[Reading] ➬ Paris ➳ Edward Rutherfurd – E-inbusiness.co.uk

Paris Par s bien vale una novela Un libro cuyo objetivo es darnos a conocer la historia, a trav s de ocho siglos, de una de las ciudades que en diversos momentos de la historia ha ocupado un lugar de preminencia en la civilizaci n occidental La narraci n es muy amena, interesante y de f cil lectura, una especie de clase de historia novelada, aunque tal vez le hizo falta algo para terminar de concretar en una obra monumental Este autor Ingl s contempor neo llamado Edward Rutherfurd 1948 es cono Par s bien vale una novela Un libro cuyo objetivo es darnos a conocer la historia, a trav s de ocho siglos, de una de las ciudades que en diversos momentos de la historia ha ocupado un lugar de preminencia en la civilizaci n occidental La narraci n es muy amena, interesante y de f cil lectura, una especie de clase de historia novelada, aunque tal vez le hizo falta algo para terminar de concretar en una obra monumental Este autor Ingl s contempor neo llamado Edward Rutherfurd 1948 es conocido como el iniciador de la novela llamada intergeneracional y seguramente le requiri un esfuerzo gigantesco de organizaci n tanto intelectual como de documentaci n para poder concretar este original proyecto.La obra me parece que adem s de original est muy bien ideada y estructurada, de tal forma que logra su objetivo de describirnos la evoluci n de la ciudad de Par s desde el siglo XIII hasta el XX Para esto utiliza como hilos conductores las historias de seis familias dis mbolas en condici n social, ideolog a, religi n, aspiraciones, etc La historia transcurre a trav s de varias generaciones de estas familias, asentadas todas ellas en Par s y de esta manera asistimos al devenir de sus vidas que ocurren paralelamente a los grandes acontecimientos de la ciudad luz La narraci n nos hace testigos de los grandes movimientos sociales, de las grandes construcciones que ahora son un emblema de la ciudad, de las luchas religiosas, de las rivalidades y guerras con otros pa ses, de las costumbres y las convenciones sociales de cada poca, as como de las diversas manifestaciones culturales y art sticas que han conformado el Par s de nuestros d as Tambi n nos lleva por las calles de la ciudad, por sus avenidas, sus monumentos, sus jardines, sus castillos y sus diversas construcciones hist ricas, sin dejar de lado la sordidez de sus barrios bajos Todo esto lo hace con tal detalle que a veces nos podemos transportar a esas calles y a esos tiempos Especial importancia tiene el relato que se nos hace de los diferentes gobiernos y de los personajes que forjaron la historia de la ciudad luz y por extensi n de Francia Durante la dilatada narraci n aparecen fugazmente algunos personajes hist ricos como Robespierre, Monet, el Cardenal Richelieu, Hemingway, Coco Chanel y algunos otros distinguidos habitantes de esa ciudad Como se mencion , la novela es muy original, est muy bien estructurada y nos proporciona informaci n bastante interesante sustentada en las historias intergeneracionales que se tejen a lo largo del libro sin embargo tambi n presenta algunas limitaciones de profundidad y desarrollo, tal vez esto se deba a la vastedad del tiempo que el autor trat de atrapar en una sola obra Pareciera que algo no acab de cuajar en el desarrollo de las historias de las seis familias que fungen como gu a de la obra en ocasiones pierden fuerza y los personajes se desvanecen en el inmenso bosque hist rico que el autor crea acerca de una de las ciudades de mayor tradici n y abolengo en el mundo occidental y que Rutherfurd trata de abarcar de la mejor manera posible No es cuesti n menor mantener la tensi n narrativa en una historia que abarca ocho siglos, pero se reconoce el esfuerzo, el talento y la imaginaci n de este autor, caracter sticas que fueron suficientes para proporcionarme horas y horas de goce I remember reading Rutherfurd s first historical epic, Sarum, and being swept away by the story of Salisbury, England and its families through the centuries Since then, Rutherfurd has written severalof these historical novels, about Russia, Ireland, London and New York.Rutherfurd has developed a sort of formula for these novels He takes a few families and follows their generations through the centuries The families tend to be from varying levels of society, so that their stories can giv I remember reading Rutherfurd s first historical epic, Sarum, and being swept away by the story of Salisbury, England and its families through the centuries Since then, Rutherfurd has written severalof these historical novels, about Russia, Ireland, London and New York.Rutherfurd has developed a sort of formula for these novels He takes a few families and follows their generations through the centuries The families tend to be from varying levels of society, so that their stories can give a fuller view of life in the particular location of the story Different family members will be involved in some way with key events in the location s history, and quite often the families have interactions or relationships with each other throughout the history.In this book, the families are the highborn de Cygnes the Le Sourds, pitted against the de Cygnes again and again throughout the ages the laborer artisan Gascons the commerce minded Blanchards the Jewish Jacobs For some reason not clear to me, Rutherfurd has chosen to skip around in time, rather than follow a chronological order Not only