Summary

"City of love. City of splendour. City of terror. City of dreams."
Inspired by the haunting, passionate story of the city of lights, this epic novel weaves a gripping tale of four families across the centuries: from the lies that spawn the noble line of de Cygne to the revolutionary Le Sourds who seek their destruction; from the Blanchards whose bourgeois respectability offers scant protection against scandal to the hard-working Gascons and their soaring ambitions.
Over hundreds of years, these four families are bound by forbidden loves and marriages of convenience; dogged by vengeance and murderous secrets; torn apart by the irreconcilable differences of birth and faith, and brought together by the tumultuous history of their city. Paris bursts to life in the intrigue, corruption, and glory of its people.
Beloved author of Sarum, London, and New York, Edward Rutherfurd illuminates Paris as only he can: capturing the romance and everyday drama of the men and women who, in 2,000 years, transformed a humble trading post on the muddy banks of the Seine into the most celebrated city in the world.
©2013 Edward Rutherford (P)2013 Hodder & Stoughton
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Critic reviews

"From the ice-age to the present day, Rutherfurd's scope is vast. Both historical novel and adventure epic, this is a work of universal appeal.'' ( Kirkus UK, on Sarum)
''Hold your breath suspense, buccaneering adventure, and passionate tales of love and war.'' ( The Times, on London)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Penny on 29-11-13

A great book - hard to follow in Audible format

I love the way Edward Rutherford follows families through the ages, and gives such marvellous glimpses of what it might have been like to be involved in, or witness to, historical events - both terrible and inspiring. It alternates between events in the middle ages and more recent, with a lot more focus on the 19th and 20th centuries, but is quite hard to follow. I kept thinking that I needed the book to refer back, to remind myself of the family connections, and I also believe it is likely that a book might contain maps and drawings to illustrate the places it was referring to.
That said, I loved the book, it has given me a good overall perspective on French history. Narration is excellent too.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 07-08-13

A good read.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It captures the feel of Paris and there's a lot to get your teeth into. I really enjoyed the descriptions of a city I know reasonably well, and love.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I suppose it was Thomas Gascon and his love of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower- although his brother Luc was interesting and I hoped that he would eventually 'come good'.

What does Jane Wymark and Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

They were excellent and helped to bring the characters to life. Jane Wymark's French accent was particularly good.

Any additional comments?

I've enjoyed all Rutherfurd's books and was pleased to see this one available. My only hesitation is that, unlike Sarum or London, it didn't follow a clear timeline. I found it a bit confusing at first to keep jumping backward and forward between years. Apart from that a really good book and one I shall listen to more than once.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Richard Calkin on 13-09-14

Wonderful, descriptive tale. Thoroughly enjoyed it

What made the experience of listening to Paris the most enjoyable?

I was in Paris at the time so that helped! This book spans several generations and does it well. Loved it. Was a long, great yarn.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hard to say - they were all great.

Any additional comments?

I appreciated Paris so much more having read this book, and it was just a great read. kept me hooked right til the end. Brilliant

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4 out of 5 stars
By Joe on 24-10-13

Centuries of beautiful, delectable snobbery

Would you consider the audio edition of Paris to be better than the print version?

Listening is so much more experiential, the voice, like a an instrument adds emotion and nuance to the writer.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

One does not read Edward Rutherfurd for the plot and story. The narrative is purely a backdrop or a canvas to explore the city and to 'experience' its historic life. The actual story is, in true Rutherfurd tradition, slightly weak and contrived. Don't get me wrong, it is much less painful than anything by Dan Brown, but the narrative is a vehicle not the end. Therefore the end of the book could be anything, since the real end of the book is going to be your travel agent.

What about Jane Wymark and Jonathan Keeble ’s performance did you like?

The two J's do justice to the story and help to delineate the forward-backward jumps in centuries. Jonathan can really make con you to believe it is a woman talking without any obvious falsetto trick. True craft.

If you could take any character from Paris out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would have liked to win that lucky draw, not for the obvious, but for the other.

Any additional comments?

A good, albeit weak yarn, on a magnificent backdrop.

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