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Publisher's Summary

Reminiscent of Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City, this fascinating account from acclaimed author Jill Jonnes recaptures the 1889 Paris World's Fair. Casting vehement criticism aside, Gustave Eiffel built his tower to be the fair's centerpiece. Perched at the top all summer, he hosted a string of dignitaries.
©2009 Jill Jonnes; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    34
  • 4 Stars
    39
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    20
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    24
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
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    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    23
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    11
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Judith
  • EPHRATA, PA, United States
  • 11-06-11

editing

The story is great and the narration by Mr. Hecht is enjoyable. My only complaint is that the editing was quite noticable due to a clear distinction in voices when ever something needed to be added or corrected. I found the voice over to be a bit distracting--but don't let that stop you from missting a good story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Just read the first half

Loved the overall idea of this book more than the execution. The construction of the Eiffel Tower is, in and of itself, an unbelieveable feat, and could easily have made a compelling book on its own. Placing the iconic structure in the mileux of its day, with the World's Fair and Impressionism and the advent of electricity sounds good but ended up making the book repetetive and twice as long as it needed to be. My advice: read the first half, particularly up to the point where the tower is built, then move on to another book. If we hadn't been trapped in a car driving home from Atlanta while listening to this as an audio book, I don't think we would have ever finished it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Smith
  • Waterloo, Belgium
  • 10-13-17

History Comes to Life

This book was fascinating, as it wove events, letters, newspaper accounts, and well-known historical characters together in a most original way. We learned so much, and were very entertained!

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

boring

What would have made Eiffel's Tower better?

needed some personal stories

Would you ever listen to anything by Jill Jonnes again?

maybe

What didn’t you like about Paul Hecht’s performance?

Performance was ok but not like other narrations of his.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointed

Any additional comments?

Thought it would be more like Devil in the White City which was fantastic.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • R
  • POLLOCK PINES, CA, United States
  • 03-07-15

The Book Didn't Deliver for Me

From the description of the book and the wonderful book by Erik Larson I expected a great deal from this book. It had a lot of great characters and potential but it didn't deliver. I wished the authored explored and wrote more about the actual construction of the tower and enhanced her focus or attention on James Gordon Bennett.. I really enjoyed the middle third of the book when the author finally went in to a better story telling of Eiffel, Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. I felt the side path on Van Gough was un-needed or needed to be better tied to the story.

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

Interesting

I LOVED IT!
Full of interesting information and short on dry boring names and dates.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ruth
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 04-26-12

Fascinating

What did you love best about Eiffel's Tower?

Who knew? Well, I suppose plenty of people knew about the story surrounding the Tower and its World's Fair, but I'm willing to bet that 90% of folks who have posed for pictures with the Tower in the background are completely clueless of the fascinating stories surrounding its development and first year of life.

Buffalo Bill, Van Gogh, the Panama Canal, and Thomas Edison -- all in one intriguing story of civic anguish and pride.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There was definitely a giggle periodically.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • Glendale, NY, USA
  • 08-16-09

Great Book - Just an OK Listen

I did get through it, but at times it was challenging. A good reader makes all the difference.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful