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Paris Audio Download – Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 215 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 31 hours and 10 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Hodder Headline Limited
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 27 Jun. 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DNRHYBA

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Taking four families, from different social positions, Edward Rutherfurd weaves these family histories into the history of Paris and France. We encounter the noble de Cygnes, the bourgeois Blanchards, the lower class Gascons and the revolutionary Le Sourds. Their lives cross paths through the years in often unexpected ways and while "Paris" is an historical fiction novel, this is as much an epic story of families as it is about the history.

Rutherfurd is a remarkable writer in many ways. His output is consistently strong and "Paris" is no exception. He has developed an excellent formula for his books, based either on cities or in some cases countries, weaving personal stories to show how historical events impact on real lives. But if the term "formula" suggests some short cuts on the part of the writer, nothing could be further from the truth. Like all his books, Rutherfurd's historical research is thorough and exemplary and he manages to convey the spirit of the nation in his story and goes a long way to explaining some of the subtle complexities of French politics and culture, and in particular the socialist revolutionary spirit.

"Paris" though differs slightly in scope from some of his other books. His main focus is much more limited in time frame. Often he traces cities back to their very emergence but while his coverage ranges from 1261 to 1968, in the main, his focus is on the period from 1875 to 1940, and therefore spans the lifetime of people who saw the construction of the Eiffel Tower to the German occupation in World War Two.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've never read any of Edward Rutherford's books but I enjoyed this very much. There is a real sense of history in the text, not necessarily in terms of big events which are, sometimes, missing - but in terms of the way the city of Paris itself both evolves and yet is ever-present as a character in its own right.

Unlike the other books which, I understand, follow a strictly chronological time-line, this has one strand which takes us from 1875-1940, then another which dips in and out of prior history at certain points: 1261, 1462, 1572 and so on. The epilogue is set in 1968.

I liked that Rutherford doesn't always choose the obvious moments - the French Revolution in 1789, the siege of Paris in 1870-71 - but allows them to happen in the background and have an impact on each present moment. At the same time, some key stories do have their place: the Dreyfus affair, the expulsion of the Jews, the arrest of the Templars, the building of the Eiffel Tower.

Inevitably in this kind of historical narrative people have unbelievable conversations in order to inform the reader. So there are quite a few exchanges like this: ` "Did you know that the original Louvre was just a small medieval fort guarding the river?" his father enquired casually. "Yes," Roland replied. "It was just outside the old city wall of King Philippe Auguste."'

But small narrative niggles and historical hindsight apart, this is a huge and hugely enjoyable book. Rutherford has marshalled his research very well to make it digestible, and also allows us to view events through sometimes unexpected eyes.

So whether you're an expert in French history or know little about it, this is an accessible and absorbing read. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really not one of his finest. In his early novels there was a straightforward progression of the chronology from the far distant past to some roughly contemporary point. By the time you'd read four or five the style was practically a cliche but it was an effective storytelling method. This one doesn't progress in that way, it opens in the late 19th century wanders around in that period for a while and then shoots back to medieval Paris and then back to the 19th c and repeat.....till the reader has lost the plot. Most of the focus is on the period from the 19th C onwards with a big chunk in WWII (which is the same Paris in WWII that any number of other authors have done much better. I wonder if the publishers forced him to add the other time line just to ensure that the St Bartholomew's Day massacre and the revolution were included...? I don't really understand why he has done this style change, Paris has a rich and fascinating history which would have ideally suited his original approach, which is narrative history with the characters being used to illuminate key events & periods. The characters are too thin & stereotypical to standalone; tart with the heart, aristo with attitude, hardworking artisan zzzz. The plots such as they are are equally thin and hackneyed. In its defence it rolls past the eyes as an undemanding read and the occasional interesting nugget of information just about kept me going through the 800 pages. Probably a good read whilst digesting a christmas dinner or whilst riding out a winter germ but otherwise I'd read his earlier stuff; Sarum, London, The Forest and leave this well alone.
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