2021 Paris: wholesale wholesale The Novel sale

2021 Paris: wholesale wholesale The Novel sale

2021 Paris: wholesale wholesale The Novel sale
2021 Paris: wholesale wholesale The Novel sale__right
2021 Paris: wholesale wholesale The Novel sale__below

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From Edward Rutherfurd, the grand master of the historical novel, comes a dazzling epic about the magnificent city of Paris. Moving back and forth in time, the story unfolds through intimate and thrilling tales of self-discovery, divided loyalty, and long-kept secrets. As various characters come of age, seek their fortunes, and fall in and out of love, the novel follows nobles who claim descent from the hero of the celebrated poem The Song of Roland; a humble family that embodies the ideals of the French Revolution; a pair of brothers from the slums behind Montmartre, one of whom works on the Eiffel Tower as the other joins the underworld near the Moulin Rouge; and merchants who lose everything during the reign of Louis XV, rise again in the age of Napoleon, and help establish Paris as the great center of art and culture that it is today. With Rutherfurd’s unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve, this bold novel brings the sights, scents, and tastes of the City of Light to brilliant life.

Praise for Paris

“A tour de force . . . [Edward Rutherfurd’s] most romantic and richly detailed work of fiction yet.” —Bookreporter

“Fantastic . . . as grand and engrossing as Paris itself.” —Historical Novels Review

“This saga is filled with historical detail and a huge cast of characters, fictional and real, spanning generations and centuries. But Paris, with its art, architecture, culture and couture, is the undisputed main character.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Both Paris, the venerable City of Light, and Rutherfurd, the undisputed master of the multigenerational historical saga, shine in this sumptuous urban epic.” —Booklist

“There is suspense, intrigue and romance around every corner.” —Asbury Park Press

Review

“A tour de force . . . [Edward Rutherfurd’s] most romantic and richly detailed work of fiction yet.” —Bookreporter

“Fantastic . . . as grand and engrossing as Paris itself.” —Historical Novels Review

“This saga is filled with historical detail and a huge cast of characters, fictional and real, spanning generations and centuries. But Paris, with its art, architecture, culture and couture, is the undisputed main character.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Both Paris, the venerable City of Light, and Rutherfurd, the undisputed master of the multigenerational historical saga, shine in this sumptuous urban epic.” —Booklist

“There is suspense, intrigue and romance around every corner.” —Asbury Park Press
 

About the Author

Edward Rutherfurd is the bestselling author of eight novels, including London, Sarum, The Princes of Ireland, The Rebels of Ireland, and New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

1875

Paris. City of love. City of dreams. City of splendor. City of saints and scholars. City of gaiety.

Sink of iniquity.

In two thousand years, Paris had seen it all.



It was Julius Caesar who had first seen the possibilities of the place where the modest Parisii tribe made their home. The Mediterranean lands of southern Gaul had already been Roman provinces for generations at that time; but when Caesar decided to bring the troublesome Celtic tribes of northern Gaul into the empire as well, it hadn’t taken him long.

The Romans had quickly seen that this was a logical place for a town. A collecting point for the produce of the huge fertile plains of northern Gaul, the Parisian territory lay on the navigable River Seine. From its headwaters farther south, there was an easy portage to the huge River Rhône, which ran down to the busy ports of the Mediterranean. Northward, the Seine led to the narrow sea across which the island of Britannia lay. This was the great river system through which the southern and northern worlds were joined. Greek and Phoenician traders had been using it even before the birth of Rome. The site was perfect. The Parisian heartland lay in a wide, shallow valley through which the Seine made a series of graceful loops. In the center of the valley, on a handsome east-west bend, the river widened and several big mudflats and islands lay, like so many huge barges at anchor, in the stream. On the northern bank, meadows and marshes stretched far and wide until they came to the lip of low, enclosing ridges, from which several small hills and promontories jutted out, some of them covered with vineyards.

