by Edward Rutherfurd
4.1 61

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Paris 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Seven hundred years of history interwoven with the stories of five families illuminates Paris for a reader much as the first view of la Tour Eiffel at night sparks your imagination.  A herculean task for any author and reader, this book combines actual historical events with a nod to their impact on the Paris that exists in this present day.   Substantial in both information and page count, Rutherford has again created a sweeping book that manages to provide a ‘feel’ of the city and the time as strongly as it informs the reader about the City of Lights.    Having been a fan of Paris for many years, with relatives who live in the city, the areas were familiar, even when the history that was an intrinsic element to the area was not.  Weaving through time the story never loses that underlying fascination and love for the city that was the centerpiece, backdrop and even breathing character in the stories that explore the history. Adding to the dimensions of understanding and feeling for the city is the detail of the differing perspectives from the characters and families that are used to illustrate the events, providing a contrast and sense of immediate impact that removes it from the annals of the distant past.  This is my first encounter with this author’s work, and it will not be my last.  I appreciate the fact that the city is in the forefront and becomes a character that will feed your inner travel bug.  As a city Paris does breathe, there is magic in the streets and air: in this book, there is a sense and understanding of her raison d'être and why she is so beloved.  I received an eBook copy from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
This author has become the one and only when it comes to epic novels. His new novel called Paris is his latest gem. This book covers many years (700) of one of the most talked about cities in the world. The reader is privy to the culture and architecture; everything from the building of the Statue of Liberty which was sent to New York City as a gift from France and on to the Eiffel Tower, which is an amazing story by itself, a constant march through society, geographic places and history of the city of Paris. The story picks up in the year 1261 with the building of Notre Dame Cathedral and ending in the late 1960’s after all the wars that France was involved in came to a close. The reader is treated to the lives of the people who grew up, had families, fought in wars, and built the beautiful city of Paris. The novel goes into many historical scenes that occurred in the City of Light over the centuries. There are many different types of folks and their descendants who meet and mingle with each other whether they want to or not. We meet members of the aristocratic de Cygnes family; the Le Sourd family and the Gascon family who are members of the working class. As an example, one of the sons of the Gascon family helped build the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. The Blanchard family, who are very rich, do not associate with aristocrats unless they are selling them something and they are never seen 'hob-nobbing' with the working class. The author’s writing is first class, as always, and the stories that he tells of the people of Paris are fascinating. This reader has read a lot of history but was still amazed by some of the things that took place. An example would be the building of the Eiffel Tower. Even with all the modern equipment that is used today, I was astonished at how they put this very large tower together with the means that they had to work with at the time the Tower was built. The author presents us with timelines for each family and the topics that are covered by each are really important. There are chapters about the French Revolution that started out full of dreams to end up in terror; the expectations of the socialists that led into despair as the Nazis marched into Paris in 1940, bringing into being another reign of terror. As in any city with a lot of historical facts, including many monuments, and when fortunes are won and lost, such a topic would be a difficult book for any author to conquer but Edward Rutherfurd does not disappoint. Taking into consideration his classic research and writing, the author brings these families, with all their problems and dreams to the forefront for all to see. Quill says: Readers who have never seen Paris will think they are sitting in the middle of it. A wonderful read!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have lived in Paris for almost two years now and I was surprised by how much I learned from this novel. I now have a newfound appreciation for this magnificent city and I am excited to re-discover the city after seeing through the author's eyes.  Although it may not be my most favorite book by this author, it was nevertheless a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend it!
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
Paris by Edward Rutherford What a great story! From the Roman times to 1968, here's the story of the French capital as viewed by six fictitious French families: The Le Sourds: revolutionaries, leftists and communists The Le Cygne: aristocrats The Renards: Protestant businessmen and professionals The Blanchards: Catholic businessmen and professionals The Gascons: Blue collar And, the Jacobs: Jewish From them, we learn about the founding of Paris, the class warfare, the medieval Parisian history, the religious warfare - The Massacre of Protestants at the Feast of St. Bartholomeus, or the persecution of the Huguenots; the French revolution, the Reign of Terror, The Paris Commune, the persecution of the Jewish people - The edict of Fointainbleau and The Edict of Nantes; the building of the Statue of liberty and of the Tour Eiffel, The First World War; The Influenza epidemic of 1918 - 19, The Second World war, the French occupation, the resistance, and Finally The Charles de Gaulle years... Although it's 805 pages and goes from the 13th century to 1968, it's a very pleasant read. It concentrates on the period of history from 1875 to 1940, thus it's heavy on the post revolutionary history of the republic. I loved the way Rutheford manipulates his fictitious characters to tell the French history. I also loved the conflicts between the social classes - whether a citizen using her influence to have an aristocrat sent to the guillotine, to an aristocrats using his power to kill a peasant; and the conflicts these characters demonstrate on religion - whether Catholic against Protestant to Christian against Jews. For anyone who loves Paris, like I do, this is a great read.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
Once again Edward Rutherfurd has captured the history and culture of a place-- this time Paris-- by following generations of a few different families.  PARIS covers the centuries from 1261 to 1968 wonderfully by involving the reader in his fictional character's lives mixed in with real historical figures. I especially enjoyed this book because I really knew very little about Paris before hand.  I got engrossed in the "flavor" of the city, as well as the factual history of the city. Rutherfurd included so many interesting times, places and characters.  I especially enjoyed the story around the building of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, with the iron workers lives around great heights, and Mr. Eiffel's ingenious means of construction.  The political and power antics of Cardinal Richelieu; all the different King Louies, with the nobility and lower classes populating Versailles; the French Revolution;  the push and pull of democracy, the socialists, and the communists; the extreme violent wars over Catholics and Protestants;  the street lives of the city during the World Wars; and the conflict of the "Jewish problem", with the dehumanizing of the Jews, and thefts of their artworks, resulting in the Nazi occupation ----all were populated with characters that made me feel that I was part of every period in these times.  There was also great stories around the artists, authors, and show folks who flocked to Paris where they found a nurturing environment for their passions and talents. Perhaps the most intriguing family situation for me, involved two brothers--Toma and Luke.  Toma being hard working, ethical, brave and extremely likable. .  Luke being calculating, selfish, enterprising in all the wrong ways, and very dangerous.  Their actions and relationship culminating in a grand conflict during WW 2. Rutherfurd told his story of history, but he was even better at involving me in his character's lives. Another winner from Rutherfurd!!
