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Paris: The Novel | [Edward Rutherfurd]

Paris: The Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (360 )
5 star
 (126)
4 star
 (129)
3 star
 (57)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
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Overall
3.9 (318 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (319 )
5 star
 (144)
4 star
 (107)
3 star
 (42)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (13)
Performance
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  •  
    M WINTER PARK, FL, United States 02-06-14
    M WINTER PARK, FL, United States 02-06-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Not Rutherford's Best Effort"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Too much predictable romance and not enough coherent story. In this one, Rutherford "tells" too much of political and social goings on through a pedantic adults to children in museum visits or verbal arguments between political opposites. Historical fiction should transport you to a time, not tell you about it. That's what textbooks are for.

    I would have appreciated the whole thing more if it had been more linear. It jumped back and forth between generations and was thus, confusing. Not familiar with french names, I found it difficult to follow. Therefore, I didn't have a character to love through most of it. I did connect with Tomas and was sad to see Luc become such a sociopath.


    Has Paris turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I will always enjoy historical fiction. This doesn't even put me off Rutherford...he's written too many other good ones.It just didn't measure up to his usual standard.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Most of the performance was good, but the elderly voices were much too shrill. Characters that the author 'doesn't like' were also too much of a caricature. The reader does however, have quite a range.


    Could you see Paris being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Any historical piece lends itself to film, but most of the French actors I know are too old to play most of the parts.


    Any additional comments?

    Not up to Rutherford's usual standard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Dunwoody, GA, United States 01-05-14
    Joel Dunwoody, GA, United States 01-05-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Just Too Long"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Make it shorter


    What was most disappointing about Edward Rutherfurd’s story?

    It was not nearly as good as London.


    Have you listened to any of Jean Gilpin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Jean did fine, no problem on the reading.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. McFadyen Seattle, WA 12-03-13
    M. McFadyen Seattle, WA 12-03-13 Member Since 2007

    oftennocomment

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
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    "Early review narrator awful"
    What did you love best about Paris?

    P


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jean Gilpin?

    I would use any other narrator. She should be reading to first graders. I'm trying to get past her boring delivery with varying British and French accents..it's like she's impressed that she actually can do French pronunciations just loses the expression of the passage. I have really enjoyed Laurie R. King and I am hoping her writing will overcome this narrator!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arbutus 11-26-13
    Arbutus 11-26-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Great moments in the history of Paris in one novel"
    What did you like best about Paris? What did you like least?

    The novel gave me the entire history of Paris in accessible form. It was easy to listen.However, the plots and characters were clearly contrived to just happen to be in situ at every conceivable historical moment - from the Revolution to Impressionism. The characters were wooden and the writing style clunky.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Edward Rutherfurd again?

    I might because I like really long novels to listen to while I quilt and knit. But the bad writing turns me off, so not soon.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jean Gilpin?

    Jean Gilpin sounded stilted, although the french pronunciation was excellent. I would have preferred Simon Vance, Malcolm Hillgartner, or Elizabeth Peters for example.


    Any additional comments?

    Rutherfurd packed it all in, but it sounded like he took a history outline from an encyclopedia and built a novel around it. He is definitely NOT as skilled an historical autor as Patrick O'Brian

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Lochman 11-21-13
    A. Lochman 11-21-13 Member Since 2013

    I listen to Audible books durin my hourlong commute to work!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "Good listen"
    Would you listen to Paris again? Why?

    Yes. Very interesting to view history in this way, one place and travel down the years through several families.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Edward Rutherfurd? Why or why not?

    Yes. So far I have read them all!


