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  • Paris

  • The Novel
  • By: Edward Rutherfurd
  • Narrated by: Jean Gilpin
  • Length: 38 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,076
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 978
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 974

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • And I thought I knew Paris, a fascinating read!

  • By Janels on 06-06-13

My favorite author at his best!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-27-19

**Note: I’ve just finished this book for the second time. My goodness, this is absolutely gorgeous. Rutherfurd’s Masterpiece! Each story is weaved together so seamlessly and perfectly that nothing feels forced or formulaic. The performance by Jean Gilpin is exquisite. Together, the writing and narration make this one of those rare and perfect audiobooks. A story made better by listening. I was so sad to get to the end of the book this second time. I can’t fathom what I will listen to next that can remotely compare.**

First Review: I couldn’t disagree more with other reviewers who complain that the story travels in time back and forth, this making this book confusing. The structure and time line of this novel help make it so incredibly brilliant and unforgettable! The style is a slight change for Rutherfurd and I love it! I wasn’t ever confused as to the time period, as each chapter begins with the year it takes place. His stories of the ancient and recent past all hold threads of importance in the later time period. The later story is the true focus of this book. It starts in the 1800’s and continues until 1940’s German-occupied France. The stories that are earlier than 1800’s are all connected to the cast of characters/families that we follow from the building of the Eiffel Tower to the time of General De Gaulle.

It is a different style than Rutherfurd’s other chronological books, but to tell the story of a city like Paris, I think it was very effective.

I hated for this book to end. The narrator was excellent, except for her flat American accent. It’s not used often enough to matter that much.

I am sad, though, as this is the last of Rutherfurd’s books I have to read. I’ve now listened to all his work available on audible. (Except for the abridged Forest.) It can’t imagine anything that will compare to this amazing book.

  • Princes of Ireland

  • The Dublin Saga
  • By: Edward Rutherfurd
  • Narrated by: Richard Matthews
  • Length: 26 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 717
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 716

The saga begins in tribal, pre-Christian Ireland during the reign of the fierce and mighty High Kings at Tara, with the tale of two lovers whose travails cleverly echo the ancient Celtic legend of Cuchulainn. From that stirring beginning, Rutherfurd takes the reader on a powerfully imagined journey through the centuries. Through the interlocking stories of a memorable cast of characters we see Ireland through the lens of its greatest city.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Couldn't turn the ignition off

  • By Alun on 07-07-04

One of Rutherfurd’s best!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-17-19

Sarum will always hold a special place for me, as it was the first of Rutherfurd’s novels I read, and that was at least a decade ago. I have listened to all of his books on audible recently, and particularly fell in love with his epic New York. While I have enjoyed all of his novels, I think this one is on of his finest. It opened my eyes to the majesty and beauty of the land, its customs and peoples. The English sadly never understood its sister island and tried to govern it with a very heavy hand. I look forward to the next book in the Irish saga.
Finally, the narrator is absolutely amazing. I will look for more of Richard Matthew’s work in the future. I’m thankful that Rutherfurd’s work was enhanced by such a gifted story teller.

  • London

  • By: Edward Rutherfurd
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
  • Length: 49 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 305
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 276

Here is Edward Rutherfurd's classic novel of London, a glorious pageant spanning 2,000 years. He brings this vibrant city's long and noble history alive through the ever-shifting fortunes, fates, and intrigues of half-a-dozen families, from the age of Julius Caesar to the 20th century. Generation after generation, these families embody the passion, struggle, wealth, and verve of the greatest city in the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely Fabulous!

  • By Angelyn S. Furst on 03-04-18

My 3rd brilliant novel by author

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-11-19

I fell in love with Serum many years ago. Recently I listened to Edward Rutherfurd’s New York, which was truly wonderful. This novel is a sweeping epic about London.
This book was different from New York because London is an ancient city. But it is still just as fascinating and well written as the other Rutherfurd books I’ve read/listened to.
Andrew Wincott is a talented narrator who brings this book to life.
I am so happy I’ve rediscovered this author after so many years. I plan to listen to Russka next, plus I already have the Ireland books in my library when I’m done with the next novel!