But it was on the southern bank--the left bank as one went downstream--that the ground near the river swelled gently into a low, flat hillock, like a table overlooking the water. And it was here that the Romans had laid out their town, a large forum and the main temple covering the top of the table with an amphitheater nearby, a grid of streets all around, and a north-south road running straight through the center, across the water to the largest island, which was now a suburb with a fine temple to Jupiter, and over a farther bridge to the northern bank. They had originally called the town Lutetia. But it was also known, more grandly, as the city of the Parisii.



In the Dark Ages after the Roman Empire fell, the German tribe of Franks had conquered the territory in the Land of the Franks, as it came to be called, or France. Its rich countryside had been invaded by Huns and Viking Norsemen. But the island in the river, with its wooden defenses, like some battered old ship, survived. In medieval times, she’d grown into a great city, her maze of Gothic churches, tall timbered houses, dangerous alleys and stinking cellars spread across both sides of the Seine, enclosed by a high stone wall. Stately Notre Dame Cathedral graced the island. Her university was respected all over Europe. Yet even then, the English came and conquered her. And Paris might have been English if Joan of Arc, the miraculous maid, hadn’t appeared and chased them out.

Old Paris: City of bright colors and narrow streets, of carnival and plague.

And then there was new Paris.

The change had come slowly. From the time of the Renaissance, lighter, classical spaces began to appear in her dark medieval mass. Royal palaces and noble squares created a new splendor. Broad boulevards began to carve through the rotting old warrens. Ambitious rulers created vistas worthy of ancient Rome.

Paris had altered her face to suit the magnificence of Louis XIV, and the elegance of Louis XV. The Age of Enlightenment and the new republic of the French Revolution had encouraged classical simplicity, and the age of Napoleon bequeathed imperial grandeur.

Recently, this process of change had been accelerated by a new town planner. Baron Haussmann’s great network of boulevards and long, straight streets lined with elegant office and apartment blocks was so thorough that there were quarters of Paris now where the rich mess of the Middle Ages was scarcely to be seen.

Yet old Paris was still there, around almost every corner, with her memories of centuries past, and of lives relived. Memories as haunting as an old, half-forgotten tune that, when played again--in another age, in another key, whether on harp or hurdy-gurdy--is still the same. This was her enduring grace.

Was Paris now at peace with herself? She had suffered and survived, seen empires rise and fall. Chaos and dictatorship, monarchy and republic: Paris had tried them all. And which did she like best? Ah, there was a question . . . For all her age and grace, it seemed she did not know.

Recently, she had suffered another terrible crisis. Four years ago, her people had been eating rats. Humiliated first, starving next. Then they had turned upon each other. It had not been long since the bodies had been buried, the smell of death been dispersed by the wind and the echo of the firing squads departed over the horizon.

Now, in the year 1875, she was recovering. But many great issues remained still to be resolved.



The little boy was only three. A fair-haired, blue-eyed child. Some things he knew already. Others were still kept from him. And then there were the secrets.

Father Xavier gazed at him. How like his mother the child looked. Father Xavier was a priest, but he was in love with a woman, the mother of this child. He admitted his passion to himself, but his self-discipline was complete. No one would have guessed his love. As for the little boy, God surely had a plan for him.

Perhaps that he should be sacrificed.

It was a sunny day in the fashionable Tuileries Gardens in front of the Louvre, where nannies watched their children play, and Father Xavier was taking him for a walk. Father Xavier: family confessor, friend in need, priest.

“What are your names?” he playfully asked the child.

“Roland, D’Artagnan, Dieudonne de Cygne.” He knew them all by heart.

“Bravo, young man.” Father Xavier Parle-Doux was a small, wiry man in his forties. Long ago he’d been a soldier. A fall from a horse had left him with a stabbing pain in his back ever since--though only a handful of people were aware of it.

