- 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
Paris Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Superb. I have enjoyed all Edward Rutherford's books, with 'London'my favourite until now. The moving between the centuries took a little getting used to, but all became clear... Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. E. Chester
I am not one for novels, but I have read some of the big hitters. This in my view is a great book. It lays out a very good geo-political context while at the same time taking... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I reallt enjoyed this book on the whole. It took a bit of getting through it (it's big and looong) but it's mostly entertaining and the characters are interesting. Read morePublished 2 months ago by gadget loving mum and wife
I read this book when it first came out, a good interesting read by the Master of Historical fiction. I continue to vividly remember the book to this day.
Must read book
Not as lively as 'London', but some nicely interwoven plots. I prefer the chronological approach of Mr Rutherfurd's 'London' - not keen on the flashbacks.Published 2 months ago by Mr. R. A. Ferdinand
Hi I brought this book for my Sister in Law as far as I know its fine. Packaging was first class as was the speed getting to me. all the best RobertPublished 5 months ago by robert h
Brilliant history of Paris which combines fact with fiction, Rutherford is a fantastic storyteller. Paris is fast paced, gripping and an absolute delight.Published 6 months ago by Charlotte Evans