do you jump from one set of characters to another from chapter to chapter, you may jump forward or backward in time.This jumping around makes it difficult to develop the characters Just as you re starting to get a picture of one set of characters, the chapter ends I suppose that s the tradeoff for a novel that spans centuries and that focuses on the history of the place The place becomes the protagonist and all the humans become side characters Well, OK, if that s the deal, then I can accept it if I love the treatment of the protagonist But I can t say that I did Paris did not come alive for me in this book.The sweeping sociopolitical events and movements in French Parisian history are handled in very broad strokes and in a labored and pedantic way You get a clue as to the style right from the get go, when the history of the Paris Commune is given to us by way of a turgid monologue delivered by a mother to her son I know this background has to be provided somehow, but the way this read, I could imagine Rutherfurd s early draft saying insert history here I couldn t help but compare it to Neal Stephenson s Baroque Cycle, where there is also a lot of historical information that is told by way of conversations, or one character telling another the history I had just been listening to the audiobook and a character, Jack Shaftoe, tells his horse really some fairly lengthy history and it was both entertaining and educational a huge contrast to this book.Interspersed with the broad brush historical descriptions, Rutherfurd focuses in on some selected events in apersonal way One of these is his focus on the building of the Eiffel Tower, and Thomas Gascon s work on both it and the Statue of Liberty that M Eiffel designed and Parisians built as a gift to the United States This was probably the most dynamic and lively part of the book, and Thomas Gascon the most dimensional character.Unfortunately, that only tends to emphasize how paper thin the characterization is in nearly all the other cases People behave in ways that Rutherfurd lays no foundation for presumably it s just convenient for his plot The characters seem like dolls that Rutherfurd uses to act out his stories, not like real people I just didn t care about any of them That became painfully clear in the middle of the book, when there is a long chapter about a love social position triangle I wasn t invested in the characters, because they hadn t been brought to life The same is true for almost the entire 20th century, when Rutherfurd inexplicably plunges the story into a ridiculous soap opera, complete with love triangles, an adoptee searching for her birth family, sexual intrigue and so on.What s , most of this could have been placed almost anywhere Paris is just window dressing When a character goes to work as a model for Coco Chanel, we read virtually nothing about her work or Chanel In other words, our protagonist, the city of Paris, is depicted as superficially as the human characters An exception to this is when we arrive at World War II Suddenly, the story becomes very Parisian and far less superficial It s a shame the reader has to wait until the last 100 pages of the book for this transformation.It s disappointing that Rutherfurd managed to write such a lackluster book about one of the world s most fascinating cities I would have given the book 1.5 stars, rounded down to 1 star, but because the World War II story was good, I m rounding up to 2 stars.Disclosure I received a free review copy of this book From Edward Rutherfurd, The Grand Master Of The Historical Novel, Comes A Dazzling Epic About The Magnificent City Of Paris Moving Back And Forth In Time, The Story Unfolds Through Intimate And Thrilling Tales Of Self Discovery, Divided Loyalty, And Long Kept Secrets As Various Characters Come Of Age, Seek Their Fortunes, And Fall In And Out Of Love, The Novel Follows Nobles Who Claim Descent From The Hero Of The Celebrated Poem The Song Of Roland A Humble Family That Embodies The Ideals Of The French Revolution A Pair Of Brothers From The Slums Behind Montmartre, One Of Whom Works On The Eiffel Tower As The Other Joins The Underworld Near The Moulin Rouge And Merchants Who Lose Everything During The Reign Of Louis XV, Rise Again In The Age Of Napoleon, And Help Establish Paris As The Great Center Of Art And Culture That It Is Today With Rutherfurd S Unrivaled Blend Of Impeccable Research And Narrative Verve, This Bold Novel Brings The Sights, Scents, And Tastes Of The City Of Light To Brilliant Life W O W I really, really enjoyed this There is only one thing that prevents me from giving five stars the language is ordinary I still want to highly recommend it, but I better explain for whom it is best suited Even if I sat glued, it might not fit all.This book is chock full of history Lots of interesting historical details that are presented in an easily understood manner and clearly explained Battle scenes are short This book does cover the two wars but it is not just about them M W O W I really, really enjoyed this There is only one thing that prevents me from giving five stars the language is ordinary I still want to highly recommend it, but I better explain for whom it is best suited Even if I sat glued, it might not fit all.This book is chock full of history Lots of interesting historical details that are presented in an easily understood manner and clearly explained Battle scenes are short This book does cover