From the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling, epic portrait of the City of Light.
Internationally best-selling author Edward Rutherfurd has enchanted millions of readers with his sweeping, multigenerational dramas that illuminate the great achievements and travails throughout history. In this breathtaking saga of love, war, art, and intrigue, Rutherfurd has set his sights on the most magnificent city in the world: Paris.
Moving back and forth in time across centuries, the story unfolds through intimate and vivid tales of self-discovery, divided loyalties, passion, and long-kept secrets of characters both fictional and real, all set against the backdrop of the glorious city - from the building of Notre Dame to the dangerous machinations of Cardinal Richlieu; from the glittering court of Versailles to the violence of the French Revolution and the Paris Commune; from the hedonism of the Belle Époque, the heyday of the impressionists, to the tragedy of the First World War; from the 1920s when the writers of the Lost Generation could be found drinking at Les Deux Magots to the Nazi occupation, the heroic efforts of the French Resistance, and the 1968 student revolt.
With his unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve, Rutherfurd weaves an extraordinary narrative tapestry that captures all the glory of Paris. More richly detailed, more thrilling, and more romantic then anything Rutherfurd has written before, Paris: The Novel wonderfully illuminates hundreds of years in the City of Light and Love and brings the sights, scents, and tastes of Paris to sumptuous life.
©2013 Edward Rutherfurd (P)2013 Random House Audio
The best thing you can make is joy.
The only - main - problem with this book was that as the book jumps from period to period (not necessarily a problem) the narrator DOES NOT read the chapter titles.
So in the first three chapters we go from late 1800's to early 1800's to the 1200's - with no audible change in the presentation of the book.
I feel that MANY of the problems other reviewers have had would have been taken care of by simply READING the chapter titles.
I had to look the book up on Amazon, copy the chapter titles and keep that on my iphone so I could easily look at what period I was supposed to be in.
I also do NOT understand why the audio book doesn't use the same chapter titles as the printed book does. So unnecessarily complex, so easy to fix.
I would appreciate a response from Audible on this. Once again, I feel I've wasted a credit on a book I had to 'research' in it's print form to enjoy.
Paris goes back and forth in time, instead of the straight timeline of Rutherford's other books. Still, it is a beautiful story. Jean Gilpin read beautifully and performed the voices and accents flawlessly.
As always I was entranced. Before Paris, I had read most of Rutherford's books, listening was a new experience. An experience I enjoyed so much, I bought another Audible Rutherford book.
mother of six
I learned so much history from this novel.
The characters were interesting and engaging.
Jean Gilpin's performance was extraordinary. I am now searching for other books she narrated. I honestly cant' imagine why anyone would give her less than five stars. Every character came to life through her voice.
Ha! At 39 hours? I guess if I had no other responsibilities.
loved his other "place" books, but this one jumped about so much, it was difficult to follow at times.
I lived in Paris for two years in my 20's. This book brought back memories of the many places mentioned. At the same time I learned the history of these same places from as far back as the 1300's. Rutherfurd wonderfully brings together the many different families as we move through the centuries. My only complaint was the narrator's voice that seemed a little monotone but I guess if I am going to listen for 38 hours I would rather have that monotone rather than an overly dramatic version. All in all, a very good book.
This book was a little harder for me. I think, it is because of the French & their language. I've read far more books about England, and more familiar with English history. But I thoroughly enjoyed Paris and it's many interesting characters and places.
Rutherford's characters will absolutely dazzle you. Thomas Gascon, my personal favourite, his work on the Eiffel Tower and his absolute ability to love. Marie Blanchard and her swoon worthy romances. The heroism of generation after generation of de Cygne's. The strength of Madame Louise.
I won't spoil the plot with moments, but every time Rutherford described the beautiful setting I was awestruck.
Jean Gilpin's variety of voices bring a new life to this novel that I've never experienced before.
Perfection? No, Paris suits it just fine.
The massive sweep of history about this world-class metropolis is well covered in this novel. All the epic moments in history through which Paris experienced major upheaval and change are covered. Very informative. As with his other novels of a place, the main character, "Paris" is a living "being" formed by the humans who dwell within it and wander through it.
Having characters describe expositional details is a bit stilted. I love history, but the dialogs in which a character explains the vision or engineering behind a building or history of some notable location, the character basically loses their own voice and becomes the voice of the narrator. People don't generally talk like this (expository dialog). Every once in a while it can be helpful in a novel, but whole sections in which an character describes some recent or past event with incredible accuracy seems artificial. I enjoyed the way he chose to tell the story by jumping forward and backward through time. I have read his books "Sarum", "Russka", "London", and "The New Forest" which all move linearly from past to present. In this book, he jumps back and forth, which adds some interesting twists and turns to the story line.
The performer delivers the dialog in ways that are unique to her interpretation. When I read a book, the voices of the characters do not have the depth that I get when I listen to an audiobook. Gilpin does a good job covering the voices of the huge sweep of characters in the novel. Sometimes her young adult male characters sound too young, but overall, she has a decent range of voices and accents to add valuable color to the dialog and to avoid confusion as to which character is speaking.
This is not a book to listen to in a distracted environment. The year of the given chapter is indicated in the first sentence, and if you are distracted for a few minutes during which this happens, you can easily become confused as to what is going on. Because this novel is a host to many characters with the same last name (following a family lineage), keeping track of who is from what time period and what has already happened and what will happen (that you've already heard).
This is by far the longest book I've listened to, but once I got into it I loved how long I got to enjoy it. I am currently living in Paris so I read it while strolling up and down the exact streets the book was based on. The story is complex because of the many generations of characters and families intersecting, but I was blown away by the creativity with which Rutherford pulled it off. Really enjoyed the narrators performance as well, it's something you would lose if I'd just been reading the book. Definitely recommend it for those who are spending a significant amount of time in Paris, or those who are as fascinated by the city as I am!
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