But his days as a soldier had marked him in another way. He had done his duty. He’d seen killing. He had seen things worse than killing. And in the end, it had seemed to him that there must be something better than this, something more sacred, an undying flame of light and love in the terrible darkness of the world. He’d found it in the heart of Holy Church.

Also, he was a monarchist.

He’d known the child’s family all his life, and now he looked down at him with affection, but also with pity. Roland had no brother or sister. His mother, that beautiful soul, the woman he himself would have liked to marry had he not chosen another calling, suffered with delicate health. The future of the family might rest on little Roland alone: a heavy burden for a boy to bear.

But he knew that as a priest, he must take a larger view. What was it the Jesuits said? “Give us a boy till he’s seven, and he’s ours for life.” Whatever God’s plan for this child, whether that service led to happiness or not, Father Xavier would lead him toward it.

“And who was Roland?”

“Roland was a hero.” The little boy looked up for approval. “My mother read me the story. He was my ancestor,” he added solemnly.

The priest smiled. The famous Song of Roland was a haunting, romantic tale, from a thousand years ago, about how the emperor Charlemagne’s friend was cut off as the army crossed the mountains. How Roland blew on his horn for help, to no avail. How the Saracens slew him, and how the emperor wept for the loss of his friend. The de Cygne family’s claim to this ancestor was fanciful, but charming.

“Others of your ancestors were crusading knights.” Father Xavier nodded encouragingly. “But this is natural. You are of noble birth.” He paused. “And who was D’Artagnan?”

“The famous Musketeer. He was my ancestor.”

As it happened, the hero of The Three Musketeers had been based upon a real man. And Roland’s family had married a noblewoman of the same name back in the time of Louis XIV--though whether they had taken much interest in this connection before the novel made the name famous, the priest rather doubted.

“You have the blood of the D’Artagnans in your veins. They were soldiers who served their king.”

“And Dieudonne?” the child asked.

Hardly were the words out before Father Xavier checked himself. He must be careful. Could the child have any idea of the horror of the guillotine that lay behind the last of his names?

“Your grandfather’s name is beautiful, you know,” he replied. “It means ‘the gift of God.’ ” He thought for a moment. “The birth of your grandfather was--I do not say a miracle--but a sign. And remember one thing, Roland,” the priest continued. “Do you know the motto of your family? It is very important. ‘Selon la volonte de Dieu’--According to God’s Will.”



Father Xavier turned his eyes up to survey the landscape all around. To the north rose the hill of Montmartre, where Saint Denis had been martyred by pagan Romans, sixteen centuries ago. To the southwest, behind the towers of Notre Dame, rose the slope above the Left Bank where, as the old Roman Empire was crumbling, the indefatigable Saint Genevieve had asked God to turn Attila and his Huns away from the city--and her prayers had been answered.

Time and again, thought the priest, God had protected France in her hour of need. When the Moslems had first swept up from Africa and Spain, and might have overrun all Europe, hadn’t He sent a great general, the grandfather of Charlemagne, to beat them back? When the English, in their long, medieval struggle with the French kings, had even made themselves masters of Paris, hadn’t the good Lord given France the maiden Joan of Arc to lead her armies to victory?

Most important of all, God had given France her royal family, whose Capetian, Valois and Bourbon branches for thirty generations had ruled, reunited and made glorious this sacred land.

And through all those centuries, the de Cygnes had faithfully served those divinely anointed kings.

This was the little boy’s heritage. He would understand it in due course.



It was time to go home. Behind them, at the end of the Tuileries Gardens, lay the vast open space of the Place de la Concorde. Beyond that, the magnificent sweep of the Champs-Elysees, for two miles up to the Arc de Triomphe.

The little boy was still too young to know the Place de la Concorde’s part in his history. As for the Arc de Triomphe, grand though it was, Father Xavier did not care for republican monuments.