the two wars but it is not just about them Many of the historical events have whole books written on that ONE event Reading this book is like reading tons of other books all in one You see the whole picture I found not one error I don t believe any reader will fail to learn something new Do you know why we use the term plaster of paris Do you know of the Faux Paris in WW1 You get a comprehensive summary and at the same time a wonderful story.The history is not only about Paris, but about France too The time period covered is from the Middle Ages, up to the student uprising in 1968 Not just politics, not just wars, but also cultural movements as well as authors and musicians and artists galore Look at the title Do you get the feel of Paris by reading this book Yes, you do If I mention one topic covered, it feels so inadequate since I could name twenty, thirty others that are equally interesting The building of the Eiffel Tower, World Exhibitions, the Lost Generation with Hemingway and Shakespeare Company and Gertrude Stein, the growth of feminism, the Plague and the Spanish Flu Oh, so inadequate I feel like erasing these because the book is so comprehensive that to name but a few seems all wrong So, I will move on to the fictional story It is gripping, well woven into the historical events and believable Primarily you follow four different families one aristocrat, one bourgeois and two of the working class through several generations Halfway through I did stop and make some family charts so I could keep track of who was who Characters are not cardboard figures They mature they change They are composed of good and bad qualities These characters are not introspectively analyzed instead you watch what they do The story is plot driven I particularly grew to love two first Eloise and then Tomas One of them is a bit of a hero, but I loved it Oh my gosh, the ending I sat glued at the end I listened to the audiobook narrated by both Jane Wymark and Jonathan Keeble Wymark did a fantastic job Wonderful French and I laughed at the difference between her English and American accents Both were great It is just so funny to hear the stark difference between the two She did men and women equally well Her narration gets five stars Jonathan Keeble s was just OK When he tried to sound like a child or a woman I would laugh, until I got used to it But good No Still, his narration doesn t wreck the story I don t understand why they used two narrators It is not that he took the male voices and she the female It is not that he took the recent times and she the earlier They alternated chapter by chapter Maybe it was just too much to read for one person This is a long whopper of a book The book flips around between different time periods, which usually just adds confusion, and it did make it harder to keep track of events and people, but I feel that by doing this it helped you to keep fresh in your mind how history impacts on current events So, I didn t mind I really, really did like this book, but you better be interested in history if you choose to read the book If history does interest you, then I recommend it The history is presented in an interesting, comprehensive and easily understood manner You will know Paris after reading this book Paris is a multi generational, multi century novel set in and around the city I wish I could give this book two ratings a two AND a four As a travel book, which is what it was for a recent trip to Paris for my wife and me, it was nearly perfect It relates great gobs of Parisian history in easy to swallow bites The characters walk through the same streets you walk through and go to the same sites you do How was life at Versailles for those thousands of noblemen and women What was it like t Paris is a multi generational, multi century novel set in and around the city I wish I could give this book two ratings a two AND a four As a travel book, which is what it was for a recent trip to Paris for my wife and me, it was nearly perfect It relates great gobs of Parisian history in easy to swallow bites The characters walk through the same streets you walk through and go to the same sites you do How was life at Versailles for those thousands of noblemen and women What was it like to build the Eiffel Tower What was the anti Protestant crackdown like Great descriptions of all of them Definitely worth a four I would recommend it to anybody going to Paris, recently returned or even someone who wants to remember it like they were just there Unfortunately, while the author s history research is admirable, his writing leaves much to be desired some is just downright painful Part of the problem he faces is in sustaining any dramatic arc or tension as he skips over centuries and jumps generations That is a tough assignment for anyone, and Mr Rutherford doesn t pull it off But much of the problem is self inflicted Too many paragraphs describe how all the characters are perfectly content Too many of the potentially interesting dramatic moments happen off screen Too many famous people make cameo appearances My wife aptly described it as a Magic Treehouse book for adults after the characters ran into Monet, Eiffel, Chanel and Hemingway, to name a few.This was a light, entertaining read, perfect for touring Paris, but not much of a novel I had some mixed feelings about this On one hand, I didn t really like how he jumped back and forth through time instead of following alinear