  • New York

  • The Novel
  • By: Edward Rutherfurd
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 35 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,561
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,039
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,026

New York is the book that millions of Rutherfurd's American fans have been waiting for. A brilliant mix of romance, war, family drama, and personal triumphs, it gloriously captures the search for freedom and prosperity at the heart of our nation's history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic!

  • By Rachel on 12-17-09

Edward Rutherfurd and Mark Bramhall are perfection

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-06-19

A few years ago, this author blew me away with his epic “Sarum”. This sweeping tale of New York does not disappoint! Rutherfurd is one of the best historical fiction authors.
As I get to the end of this book, (2 of 36 hours left), I am sad for it to end. I’ve gone through a rough patch on Audible, having listened to several highly rated historical fiction books that were disappointments. (I’ve been terribly spoiled by Madeline Miller’s Greek Mythology novel Circe. Both the writing and Perdita Weeks’ performance were so amazing that everything else I tried paled in comparison, until now!) I am so thankful that Audible added this book to my recommendations list. I hadn’t thought of Sarum in years, and this book was exactly the type of well-researched historical fiction I was hoping to find. I don’t have issues with violence or romance in my books, but I do appreciate that this author never fixates on sex and violence to tell his stories. He doesn’t turn away from the violent truth of history, he just doesn’t rely on gratuitous sex/violence in his plots. While I respect very much the work of Diana Gabaldon and Ken Folett, the sadistic violence was upsetting to me. I’m not squeamish- I adore Bernard Cornwell’s books. But it’s refreshing to read an author who doesn’t steep his epics in formulaic bad men or lavish star-crossed romance.

I love this book perhaps even more than Sarum. (Though it’s not a fair comparison, as I listened to Sarum so long ago. Plus I’m well-aquatinted with New York, but have never been to the area he writes about in Sarum.) Regardless, Rutherfurd is an exceptional talent. So sad to finish this novel, I came back to buy London and Russka before this book had ended. Now I have new adventures and stories to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Finally, I want to give Mark Bramhall the attention he deserves for his amazing performance. This is one of those rare perfect audiobooks when an exceptional author is paired with an equally talented narrator. His performance made the 36 hours fly by too quickly. The narrator is so important to any audiobook, but a novel of this length that spans so many centuries with so many different characters— it seems a daunting task for any narrator. Mark Bramhall delivers an animated, flawless performance, bringing these characters to life for me in a way I never could have imagined had I read it in print.

  • Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule

  • By: Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Narrated by: Christina Moore
  • Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 371
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374

In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom's abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony. Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress' closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia's eyes to the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stellar

  • By Connie on 06-10-15

Average.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-04-19

Historical fiction lite...
not bad, but certainly not what I initially hoped for. Simplistic. As with Lincoln’s Dressmaker, I lost interest in her one dimensional characters long before the book ended. The history itself is way more compelling and complex than this author’s imagination and insight.

  • When Women Ruled the World

  • By: Kara Cooney
  • Narrated by: Kara Cooney
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

This riveting narrative explores the lives of six remarkable female pharaohs, from Hatshepsut to Cleopatra - women who ruled with real power - and shines a piercing light on our own perceptions of women in power today. Female rulers are a rare phenomenon - but thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, women reigned supreme. But throughout human history, women in positions of power were more often used as political pawns in a male-dominated society. What was so special about ancient Egypt that provided women this kind of access to the highest political office?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Edifying

  • By Jean on 12-10-18

So much conjecture...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-01-19

First I want to say that I understand Kara Kooney’s frustration with gender inequality. I recognize the way we make allowances for powerful men, yet hold our powerful women to completely different standards. However, I don’t think she should write a “history” that is so tainted by her agenda. As someone else pointed out, this book would have been far more effective if she had let the history speak for itself. Unfortunately, there is such fragmentary evidence of the lives of many of these women that much of the book is speculation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Heart of the Conqueror

  • The Chronicles of Matilda, Lady of Flanders, Book 1
  • By: G. Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Marnye Young
  • Length: 18 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54

At the side of the most famous warlord of history, Matilda worked, not as a quiet, modest wife, but as a leader...as a ruler just as ruthless as her husband. Under her soft mask of beauty and modesty there lay the heart of a woman powered by ambition. A woman who was strong, courageous, and devious.... Through the eyes of one of the most extraordinary women of history unfold the events leading to the invasion of England and the battle that would decide its fate....  