Instead, he gazed again at the hill of Montmartre--that site where once a pagan temple stood; where Saint Denis had been martyred; and where such terrible scenes had taken place in the recent upheavals in the city. How appropriate that this very year, a new temple should be arising there by the windmills, a temple to Catholic France, its pure, white dome shining like a dove over the city. The basilica of Sacre Coeur, the Sacred Heart.

This was the temple where the little boy should serve. For God had saved his family for a reason. There was shame to be overcome, faith to be restored.

“Could you walk a little way?” he asked. Roland nodded. With a smile, the priest reached down and took the child’s hand. “Shall we sing a song?” he asked. “ ‘Frere Jacques,’ perhaps?”

So hand in hand the priest and the little boy, watched by several nannies and their charges, walked out of the gardens, singing.



As Jules Blanchard reached the Louvre end of the Champs-Elysees and walked up toward the church of La Madeleine, he had every reason to be a happy man. He already had two sons, good boys both of them. But he’d always wanted a daughter. And at eight o’clock this morning, his wife had presented him with a baby girl.

There was only one problem. And solving it would require a certain delicacy--which was why, at this moment, he was going to a rendezvous with a lady who was not his wife.

Jules Blanchard was a well-set, vigorous man, with a solid family fortune. The century before, as the charming, rococo monarchy of Louis XV encountered the grand ideas of the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution turned the world upside down, his ancestor had been a bookseller of radical views. The bookseller’s son, Jules’s grandfather, was a doctor who came to the notice of the rising general, Napoleon Bonaparte, during the Revolution and never looked back. A fashionable physician under Napoleon’s empire and the restored Bourbon monarchy that followed it, he’d finally retired to a handsome house in Fontainebleau, which the family still possessed. His wife was from a merchant family, and in the next generation, Jules’s father had gone into business. Specializing in wholesaling grain, by the mid-nineteenth century he had built up a considerable fortune. Jules had joined the business and now, at the age of thirty-five, he was ready to take over from his father, whenever that worthy gentleman chose finally to retire.

At La Madeleine, Jules turned half-right. He liked this boulevard because it led past the city’s huge new opera house. The Paris Opera, designed by Garnier, had been completed only at the start of this year, but already it was a landmark. Besides its many hidden wonders--which included an ingenious artificial lake in the cellars to control the swamp waters below--the Opera was such a magnificent concoction that, with its great, round roof, it reminded Jules of an enormous, decorated gateau. It was rich, it was flamboyant, it was the spirit of the age--at least, for lucky fellows like him.

And now he was in sight of his rendezvous. Just a short way past the Opera, on a corner site, was the Cafe Anglais. Unlike the Opera, it was rather plain outside. But inside was another matter. It was lavish enough for princes. A few years ago, the emperors of Russia and Germany had dined there together for a legendary feast that went on for eight hours.

Where else could one meet Josephine for lunch?

They had opened the big paneled room known as Le Grand Seize for lunch today. As he entered past bowing waiters, gilt mirrors and potted plants, he saw her at once.

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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Susan
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I loved all the history and the obvious research that went ...
Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2016
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I loved all the history and the obvious research that went into putting this story together. I also liked the characters. What I found difficult to like was the length of the book combined with the constant jumping back and... See more
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I loved all the history and the obvious research that went into putting this story together. I also liked the characters. What I found difficult to like was the length of the book combined with the constant jumping back and forth through time. The book is not a page-turner in my opinion, which meant it took me a long time to read the 800+ pages. This in turn made it difficult to keep track of the many characters because each chapter starts at a different point in history - sometimes jumping hundreds of years back and forth. Overall I am glad I read this book, however, I am not sure I would undertake another book by this author if it follows the same format. I think it would be better to follow time in order and get rid of the back-and-forth.
56 people found this helpful
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Nancy Brisson
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Following Characters from Different Social Classes is an Interesting Way to Look at the History of Paris
Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2015
Edward Rutherfurd’s novel, simply named Paris, is in the genre of historical fiction and as such it is engrossing and gives an intimate view of the sweep of Paris history from Roman times up to the post World War II era of Charles de Gaulle. If you are impatient with... See more
Edward Rutherfurd’s novel, simply named Paris, is in the genre of historical fiction and as such it is engrossing and gives an intimate view of the sweep of Paris history from Roman times up to the post World War II era of Charles de Gaulle. If you are impatient with anything less than the completely factual, then Edward Rutherfurd is not the writer for you. I will caution you, however, that totally factual history is a dry business indeed and even nonfiction/textbook history cannot really avoid the personal interpretations of the historian. It is difficult to know if there is such a beast as totally objective history. Of course, it is all relative. Some history is more fact-based, some is more anecdotal.