jasminrose80 More than 1 year ago
I have read over seven hundred pages so far, and will be sorry to see the book end. Rutherford has helped me relive all the places I have experienced in over thirty years of travel to Paris. Still, I learned many new things thanks to the author's fascinating historical research. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book differs from the others: London, Sarum, Russka, etal. Instead of marching through history from beginning to end, There is some jumping around in terms of dates. It was enjoyable and kept me turning pages. The reader visits the french revolution, building both the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty,and Notre Dame Cathedral. Of course the characters are traced from one chapter to another by family tree. Just what I expected from this author who always delivers a grand story.
PeggyBrooks More than 1 year ago
Down through the years I have found I am never more content with a book than I am as when I read a Rutherford epic. I looked forward to reading this book wondering how my quest for knowledge about Paris would grow from reading about the history of France, and how Paris became the city as we know it today. Rutherford unfolds this history as with his other epic novels: Families are introduced early in the history of Paris, and through the intermingling of these families they grow as does this magnificent city. Through the development of Paris, Rutherford knits together a wonderful tale of subjects familiar to all of us: from royalty to the commoner, from the wars implicating France and from the building of iconic landmarks as we know them today. I love being transported through time by history, and what beter way than through the history of the great cities of the world as written by Rutherford.
MairL More than 1 year ago
"Paris" takes you into the lives of several families over about 500 years, threads weaving in and out. Extended stops during Louis XIV, the Revolution, but especially late 19th century (Impressionism, Eiffel). If you love fiction ensconced in real history, you will be in for a great ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely not the author`s best work•would be better if chapters were in chronological order instead of skipping around. But need to include if collector of this author or anyone else who writes a la Miichener.
Go4Jugular More than 1 year ago
This sweeping, Michener-esque epic is an outstanding tale focused on Paris and Parisian culture. It is a work of historical fiction, following various members of six families back and forth from the 1200s through WW II. The family trees in the front of the book are invaluable, as this is an extensive and detailed tome, but despite there being a series of small dramas, rather than a single climax toward which the story builds, the characters are engaging and the stories never feel slow or contrived. The chapters that follow a ironworker constructing the Statue of Liberty, to which we later return when he is helping build the Eiffel Tower, were particular favorites. The struggles and triumphs of multiple generations combine to create a comprehensive picture of how historical and cultural events transpired to influence the growth and evolution of one of the great cities in the world. I read this as a prelude to a visit to Paris later this year, and for 800 pages it engaged my attention and introduced the city in a way that no non-fiction history or travel book could.
MWgal More than 1 year ago
As captivating as his London epic. Rutherfurd is fabulous!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rutherfurd boils down a sweeping history of Paris for those of us who weren't paying attention during high school history.
fedretiree More than 1 year ago
It's great.  His books bring history to life through the vivid personalities he creates.  First 100 pages can be a little confusing as the characters jump back and forth in different eras.  Stick with it!   couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful read!
pumpernickel1997 More than 1 year ago
I mean this is the first that I've read from this author and I will say though the plot is magnificent and the history that tags along with it is all brilliant it does get very confusing going back and forth through the time periods and using the same names as the ancestors and all that so it takes away the interest a bit. I'm over here flipping back and forth to make sure I know who I am reading about.
Maertel More than 1 year ago
Sure hope that when this is reissued, there is a BIG foldout map with dark lettering included. Line drawings of each of the landmarks mentioned would also be welcome. Compelling stories all intertwined in unusual and surprising ways...we just wish that Marie would have rejected de Cygne for his anti Jewish stance.
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This should have been titled "Amanda's vacation to Paris." It takes you to all the hot spots!
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