Reader reviews and comments on City of Dreams, plus links to write your own review.

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City of Dreams

A Novel of Early Manhattan

by Beverly Swerling

City of Dreams by Beverly Swerling
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2001, 591 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2002, 592 pages

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There are currently 7 reader reviews for City of Dreams
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Shirley (12/12/07)

City of Dreams
Simply put I loved it! From the start I connected with the characters and that did not wane as the book progressed. At times I struggled with the brutality of humanity but the journey with the main characters kept me reading. I was relieved to find a great book after reading five average books and this one will come up in dinner conversations for a long time. Thank you Beverley.
Nat (10/24/07)

Historically very interesting!
I really hate history, truly do, especially the development of Northern America bores me to death, however "city of Dreams" actually got me interested in how everything was a few centuries ago, especially how people's cognition and perception of the world developed. I'm doing a medical course myself, however we don't extensively cover medical history and it was interesting to see the simplicity of the way the physicians tried to cure their patients. I think I found this book more interesting from the history aspect of the text rather than the development of the plot or the swap between characters every few chapters. And I do believe that this book is more inclined to give out the message about the development of one's mind and perception in the 1-2 centuries covered in the book.
Ralph Ekwall (07/20/04)

There are good things about this book. I got into it because I am interested in genealogy and have a number of ancestors who lived in early New Amsterdam. It has a good historical context.

My main complaint is that as soon as I got used to the characters and began to care about them, then the author switches to later date with a new set of characters. It is intergenerational, but the characters are different. This is a significant problem
frank m (06/21/04)

One of the best reads of the year. If you like historical fiction this in a must read.
rcoop17 (04/18/04)

I was involved from the first chapter. This novel was a powerful mix of drama and documentary. While some of the well-drawn descriptions of medical procedure fascinated me, the narrative of the filth and the poverty made me want to stop reading, however, I could not stop myself from finding out what happened next. The social prejudices and the accounts of how things were done according to the unwritten laws of society were intriguing as well. An excellent read that was also an engrossing learning experience.
Judy Keeter (09/24/02)

I read this book when it first came out and it was wonderful!! hated to see it end...
patricia (07/30/02)

This author obviously did extensive research on the early practice of medicine in NY. Unfortunately, she felt compelled to include it all in this novel... in graphic detail.I am at a loss as to what the author was attempting to convey... was it the saga of two families or the story of how surgery, medicine, healing has evolved... Sadly, I think it was the latter...Perhaps, this should have been two separate books... or extensively edited..
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