In the case of his tome entitled Paris: A Novel, Edward Rutherfurd gives us a number of families from various social groups within Paris society and shows the interactions of these groups, mostly within the confines of Paris. We have the de Cynge family, aristocrats and monarchists. We have the Le Sourds who are leftists (communists) and therefore at odds with the de Cynge family. We have the middle class represented by the Renards (Fox) and the Blanchards. Some Renards are lawyers. The Blanchards are doctors and some run retail or wholesale establishments. The Gascons are poor working class people and they have one family member who walks the line between legal and illegal activities frequently crossing over in each direction.

We have the poets and sculptors (especially Monsieur Bartholdi (Statue of Liberty) and Monsieur Eiffel ( Eiffel Tower). Thomas Gascon does skilled labor on each of these enormous structures. We have the painters (especially the Impressionists) and the writers (Proust, Hemingway).
The city itself is a star of the book with its various neighborhoods which eventually become the arrondissements we know today. It took centuries for Paris to coalesce into its modern romantic, atmospheric incarnation and we get to traipse through the various stages of its transformations as we follow our characters and their ancestors, flashing back and forth from fairly contemporary Paris to ages past, as experienced by the ancestors of our more modern characters. It’s a personal and yet fairly in-depth tour of Parisian history that is not in the least pedantic.