timeline as he does in his other books On the other hand, I did like that the timeline he kept returning to was the period of the Belle Epoque through World War II, which is really the time when Paris was becoming the city we know today However, I didn t understand why he didn t start earlier in time than the briefest glimpse of the 1200s In a I had some mixed feelings about this On one hand, I didn t really like how he jumped back and forth through time instead of following alinear timeline as he does in his other books On the other hand, I did like that the timeline he kept returning to was the period of the Belle Epoque through World War II, which is really the time when Paris was becoming the city we know today However, I didn t understand why he didn t start earlier in time than the briefest glimpse of the 1200s In a later chapter he briefly mentioned a former Roman settlement That was certainly pre 1200 It seemed also like he made an effort to avoid the historical commentary that is his custom except for a brief 1 or 2 page intro I thought that this would be a good change, leavingtime for the stories of the characters, but instead I felt like I missed a lot of information The entire novel seemed to assume a certain knowledge of French history on the reader s part particularly since so much was entirely skipped , and while I amwell versed in history than many people, I struggled to place the characters in the correct setting I only remember a few kings being mentioned predominantly Philip IV, Charles IX, and Louis XIV XVI , things like the Commune weren t witnessed firsthand by characters but instead talked about by their descendants, and though the epilogue took place in the pivotal year of 1968, there s really no indication that anything is out of the ordinary Really the book wasn t bad, but I expected so muchEnjoyable, but not earth shattering.Also, see this review for lots of other points I agree with I feel like, to really dislike a book, I should explain why Been a big fan of Rutherfurd since I picked up London, then Russka, Sarum, Princes of Ireland, New York, and the rest All are great, 4 or 5 star books Paris, gets one, based on the disappointment I felt What he did was forget what made those other books great Paris has a lot of great, great history, exciting stuff that would be fascinating to read about.and he barely mentions Instead, he got completely wrapped up with the ro I feel like, to really dislike a book, I should explain why Been a big fan of Rutherfurd since I picked up London, then Russka, Sarum, Princes of Ireland, New York, and the rest All are great, 4 or 5 star books Paris, gets one, based on the disappointment I felt What he did was forget what made those other books great Paris has a lot of great, great history, exciting stuff that would be fascinating to read about.and he barely mentions Instead, he got completely wrapped up with the romance part Napoleonmentioned, but not the typical chapter with a main character in one of the Little General s battles The guillotine, mentioned, actually the best chapter of the book..but only 20 pages Black Plaguenot touched on World War I..touched on, but only as a time setting for a romance See a theme This is hardly historical fiction it s a series of romance stories set in Paris That s why I gave it one star Not a total deviation from what makes Rutherfurd s other books great, but too much of one to make it even qualify as decent, in my opinion Rutherfurd returns to offer another multi generational view at one of the world s great cities, using his popular formula to capture the wonders of Paris The story expands from the lineage of three families the le Sourds, de Cygnes, and Renards, Rutherfurd While it must be said that the book is not for the weak of concentration, its tales do link together, loosely, one from the other Peppered with the essentials of a decent piece of fiction, the reader experiences love, loss, and betrayal, Rutherfurd returns to offer another multi generational view at one of the world s great cities, using his popular formula to capture the wonders of Paris The story expands from the lineage of three families the le Sourds, de Cygnes, and Renards, Rutherfurd While it must be said that the book is not for the weak of concentration, its tales do link together, loosely, one from the other Peppered with the essentials of a decent piece of fiction, the reader experiences love, loss, and betrayal, with sides of war, triumph, and tribulation While not told in chronological order, the dedicated reader will pick up the thread of the narration and piece the larger story together, with its rich nuances Touching on some historical happenings to help with the setting and plot advancement, Rutherfurd offers his own spin on many of the events that touched Paris and the world as a whole while injecting his own interpretation of events and outcomes Well worth a read for history fanatics, but not to be sandwiched between other beach fare over the summer months.The central story spans from just after the Franco Prussian War circa 1870 through to the politically tumultuous 1968, with a thorough social and political commentary woven into a fictitious story line With great historical cameo appearances by the likes of Eiffel, Monet, Hemingway, Chanel, and de Gaulle, Rutherfurd melds fiction to reality as he places his characters in the middle of world events, as though they played decisive