First Pete Hamill book I've read, and I will read more. It is a love story on many levels, and I appreciate the way he brings so much NYC history to the story. A satisfying summer read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 11/22/2013

    " This was just a great story. Nothing monumentally big, exciting, or thought provoking, just a lovely story about people. Very sweet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patty | 10/20/2013

    " Set in New York City in 1934, it's a love story set within Pete Hamill's love of New York City and the people he grew up with. Recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 10/15/2013

    " Easy read. Midway through book. Interesting. Book selected through Crandall Library bookclub. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kitty Tomlinson | 7/29/2013

    " Dr. James Delaney's personal life is a nightmare. His wife has disappeared, the depression is in full swing and his daughter drops off his 3 year old grandson for him to care for while she searches for her errant husband. Great read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tami | 7/17/2013

    " I tried reading this on two different occasions, but was never able to get very far. It's quite disturbing and the language was too much to take. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meredith | 7/10/2013

    " Awesome book!! I really like the history of New York that was incorporated into the story. This is my first Pete Hamill but definitely won't be my last! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leorah | 6/30/2013

    " Another satisfying read from Pete Hamill. As always his characters are believable and compelling. Hamill explores the frailties and strengths of human beings in an honest and direct way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 3/20/2013

    " Not nearly as good as "Forever" nor does it have it's scope. But it is a good fast read with a good storyline, the characters well developed and he nails New York City's post WWI, depression era lower west side. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wanda | 3/20/2013

    " A slow paced book which fits perfectly with the background of post WWI, great depression era. It's not the most compelling of books. It deals with loyalty, loneliness, and family. Predictable ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 B | 9/18/2012

    " set in post WW I NYC, Hamill sets the scenery well and draws deep characters "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerana | 9/10/2012

    " Great Novel!!! Hamill makes you feel as if you were there in New York in the 1930s. He is a extraordinary story teller, very realistic and passionate description of characters, new york city and its culture...just a story of a wonderful/kind and very loving,and lonelly doctor.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 8/21/2012

    " This is a great book about a doctor back in the early 20's and it is like going back into when people really cared about sick people. Plus it was reliving the political and social inequities of early US of A. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheri | 6/29/2012

    " A nice love story set in the New York Mob years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Midge | 4/12/2012

    " I really enjoyed this one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 1/1/2012

    " Really good read. Great descriptions of New York during the Great Depression. Hamill also does a good job of discussing the social and race issues of the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gayle Moroney | 12/27/2011

    " This was an easy read and it was just ok. I loved his previous book, Forever. I guess I was a little disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sgilbert | 12/16/2011

    " Great novel that takes place in 1934 NYC. Sad but sweet story of a non-conventional family "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn Princehorn | 7/24/2011

    " Excellent book which gave me insight into life around the time of WWI "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jolene | 6/6/2011

    " Pete Hamill is a fantastic writer. If you haven't already read his book FOREVER, I strongly encourage you to do so. This book was just as well written, however, I had a hard time actualizing Delanye's relationship with Rose. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 5/17/2011

    " We listened to this book on tape during a wonderful trip through New Mexico in our camper. It was given to us by a friend and was entertaining as the scenery flowed past. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suequeenofchaos | 5/3/2011

    " This was ther first time I had read a book by this author. I really enjoyed it. It gave you a good idea of what it was like during the great depression.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Virginia | 4/21/2011

    " Sometimes you come across a small gem in the most unexpected places. North river by Pete Hamill is one of those gems. It is a book you should take the time to enjoy someday. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meredith | 3/9/2011

    " Awesome book!! I really like the history of New York that was incorporated into the story. This is my first Pete Hamill but definitely won't be my last! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lois | 3/3/2011

    " Great pictures of NYC during the depression. Nice story.
    I like happy endings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 2/12/2011

    " Better in its evocation of life in lower Manhattan in the 1930's than its language (it was an audiobook, so maybe it was the reader who made some of it so sappy) or its story. Interesting to compare the West Village now with the 30's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shari | 1/30/2011

    " not my type but enjoyed it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 12/19/2010

    " A nice humbling tale, of how a man finds love and life again after tremedous loss. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 12/13/2010

    " I didn't like this as well as the other Pete Hamill book I read. It focused on the depression era and gangster wars through the life of a doctor caught in the middle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melinda | 12/10/2010

    " This is the first Pete Hamill I've read but it won't be the last---it was truly a most enjoyable read. He depicts life in Depression Era New York City so that the city becomes another character in the novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 9/21/2010

    " This was good read and gives a bit of history about New York City in the 1930's. Predictable ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 9/20/2010

    " The story of a medical doctor practicing in New York during the great depression. His life and attitude were changed when his daughter left his grandson on his porch. Hamill's writing style flowed easily and drew me in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nikki | 9/20/2010

    " I started having dreams in New Yorker Gangster accents. :/ "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ginger | 9/17/2010

    " I always enjoy Pete Hamill. Forever is one of my very favorites. I love that Cormac actually shows up briefly in North River (hasn't aged at all!) "

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About the Author
Author Pete Hamill

Pete Hamill is a novelist, journalist, editor, and screenwriter. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling novels Forever and Snow in August and the bestselling memoir A Drinking Life. He writes a column for the New York Daily News and lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Henry Strozier has appeared in numerous films, including Contact, You Don’t Know Jack, Thirteen Days, and Sex in the City. Also a voice-over artist, he has worked extensively in video games and audiobook narration.