I kept trying to stop reading this book – not because it was a bad book - but because I knew it would be long. I kept thinking I wanted to read something shorter and quicker, but I could not stop. I just kept getting sucked in to Paris until suddenly I was done and I didn’t really want to leave. I wanted to be taken out to a bistro. I guess Edward Rutherfurd captured exactly what we should know about social interactions among Parisians and that is why people read his books, especially his books about famous cities (Russka, London, New York).
57 people found this helpful
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Jennifer M. Collins
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Paris by Edward Rutherford - Fiction based on historical facts.
Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2017
I have read all of Edward Rutherford books and I just love them all. You learn all about the history of the city and region while getting engrossed in the trials and tribulations of different families. I learned the history of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower as... See more
I have read all of Edward Rutherford books and I just love them all. You learn all about the history of the city and region while getting engrossed in the trials and tribulations of different families. I learned the history of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower as well as how people lived during the different ages. Fascinating reading. Once you start its hard to put the book down.
If you loved Rutherford''s other books then you will love Paris.
29 people found this helpful
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run50
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
One of My Favorite Edward Rutherfurd Books
Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2019
I read this book maybe 8 years ago and my problem with it was, I just could not put it down. I recall that I took that book everywhere to read when I could spare any minutes. I love Rutherfurd''s historical novels, and have read them all. Highly recommend this book as... See more
I read this book maybe 8 years ago and my problem with it was, I just could not put it down. I recall that I took
that book everywhere to read when I could spare any minutes. I love Rutherfurd''s historical novels, and have read them all. Highly recommend this book as well as New York, Sarum, London (great),Rebels of Ireland and Princes of Ireland. I see he has a new book out..China which I definitely want to read having lived and worked in China years ago. But I''ll wait till it''s available on Kindle as I travel by bicycle all over the world and stopped taking hardback and paperback books on my adventures years ago.
10 people found this helpful
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Kimberly D. Emerson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Edward Rutherford novels are AMAZING ... INCREDIBLE historical fiction
Reviewed in the United States on March 19, 2016
I LOVE Edward Rutherfurd and just finished this book and am so sad that it is finished. I totally recommend combining reading with audio (Kindle feature that I also LOVE). The french accents and name pronunciations are key to the charm of this book. I have also read and... See more
I LOVE Edward Rutherfurd and just finished this book and am so sad that it is finished. I totally recommend combining reading with audio (Kindle feature that I also LOVE). The french accents and name pronunciations are key to the charm of this book. I have also read and HIGHLY recommend: Sarum, London, Russka, New York ... all just as AMAZING. Rutherfurd has a unique style which takes you back to early times (prehistoric in Sarum) and then follows blood lines to close to present day. His eloquent use of the english language makes reading other authors'' creations difficult at times since you miss Rutherfurds style. I believe that he has a unique ability to quickly develop characters so that while he moves through time you get to know so many characters it makes the stories even more interesting and the reading go very quickly.
31 people found this helpful
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Realbluesky
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Jumps back and forth through the centuries. Very convoluted.
Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2018
I absolutely loved Sarum, London, and New York. But Mr. Rutherfurd changed his style in this book. He jumps back and forth through time to make a convoluted mess. I like the individual stories of historical periods, but it is difficult to put them in context when he... See more
I absolutely loved Sarum, London, and New York. But Mr. Rutherfurd changed his style in this book. He jumps back and forth through time to make a convoluted mess. I like the individual stories of historical periods, but it is difficult to put them in context when he jumps from one century back to another. This style of writing may work well in a regular novel, but not in a historical novel such as this. Although worth reading, it is very disappointing when compared to his other works.
12 people found this helpful
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shgannon
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another awesome read!
Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2018
I have enjoyed every one of Edward Rutherfurd''s books over the years. The only one I haven''t read yet is New York and that will be soon, I assure you! I love how his stories flow, with excellent description of places, people and events. I end up understanding a place and... See more
I have enjoyed every one of Edward Rutherfurd''s books over the years. The only one I haven''t read yet is New York and that will be soon, I assure you! I love how his stories flow, with excellent description of places, people and events. I end up understanding a place and it''s people, as well as feeling as if I had lived or visited it. His use of characters whose families play roles through time, interacting with each other, makes the history and story more intriguing to me. Can''t wait to discover where he writes about next! I will definitely be reading it!
8 people found this helpful
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g p farkas
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Accessible, intriguing, enjoyable history!!
Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2019
Another wonderful Rutherfurd tome. Want to know about the ingenuity that went into the construction of the Eiffel Tower? Want to know the logic behind the numbering of the Paris arrondissements? Want to know the changing tenor of each neighborhood as Paris grew from a... See more
Another wonderful Rutherfurd tome. Want to know about the ingenuity that went into the construction of the Eiffel Tower? Want to know the logic behind the numbering of the Paris arrondissements? Want to know the changing tenor of each neighborhood as Paris grew from a medieval walled town to a sophisticated world capital? All these and much more intriguing knowledge of the city and its inhabitants through history will be yours upon enjoying this book. As well, you will learn the reasons for the French peoples'' attitude about the superiority of themselves, their food, their art, their towns and cities, and their country. A most enlightening and enjoyable read!
3 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