    What does Jean Gilpin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Different voices anda French accent


    If you could take any character from Paris out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Let's just have a banquet!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-24-13
    Gary Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-24-13 Member Since 2008

    Professional audio producer, interested in any story well told.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    22
    5
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    "Disappointing: Rutherford 'mailed in' this novel"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This Rutherford tome seriously needed an editor. Cliché catch phrases are repeated pointlessly. Following the characters is difficult due to the chronology jumps, but in fact so few of them are sympathetic it doesn't matter anyway. It really felt more like notes for a novel that some rookie editor was too intimated by to properly sharpen. There was a lot of interesting Paris history but it was so overpowered by the heavy-handed narrative lines and reams of exposition masked in parental lecturing that it felt like one of those didactic French museum tours where you aren't allowed to ask any questions of the guide. There were many interesting story nuggets and scenes but the overall effect is more of a patched-up hobo sweater than an artistically-assembled quilt.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Edward Rutherfurd again?

    I will think twice about buying future Rutherford although I loved earlier works.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The descriptions of the King and his halitosis was about the only comic relief in the entire long story; the tragedy at M. Eiffel's tower was very engaging.


    What character would you cut from Paris?

    The medieval country maiden taking a lover seemed entirely preposterous and anachronistic.


    Any additional comments?

    I started out excited and enthusiastic about this book because I live part-time in France. I was so disappointed in this one, I almost didn't finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte 10-04-13
    Charlotte 10-04-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Edward Rutherfurd and/or Jean Gilpin?

    Nope--I'm done. Used to LOVE Rutherfurd, but this was bad.


    What was most disappointing about Edward Rutherfurd’s story?

    Terribly uninteresting characters


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The only part that strikes me as interesting was the interaction between brothers when one realizes the other is a murderer and helps hide a body.


    What character would you cut from Paris?

    Don't know. I'd certainly flesh most of them out enough to make their actions/reactions and decisions make some sense.


    Any additional comments?

    What a letdown. I've read several of Rutherford's earlier books and was completely captivated. This effort strikes me as just phoning it in. There are a lot of characters in his work to keep track of. That's not a problem if the characters are developed to the point that there's something memorable about them, but this story is a series of identically anonymous characters that are used by the author to deliver a dry history lesson under the guise of characters educating various children and strangers. I'm a history lover, and enjoy even history texts. But this book didn't work as either. It wasn't interesting enough to hold my interest as a novel--thoughts of "why would they do that?" intruded constantly and there was no flow. And it failed as a history text in that the insertion of the dull characters just chopped up the facts. It was awful enough that I'm now soured and wouldn't waste my time/money on Rutherford again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose Oatley Miami, Florida United States 08-16-13
    Rose Oatley Miami, Florida United States 08-16-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A pot-boiler, and not a delicious pot au feu"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who want a sweeping, once-over-lightly history in an easy-to-take format


    If you’ve listened to books by Edward Rutherfurd before, how does this one compare?

    Sarum was much better, much more interesting and historically rich


    What about Jean Gilpin’s performance did you like?

    Great pronunciation switching between English and French words, adept use of multiple voices.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The book was not boring to listen to, just shallow.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 07-28-13
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 07-28-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    109
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    130
    127
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    8
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    "Amazing history lesson"

    This book transported me to Paris, without the cost and the cigarette smoke! I've been humming La Vie en Rose, checking out musette music and looking up the Paris locales on the internet. I'm also wondering what books would be a good follow-up to this and I've had a look at reading lists online.

    That being said, I do agree with what some others have said, that the characters were 2 dimensional and it jumped around too much at times. Still, it was a great read and the tidbits you learn about people and places are worth it.





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PG Pug Pacific Grove California 07-22-13
    PG Pug Pacific Grove California 07-22-13 Member Since 2007

    PG Pug

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    24
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    "I got lost in this book (in a good way) :)"

    My two cents says don't worry about the time line skipping around. I began to listen full of trepidation because of the reviews that mentioned the moving time line. Because of those reviews, the beginning of the book was stressful for me because I was too worried about keeping track of people and getting lost. However, I discovered that it worked and the stories wove together like a piece of tapestry. Just relax, and let the story unfold and let Paris come to life. The only negative is that you'd better prepare to loose some time to this one as it is very hard to stop. You may find yourself making up excuses that require you to turn the book back on or miss a nights sleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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