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Paris

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2002

    Disorganized and uneven

    The first 90% of the book is an unevenly written 2000 year chronology of the city. The chapters proceed from pre-Roman to modern times. This makes it very difficult to find information from different eras on specific landmarks. The style is also very dry. My point is that the information isn't presented in a way that a traveller would want to access it--'I'm in Place de la Concorde--what's happened here over the centuries?' Other books I've read like this will take you through suggested walks in different neighborhoods talking about their history e.g. 'Turn left down this street and you're looking at Napolean's house etc...' The book also ignores or barely mentions the historical basis for many popular characters of Paris historical fiction. The musketeers get half a sentance and Victor Hugo's stories don't fare much better. The last 10% attempts to give some more detailed information about Notre Dame and a couple other landmarks but it's too little, too late. I did learn a lot of interesting material about the city. But I would recommend spending your time with a Parisian's memoir or work of fiction based in Paris. I think you would get much more enjoyment for your investment.

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