R. D. Mayles
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It had it''s moments...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 16, 2017
I have previously read New York and London, both of which had a thoroghly enjoyable thread running through it with many wonderful sideshoot stories to keep you well entertained. I loved them. So, I thought I would give Paris a go.....For starters I was a little concerned...See more
I have previously read New York and London, both of which had a thoroghly enjoyable thread running through it with many wonderful sideshoot stories to keep you well entertained. I loved them. So, I thought I would give Paris a go.....For starters I was a little concerned that the story kept jumping back and foward from the 15/1600s to the 1800s working it''s way up to the 1950s or so. So many characters distributed over the centuries obviously generation linked but as you were time hoppjng it was difficult to remember who was who.. As with his other works some facinating historic items were included with wonderful detail. But along with all this toooooo much deep historical comment and far too much family history and socio-political indepth narative. Very tedious in places but not skipable. Sorry Edward not one of your best but I did continue to the end.!!
9 people found this helpful
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Jo Brookes
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Cliched & confusing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2013
Really not one of his finest. In his early novels there was a straightforward progression of the chronology from the far distant past to some roughly contemporary point. By the time you''d read four or five the style was practically a cliche but it was an effective...See more
Really not one of his finest. In his early novels there was a straightforward progression of the chronology from the far distant past to some roughly contemporary point. By the time you''d read four or five the style was practically a cliche but it was an effective storytelling method. This one doesn''t progress in that way, it opens in the late 19th century wanders around in that period for a while and then shoots back to medieval Paris and then back to the 19th c and repeat.....till the reader has lost the plot. Most of the focus is on the period from the 19th C onwards with a big chunk in WWII (which is the same Paris in WWII that any number of other authors have done much better. I wonder if the publishers forced him to add the other time line just to ensure that the St Bartholomew''s Day massacre and the revolution were included...? I don''t really understand why he has done this style change, Paris has a rich and fascinating history which would have ideally suited his original approach, which is narrative history with the characters being used to illuminate key events & periods. The characters are too thin & stereotypical to standalone; tart with the heart, aristo with attitude, hardworking artisan zzzz. The plots such as they are are equally thin and hackneyed. In its defence it rolls past the eyes as an undemanding read and the occasional interesting nugget of information just about kept me going through the 800 pages. Probably a good read whilst digesting a christmas dinner or whilst riding out a winter germ but otherwise I''d read his earlier stuff; Sarum, London, The Forest and leave this well alone.
24 people found this helpful
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DeeJayH
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Historical fiction which brings alive the City of Paris
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 25, 2017
The main character here is Paris which is revealed through a criss-crossing of historical events. Whilst the author has created a number of fictional families to hang his stories on these are like models showing haute culture. I did n'' t really connect with them as I read...See more
The main character here is Paris which is revealed through a criss-crossing of historical events. Whilst the author has created a number of fictional families to hang his stories on these are like models showing haute culture. I did n'' t really connect with them as I read the surfaces of their lives. This novel does achieve its ambition as it intertwines the political, religious and cultural influences which have created the character of Paris. I found the building of its iconic Eiffel Tower fascinating. I dropped a star because I found myself too willing to put the book down, it was only my connection with Paris that brought me back.
3 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A superb novel from start to finish
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 3, 2021
This is a superb novel, although fictional most of the events actually happened. It was great to follow the lives the joys and sadnesses of Parisian families over the centuries. One character is followed from her birth to her death over many years. A great book for anyone...See more
This is a superb novel, although fictional most of the events actually happened. It was great to follow the lives the joys and sadnesses of Parisian families over the centuries. One character is followed from her birth to her death over many years. A great book for anyone who likes historical fiction based on real events and some real people although all the main characters are fictitious. This is the 2nd Edward Rutherford book I have read(NEW YORK) was the 1st. I liked this slightly better that New York but not much between them. Will read London next. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. H
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Partick Potter
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
OK
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2017
All the ingredients that make his other books compelling reads are present here but he''s managed to mess things up by focusing so much of the book on one historical period - the late 19th / early 20th century. To break up this story he decided to have a non-linear timeline...See more
All the ingredients that make his other books compelling reads are present here but he''s managed to mess things up by focusing so much of the book on one historical period - the late 19th / early 20th century. To break up this story he decided to have a non-linear timeline so we are bounced around different periods in history. It doesn''t work. The "modern" part of the story is generally rather dull with the exception of the story of the building of the Eiffel Tower. The real delights in the book are all in the older historical sections for example the account of the The St. Bartholomew''s Day massacre is wonderful.
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