The Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2013
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From the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling epic portrait of Paris that leaps through centuries as it weaves the tales of families whose fates are forever entwined with the City of Lights As he did so brilliantly in London: The Novel and New York: The Novel, Edward Rutherfurd brings to life the most magical city in the world: Paris. This breathtaking multigenerational saga takes readers on a journey through thousands of years of glorious Parisian history--from its founding under the Romans to the timeless love story of Abelard and Heloise against the backdrop of the building of Notre Dame; to the martyrdom of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years War; to the dangerous manipulations of Cardinal Richelieu and the bloody religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants; to the gilded glories of Versailles; to the horrors of the French Revolution and the conquests of Napoleon; to the beauty and optimism...
Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2013.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780385359542
Additional Contributors: Gilpin, Jean

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ArapahoeLesley Nov 10, 2016

Jeeez... this took me 2 months to listen to and if I could I'd give it a 3.5 but I upped it to a 4 cause it's definitely a detailed and wonderfully done work. Spanning 700 years and concerning 6 intertwining families this tome of historical fiction covers many significant historical and cultural happenings during that time such as the expulsion of the Jews, Building of the Eiffel Tower, French Resistance to German occupation, and Coco Chanel. The complex switching between times ( 1875 to 1261 to 1887 to 1307 etc.... ) was very confusing, especially while listening to it . Maybe something would have been lost having it linear... I don't know but I feel as though I missed something... over 800 pages I still don't know what favor de Cygne did for Jacob the antique dealer sometime in the 19th century that got him that unicorn tapestry for such a great deal and it's bugged me! I'd like to read London.

Jun 17, 2015

Edward Rutherfurd tells a good story. He puts the reader in one setting and lets history sweep over them, through the stories of 2-3 families. It's fun, interesting and entertaining. Don't let the size of his books turn you away. You'll want the story to continue when its over.
This story of the Gascons, de Cygnes, Le Sourds and Blanchards is interesting through and through. Paris glitters in the background; always special and loved by its inhabitants.
This book is slightly different because the timeline doesn't start at the beginning of Paris but in the middle and 2 time-lines are told alternatively: the past (mid-1300s to 1800s) and the present (1800s to mid-1900s). Interesting but also a bit disjointed; I prefer one straight time-line, starting at the beginning and following to the present.

Still my favorite of Rutherfurd's books: London.

Dec 24, 2013

Audio is tedious - better to read it. Rutherfurd is amazing.

JCLHunterSt May 28, 2013

I liked the fiction within the history of Paris, but this book was over 800 pages and read like it was over 800 pages. It was much too drawn out to hold my attention.
At times the book was very interesting and the city became alive with the feeling of history and growth that was quite accurately described and used well. I love Paris and usually like stories that are set in France no matter what the period but this one is bogged down with endless mapping of the city and almost unnecessary historical references that might have worked had they not gone on for so long.
The stories are set at two different times of history starting with about a 600 year gap. Paris has a magnificent history which certainly lends itself to a book like this but because of the myriad number of story lines and characters, the story often loses momentum.

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