roles With flashback chapters that explain some of the key happenings through the centuries, Paris history is seen as a full and complex part of the modern city Such a rich collection of inter woven stories saysabout the city than its structural and political development andabout the greater story than many European cities can tell in their development over the centuries Rutherfurd is the modern master at such tales, picking up the reins left by Mitchener in his historical classics A treat for any dedicated reader whose passion for history is coupled with an interest in great fictional tales.Admittedly, as I chose to go the audiobook route, I found myself lost at some points of the book, unable to easily refer to the family tree Rutherfurd offers up in his paper and electronic book versions That said, the power of the story s setting and plot were not lost on me While used to reading Rutherfurd as a chronological set of tales, this one took a littleconcentration and made knowing the foundational and tangential story lines a littleimportant Rutherfurd posits that Paris wasof an artistic centre for the world than other European locales, fuelled by the cultural, political, and social revolutions that occurred around the same time Paris was often home to the seat of government of a country with strong military aspirations, but who ended up needing rescuing at every turn, at least after the waning Napoleonic era With a light Follet flavour in the multi generational approach, Rutherfurd keeps company with few others who are able to balance such a feat while not overlooking any generation s importance to the larger story.Kudos, Mr Rutherfurd for a highly entertaining and complex look at Europe s most culturally influenced cities You attention to detail leaves much to the reader s imagination as they push through the plethora of history on offer I read this awhile ago, but wanted to add it because if you re like me and have a passion for travel and history, you may very well love this as much as I did It s a multi generational novel, following the story of one family from medieval times to the 1960 s Edward Rutherfurd did a brilliant job with his vivid description and character development I loved seeing Paris through their eyes and experiences.His research was extensive and it shows on the page Do not be intimidated by the 800 plus I read this awhile ago, but wanted to add it because if you re like me and have a passion for travel and history, you may very well love this as much as I did It s a multi generational novel, following the story of one family from medieval times to the 1960 s Edward Rutherfurd did a brilliant job with his vivid description and character development I loved seeing Paris through their eyes and experiences.His research was extensive and it shows on the page Do not be intimidated by the 800 plus pages PARIS is worth your time I had a hard time putting this down, and when I did I couldn t wait for the opportunity to pick it up again One thing that is unique about this novel is that it switches from past to present and back to past again, a pattern throughout the book Some people might not enjoy that, but for me, it was a strength I didn t find it distracting at all I have no doubt you ll be longing for a trip to Paris within the first 50 pages I have never been to Paris, but if I ever get there I will be thinking about the ambitious and likable Monsieur Eiffel, my favorite real person who comes to life in this novel and Thomas Gascon, my favorite character.I have been exposed toFrench history than I ll ever remember but it was an enjoyable trip as the history comes to life through the stories of several families Their stories unfold over the span of centuries from the 1200 s through 1960 s They are working class people, bourge I have never been to Paris, but if I ever get there I will be thinking about the ambitious and likable Monsieur Eiffel, my favorite real person who comes to life in this novel and Thomas Gascon, my favorite character.I have been exposed toFrench history than I ll ever remember but it was an enjoyable trip as the history comes to life through the stories of several families Their stories unfold over the span of centuries from the 1200 s through 1960 s They are working class people, bourgeois, and aristocrats and over the span of centuries, Rutherford cleverly intertwines their stories.The political landscape is depicted at various times from the rule of King Louis IX all the way up to the German invasion of Paris and it s liberation The arts in Paris with the likes of Monet and Hemingway are here.I loved the story of Thomas Gascon and his part in building the Eiffel Tower His story was the most compelling to me and I felt that his character was the most developed and relatable, while I could not feel a major connection with so many other characters.At times, I was a little confused since the story does not unfold in chronological order It skips from one century to another and then back several centuries so for me the story didn t flow I m not sure what this was meant to do Since I can t give it 3.5 stars, I have to round up to 4 for the clever way of connecting these families over the centuries


About the Author: Edward Rutherfurd

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Paris book, this is one of the most wanted Edward Rutherfurd author readers around the world.


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