The Novel

Book - 2013
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This breathtaking multigenerational saga takes readers on a journey through thousands of years of glorious Parisian history--from its founding under the Romans to the timeless love story of Abelard and Heloise against the backdrop of the building of Notre Dame; to the martyrdom of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years War; to the dangerous manipulations of Cardinal Richelieu and the bloody religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants; to the gilded glories of Versailles; to the horrors of the French Revolution and the conquests of Napoleon; to the beauty and optimism of the belle epoque when Impressionism swept the world; to the hotbed of cultural activity of the 1920s and '30s that included Picasso, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, and the writers of the Lost Generation; to the Nazi occupation and the incredible efforts of the French Resistance.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2013.
ISBN: 9780385676212
Characteristics: x, 809 p. :,maps, geneal. table ;,25 cm.


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Dec 19, 2017

I loved reading this book. If you alredy know Paris you could tell how accurate is the author with the descriptions of the city... Reading this novel has being as space and time traveling.

Nov 19, 2016

What a great book. I learned so many fascinating things about so many events and people. Beautifully written as well. I know that some people are intimidated by its size, but once you start reading it, you can't put it down.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 10, 2016

Jeeez... this took me 2 months to listen to and if I could I'd give it a 3.5 but I upped it to a 4 cause it's definitely a detailed and wonderfully done work. Spanning 700 years and concerning 6 intertwining families this tome of historical fiction covers many significant historical and cultural happenings during that time such as the expulsion of the Jews, Building of the Eiffel Tower, French Resistance to German occupation, and Coco Chanel. The complex switching between times ( 1875 to 1261 to 1887 to 1307 etc.... ) was very confusing, especially while listening to it . Maybe something would have been lost having it linear... I don't know but I feel as though I missed something... over 800 pages I still don't know what favor de Cygne did for Jacob the antique dealer sometime in the 19th century that got him that unicorn tapestry for such a great deal and it's bugged me! I'd like to read London.

Aug 17, 2016

I love, love, love this author! In my humble opinion he is THE Master of family saga historical fiction. You feel as though you're there when he describes the City of Light. I eagerly anticipate his next novel! In a world where James Patterson publishes something every month, it's hard to wait for these grand sweeping sagas, but wait I will!

Aug 15, 2016

I consumed this as an audiobook, in preparation for a trip to Paris. Though the book was long, and some of the characters seemed a little ancillary, it provided a great overview of French history through the eyes of different types of people. This provided a great background for my trip to Paris, and made the experience much more meaningful.

Jun 17, 2015

Edward Rutherfurd tells a good story. He puts the reader in one setting and lets history sweep over them, through the stories of 2-3 families. It's fun, interesting and entertaining. Don't let the size of his books turn you away. You'll want the story to continue when its over.
This story of the Gascons, de Cygnes, Le Sourds and Blanchards is interesting through and through. Paris glitters in the background; always special and loved by its inhabitants.
This book is slightly different because the timeline doesn't start at the beginning of Paris but in the middle and 2 time-lines are told alternatively: the past (mid-1300s to 1800s) and the present (1800s to mid-1900s). Interesting but also a bit disjointed; I prefer one straight time-line, starting at the beginning and following to the present.

Still my favorite of Rutherfurd's books: London.

Mar 30, 2015

I loved this book. It is the first I have read from Rutherfurd. I actually enjoyed the wide span of time throughout the novel, and didn't mind the skipping around.

Mar 15, 2015

Very disappointed with this book. Obviously all characters were created and intertwined to fit the "Paris" story. I cannot decide if the author wants this to be a novel with historical facts, or a history lesson with some human stories in it to keep me interested. Didn't work for me at all.

Dec 22, 2014

I always enjoy a good multifamily multigenerational saga full of history, and so I knew I would enjoy this one. Paris has a reputation around the world for being an exciting city where great things happen, and I think the great things were all here, portrayed as the various characters experienced them. The Eiffel tower is one of the main characters and its construction brought many of the families together. I did get a little confused going back and forth in time periods, and some of the names were muddling for me. All in all, though, the sweep of the story of the city and its rise to international greatness, its romantic and bloody times, its allure for tourists kept me going through all 1000+ pages.

Aug 04, 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed Rutherfurd's sweeping multi-generational saga of Paris. He skillfully ties most of the story lines together near the end and we are left longing for more. I did not enjoy his skipping pointlessly through history which caused, for me, a loss of continuity in which character development suffers. In our fast paced reading world I think he should stick to chronological storytelling as in past books. When a historical writer propels you to research more of the depicted history I think he has done his job well. I found myself ordering material on the Belle Epoque, The Terror and the The French Resistance. I look forward to Rutherfurd's next tale and I hope it is not predictable.

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