Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Gossips Book List

Over the years, Gossips has made a practice of mentioning novels that are either set in Hudson--or a fictionalized version of Hudson--or whose characters spend time, however brief, in Hudson. Recently, motivated by the post about Byrne Fone's work in progress, Utopia Fallsa reader suggested that a list of all these books might be a helpful guide for people seeking gift ideas. The requested list follows, which includes both new books and rather old books, in no particular order.
The Spirit of the Place, by Samuel Shem, a.k.a. Stephen Bergman (2008). This novel by a Hudson native son is set in an only slightly fictionalized Hudson, which the author calls "Columbia," in 1969, during the struggle to save the General Worth Hotel.
The Horse Whisperer, by Nicholas Evans (1995). This novel, much of which is set in Chatham, begins with the description of a late-night cab ride from the train station through Hudson as it was in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Dragonwyk, by Anya Seton (1944). The primary setting of this historical novel, in the tradition of Gothic romance, is Dragonwyk Manor, a fictional Hudson River mansion somewhere north of Hudson. In the book, the main characters make a journey to Hudson.   
Executive Actions, by Gary Grossman (2012). Central to the plot of this political thriller, written by another Hudson native son, is an assassination attempt on a presidential candidate during a primary stump speech delivered in our very own Seventh Street Park.
The Illusionist, by Dinitia Smith (1997). Described as "fiercely erotic," this novel about an amateur magician and master of seduction and charm is set in a fictionalized Hudson of the mid-1990s called "Sparta."
The Boy's Garden Club, by E. D. Pujol (2013). This novel, set in Athens in the summer of 2012, is rich in local history and character description and peppered with references to Hudson--usually in comparison, not always favorable, with the village across the river.
The Passenger, by Lisa Lutz (2016). The novel is a thriller "about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past." One of her stops along the way is Hudson--identified by its real name, as are some of its streets and places.
"Zombie Hookers of Hudson," by Maggie Estep, in Marijuana Chronicles (2013). This story, in a collection of short stories having to do with pot, draws from the seamier side of Hudson's rich history.
Death at Olana, by Glenda Ruby (2013). This murder mystery begins with the discovery, during an Olana Christmas gala, of the slain body of the historic site's director. Taking some jurisdictional liberties, the investigation into the murder is carried out by the Hudson sheriff.
Love Is a Canoe, by Ben Shrank (2013). In this novel, set in Millerton and New York City, Hudson is more talked about than actually visited. The main character, who is a novelist, owns a failed inn in Hudson which he is thinking about reopening.
All Things Cease to Appear, by Elizabeth Brundage (2016). This book, which is described as "a classic 'who-dun-ut' that morphs into a 'why-and-how-dun-it,'" is not set in Hudson but rather in some anonymous "impoverished town" in upstate New York. The main characters, however, visit Olana and afterward take a stroll on Warren Street.
There is news for those who want a real book to stuff in someone's stocking or just prefer holding a real book and turning pages to reading a book on a device. The first installment of Byrne Fone's Utopia Falls: A Jeremy Hudson Mystery will soon be available in paperback.

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