cover image North River

North River

Pete Hamill, , read by Henry Strozier. . Recorded Books, $34.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4281-5652-4

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. Strozier reads Delaney’s part with gravelly and wise authority. He transforms his tone convincingly as Delaney, a newly widowed doctor and war vet, finds his bitter heart starting to thaw when he is left to care for his grandson Carlos. Delaney hires a Sicilian immigrant, Rose, to help care for the child, and Strozier offers a credible take on her thickly accented, husky but womanly voice. Strozier also gives impressively distinctive voices to a long cast of well-drawn characters such as a good-hearted mobster, a brash young Jewish hospital doctor and assorted recent Irish immigrants who depend on Delaney’s comforting ministrations. 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. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 23). (Aug.)