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Romance novel/Penthouse forum w/ historical drama

  • By C Brown on 02-04-19

Bad

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-01-19

This is not good historical fiction, sadly. The story could be amazing, but this is rubbish.

The character is a narcissist and lacks any of the qualities of a woman of the time. It has badly written sex scenes and is more of an historical romance, than a well written historical fiction novel.

Matilda of Flanders was an incredible woman of history, but she is not captured in this story.

Lastly, the narrator reads with a bizarre exaggerated flair that makes our narcissistic heroine sound even more vapid and conceited.

I had a lot of hope for this book, as I recently finished Alison Weir’s History “Queen’s of the Conquest” and was truly amazed by the life of Matilda of Flanders. The “Bastard” was a loving husband, despite their unbelievable first meeting. (I won’t spoil anything for anyone.) This Matilda was beloved and respected by England, by her family, and especially her seemingly faithful husband.

Nothing of her true greatness comes across in this book. It’s trashy.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Birth of Venus

  • A Novel
  • By: Sarah Dunant
  • Narrated by: Kathe Mazur
  • Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 474
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 219
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 217

Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family's Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter's abilities.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-06-04

Author or narrator?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-30-18

I adore Sarah Dunant, but I did not like this main character. And while the narrator had a lovely voice, for some reason I hated her portrayal as this main character.

I can’t tell if it’s the character herself I don’t like, or the narrator’s portrayal of her. The character is obstinate and annoying. Not at all what I’ve come to expect from Sara Durant heroines. Perhaps, as others have reviewed, it’s the lackluster delivery that ruins this character for me. Though, I can’t put my finger on it.

I was unable to finish the whole book, though I listened well past the halfway mark. Ultimately, despite putting in all those hours, I was so annoyed with the lead character/narrator that I couldn’t listen to another word.

  • The Mistress of Paris

  • The 19th-Century Courtesan Who Built an Empire on a Secret
  • By: Catherine Hewitt
  • Narrated by: Sarah Nichols
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

Comtesse Valtesse de la Bigne was painted by Édouard Manet and inspired Émile Zola, who immortalized her in his scandalous novel Nana. Her rumored affairs with Napoleon III and the future King Edward VII kept gossip columns full. But her glamorous existence hid a dark secret: She was no comtesse. She was born into abject poverty, raised on a squalid backstreet among the dregs of Parisian society. Yet she transformed herself into an enchantress.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Guaranteed Fabulous Dream Maker Listen

  • By Careneubanks on 01-05-18

Dry bio of Vanity

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-18

I didn’t think this was remotely as interesting as other reviews and publisher’s summary made this out to be. It’s a highly favorable bio about a French courtesan. Very dry. No scandalous gossip worth retelling. It reads like an inventory: describing her house and clothing in detail in great detail. The plays she attended, art she collected, the books she read- these are the things I learned. Oh and she had the most impressive and expensive bed (prostitute’s throne). But this bio did not bring this woman to life. Considering I’d not heard of the Mistress of Paris before, what this biography did not tell me was why I should be interested in her. Why was this woman interesting or important? She was an absent mother, and lived only in pursuit of her own vanity.

The writing was just not compelling enough to live up to the title or the description.

  • In the Name of the Family

  • A Novel
  • By: Sarah Dunant
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Boulton
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236

It is 1502, and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womanizer and master of political corruption, is now on the papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, age 22 - already three times married and a pawn in her father's plans - is discovering her own power. And then there is his son Cesare Borgia, brilliant, ruthless, and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with Machiavelli that gives the Florentine diplomat a master class in the dark arts of power and politics.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best historical fiction novels

  • By GrandmaNurseHeather on 04-13-17

Wow!! Blown away by this one...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-28-18

Incredibly well-written historical fiction. I’ve read and watched so much about the Borgias that I was a bit tired of the subject. I’m so thankful to those who wrote reviews of this book! It’s truly exceptional story telling! I will definitely listen to the rest of Sarah Durant’s books.
The narrator is excellent, though at first his character accents put me off. After 30 mins, I was loving it. It will grow on you.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful