5 Major New York Novels

8:06 am  |  13.04.2021

«The Great Gatsby» Fitzgerald, «Over the Gap in the Rye» Salinger, «The Godfather» Piuzo are these and other novels about the city-symbol of America.


New York has inspired and charmed, terrified and broken many. A city of emigrants, a city that never sleeps, a city of skyscrapers, a city of millionaires, a city of cars, a city of criminals, a city of bohemians, a city of celebration. All of this is New York, a mega-city with a thousand faces. The best writers of the last century have tried to show their essence in their books. New York is not just a background – it’s a full-fledged character, sometimes controversial, but exciting.

We remembered five of the best novels of the 20th century about this amazing city.

Great Gatsby. Francis Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was called the singer of «the Century of Jazz», and no one was better able to portray a madman in the 1920s.

Money and booze flowed through the rivers in New York City that year. Jay Gatsby is the symbol of that crazy and beautiful time. It was this character that became the personification of the era. After the novel was published in 1925, Fitzgerald went into a protracted creative crisis. His next book, «Night of Tenderness», was printed nine years later. By that time America had forgotten its favorite writer. There was a Great Depression, and the «jazz age» seemed in those harsh years a ghostly dream, beautiful, but still a dream.

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Manhattan Transfer. John Dos Passos

It is one of the best novels by John Dos Passos. It was published in the same year with «The Great Gatsby», but «Manhattan Transfer» is much more complicated than Fitzgerald’s book.

The writer was inspired by «Ulysses» James Joyce, «Barren Land» Thomas Sternes Eliot, and Sergei Eisenstein’s cinematic experiments. Ernest Hemingway, trying to promote the novel of his friend in Europe (then they were still friends), wrote that Dos Passos, the only American literary writer, was able to show the Europeans the America they would actually find when they came here». In «Manhattan Transfer» the urban life of New York City from the end of the 19th century to the 20th century is shown in all its diversity.

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The Catcher in the Rye. Jerome David Salinger

«The Catcher in the Rye» became one of the most popular American novels of the second half of the 20th century.

His publication in 1951 made Salinger one of the most read authors in the world. The rebel Holden Caulfield may not have liked it, but he couldn’t help but snag it. But it’s more amazing than Salinger’s image of New York. And not just in this novel, but in stories and stories.

Godfather. Mario Puzo

The film Francis Ford Coppola «The Godfather», made in 1972 by Mario Puzo, was one of the best films of the 20th century.


No wonder it was based on an excellent book. The writer depicted the dark side of New York, whose personification became the Corleone family led by the charismatic «godfather» Don Vito. The story is based on the real stories of the Italian mafia. Mario Puzo carefully collected all the facts (in «exuberant nineties» the novel even used bandits from various groups as a desktop tool – so detailed there everything was described).

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Shadows in Paradise. Erich Maria Remarque

New York is a city of emigrants. People from a variety of peoples, religions, and cultures came to this metropolis in search of a better life (or simply to escape wars and persecution).

The last novel by Marc is about the lives of fugitives who survived World War II: a neurotic, beautiful model and a heavily drunk cynical writer, a silly actress and a brilliant surgeon, a desperate hero of the Resistance, and an optimistic businessman. All these people trying to make ends meet in a city they don’t know, hoping one day to come home.

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New York Public Library Names Most Popular Books in 126 Years

The New York Public Library is celebrating its 126th anniversary this year. On that occasion, the institution compiled a list of books that were of most interest to readers. It turned out that most of the visitors to the library in these 126 years were taking works written for children.

Ezra Jack Keats’ book “Snow Day”, released in 1962, tells the story of a child enjoying the magic that brings the first snow. It has been visited 485,583 times.

On the second line of the ratings was another children’s book – the play “Cat in the Hat” by Theodore Suze, better known as Doctor Suze. To create this work, written in 1957, the author used less than 250 words that rhyme with each other. The New York Public Library has been accessed 469,650 times.

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