Paris to the Past

  • by Ina Caro
  • Narrated by Christa Lewis
  • 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In one of the most inventive travel books in years, Ina Caro invites listeners on 25 one-day train trips that depart from Paris and transport us back through 700 years of French history. Whether taking us to Orléans to evoke the visions of Joan of Arc or to the Place de la Concorde to witness the beheading of Marie Antoinette, Caro animates history with her lush descriptions of architectural splendors and tales of court intrigue. "[An] enchanting travelogue" (Publishers Weekly), Paris to the Past has become one of the classic guidebooks of our time.

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What the Critics Say

"I'd rather go to France with Ina Caro than with Henry Adams or Henry James." (Newsweek)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating but

A really interesting perspective and I learned a lot. It was more focussed on buildings than stories which was different to what I expected
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- J A Hibbs

Gentle History

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

Innovative way of recounting French history - by using the train to visit significant places in the evolution of the French monarchy. The author clearly is in love with France and its history. She brings her enthusiasm through in her story telling. This book will add extra interest and enjoyment to a French holiday - even if you think you know a lot about France.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Napoleon - until he got pretensions to become Emperor.


Would you be willing to try another one of Christa Lewis’s performances?

No. I found her style really irritating. I decided it's because I'm not used to listening to one American voice for extended periods of time. She sounds like Kim Catrall (who isn't American) so I had to keep out of my mind visions of 'Sex in the City'! I think it is a positive indication of the book that I kept listening!


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Royal train through France


Any additional comments?

This is very much a history of kings and queens. There is very little insight into the lives of ordinary people so the French revolution comes as a bit of surprise - not that the author is uncritical of some of the excesses of the French monarchy.The one thing I didn't like about the book was the rather tedious detail about meals the author and her husband ate. There are also some irritating 'tourist guide tips for visiting Americans' which could have been put in an Annex and the listener could choose to skip over them (which is much easier when reading a book).I listened to this book while in the gym. I really looked forward to listening to the next installment - I don't usually look forward with enthusiasm to my visit to the gym! - and I didn't notice the hour passing.

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- Joy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 18-06-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios