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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  8,076 ratings  ·  1,312 reviews
From the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling epic portrait of Paris that leaps through centuries as it weaves the tales of families whose fates are forever entwined with the City of Light. As he did so brilliantly in London: The Novel and New York:
The Novel, Edward Rutherfurd brings to life the most magical city in the world: Paris.
This breathtaking multi
Hardcover, 809 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2013)
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Prytanias I enjoyed this book. Historical events and places, a story of a few families, including the histories/stories of the generations that came after them.…moreI enjoyed this book. Historical events and places, a story of a few families, including the histories/stories of the generations that came after them. This book spanned pretty much the 1300's all the way to the 1950-60's. This was not a historical book, like...I didn't feel like I was in a history class, but a true novel with characters you became enamored with. There were points in the book where a lot of detail was put into something that maybe I didn't want that much detail about, and there were other parts where I felt things I wanted to know more about were raced through, but overall, I don't regret the time spent on this 800+ page book at all! There were days that I craved reading even just a couple of a paragraphs. Would recommend to anyone that loves long books as much as I do.(less)
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Historical Fiction 2013
9th out of 583 books — 2,357 voters
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47th out of 446 books — 421 voters

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Community Reviews

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Maine Colonial
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 several more of 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 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 a more linear 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 ...more
Stephan Benzkofer
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 ...more
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 ...more
Holly Weiss
Edward Rutherfurd is undoubtedly the reigning master of the multi-period epic novel. Paris: The Novel showcases his impeccable research and narrative talent. This sweeping novel covers 700 years of one of the most famous global cities. Paris's well-deserved fascination is magnificently illuminated. Triumphant as the city's architecture and culture, the book is a propulsive march through the geography, society and history of Paris.

We follow a few families from 1261 and the building of Notre Dame
I have read two of his other books, "The Princes of Ireland" and "The Rebels of Ireland" loved both of them and I am enjoying "Paris" even more. I plan to read his other books as well.
They are rich historical novels. Wish that we could have learned our history in school from people like Rutherford.
Angela M
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 to more French 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
If this book was 300-400 pages long, I would have given it a 5-star rating. Unfortunately midway, it became a bit boring and confusing--though it did pick up a bit towards the end.

Rutherford's command of historical narrative is appealing. The Eiffel Tower construction, the French Revolution, the era of Realism, the Inquisition, are all included within the dialogue between noble families and the bourgeoise, the Catholic-Protestant divide evident as the plot steams.

It is a great historical read
Awesomely brilliant! ...and to think I was going to pass this up because it was a big, long book! Just goes to show that you can't tell a book by not only its cover but also by its length.

This wonderful novel portrays a number of families through various centuries and the effect that living in and around Paris had on their lives and conversely the city on them. The history of the city and the fact that it is often referred to as the City of Light is written of so lovingly and with a keen sense o
This is the second novel by Edward Rutherfurd that I've read but I was greatly looking forward to it because he does such a wonderful job in portraying the history and culture of a city. I was fortunate to be approved of a galley to this novel via NetGalley.

Unlike Russka where each of the stories set in the different periods more or less were unrelated to each other (from what I recall), this novel has a set number of characters & families that the reader follows over the course of most of t
An exciting, complex adventure through French history, Paris kept me captivated for over 800 pages - or rather what ended up being an entire month's worth of audiobook listening time. This certainly would have been 5 stars if I had read it rather than listening. Finding the family tree on Edward Rutherfurd's website helped me keep track of the centuries worth of people and their connections, but also gave me some spoilers.

The noble family of the De Cygnes, the Le Sourds who descend from criminal
I like the concept of this book, but the execution was kind of annoying after a while. Rutherfurd attempts to teach the reader about the history of Paris through a tapestry of family histories. He gets the history across and does succeed in weaving a pretty interesting plot. What bothered me was the way he mixed in his little history lessons. Apparently every character in the book doubled as a lecturer. At random times in the story, different individuals would launch into detailed explanations a ...more
Karen McMillan
Paris is a dense and beautifully-written book that tackles the history of The City of Lights. It is a massive novel that follows the fortunes of six French families from the 13th to 20th centuries as it weaves a tale that captures all the major events of Paris. The de Cygne family are aristocrats who are almost wiped out by the terror of 1794. By contrast the Le Sourds are medieval pickpockets and thieves, who become fervent champions of the Jacobins during the French Revolution. The Renards are ...more
Scott Rhee
The oddly beautiful metal structure known by the world as the Eiffel Tower appropriately bookends the oddly beautiful novel “Paris” by Edward Rutherford and also serves to be a metaphor for the city itself. The tower, like the city itself, was a dream that many did not think would ever get past the planning stages, and when it did, it faced so much scrutiny and criticism that it was considered a laughingstock. Paris’s tumultuous history---a history of warring haves and have-nots, nobles and peas ...more
In four decades or so of voracious reading, I have never once been inspired to pre-order a book. Until, that is, this previous winter when I found out the release date for Paris. I sprained a finger mouse-clicking my way to Amazon to make sure my copy was downloaded the minute midnight of April 23rd arrived. Given how much I'd enjoyed Rutherfurd's previous work and the subject he was tackling in this, his latest novel, I knew I'd be in for hours of...dare I say it..."delightful" reading.

The resp
Judi/Judith Riddle
Edward Rutherfurd, the master author of historically accurate novels and story telling through the eyes of intriguing characters, does it again! Will this author ever stop writing wonderfully alluring, epic novels about cities and countries? I certainly hope not. I read until my eyes blurred and then read some more. The only thing negative I am able to say is that, through this novel I realized that when I visited Paris I missed so many of the places that Rutherfurd describes and now I want to g ...more
Jane Greensmith
Sep 15, 2012 Jane Greensmith marked it as to-read
Can't wait--I love his books!
Danny Adams
The first thing Rutherfurd fans will notice about this book (or earlier than that, if they read the publisher blurb) is that instead of following his standard Michenerian formula of following a family through the generations chronologically, Rutherfurd instead jumps back and forth through time. Some readers have a problem with this; I didn't once I got used to it, and I thought the way he interspersed the Belle Epoque through WWII story, which was most of the book, with related stories of previo ...more
I absolutely loved this book. It took a while for me to get into it but as soon as the separate stories started relating and weaving together I was hooked and became really attached to some of the characters and their lives. Rarely does a book evoke emotions in me like this one did.
can't wait to read this! I have read four Edward Rutherford books now, (London, New York, Princes of Ireland and Rebels of Ireland) they were all fantastic, and I have been waiting for him to come out with Paris! I wasn't sure it would happen but am ecstatic that it has!
Megan Chance
As you might expect, this novel is about a city: Paris. The characters are secondary to the broad swath of history--and frankly, there's no better or more enjoyable way to learn about history and how it intersects and overlaps than a historical novel of this type. But make no mistake, that is the point here. Rutherford tells the story of four or five different families as they move through time and Paris, and those characters are only important insofar as they reflect certain aspects of Paris's ...more
Marian Allen
My mother and I are in contention: She loves James Michener and I'm an Edward Rutherfurd partisan. Michener is, understandably, an influence of Rutherfurd's, but I maintain that the student has surpassed the master.

In PARIS, Rutherfurd tells his multi-generational story in a different way that he normally does. At first, I didn't like it, didn't understand it, found it confusing, and wished he had followed his usual practice. I changed my mind.

While Rutherfurd has always begun far in the past a
What a huge disappointment! I really missed out. It’s not the book – it’s 100% me.

This is the 3rd Edward Rutherford novel I’ve read and it certainly won’t be the last. He’s a great story teller and I love the concept of his books however PARIS tapped into my biggest book problem: I can’t keep track of that many characters! And unlike the other 2 novels I read: Sarum The Novel of England by Edward Rutherfurdand New York The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd because the story is not told in chronological order it just made it impossible for me.

When the time line stayed put I was captiv
Kat's Review

This book is a work of art. It won't be for everyone, but it has everything needed to become an instant classic. From the first page it was evident how much research the author had done into the history of France. The novel is as much a history lesson as it is a sweeping tale that follows the lives of several families over generations. I love everything to do with France and Paris in particular, and I enjoy historical novels, making this book the perfect read for me.

I usually devo
Susan Johnson
Let me say first that I love all Edward Rutherford's books and this is no exception. Still my Kindle has spoiled me and as I held this 800+ page novel, I was so wishing that I was reading it on one. All of his books are long and enjoyable but they are also heavy. It's just a recommendation for all you readers who have an access to an ebook.

The "Paris" book follows the Rutherford formula most of the time. It reviews the history of a place throughout the centuries told through the eyes of several
I really liked this epic tale of Paris. I loved the details of each era: the clothes, the culture, the morays, the politics. However, I found myself flipping back through the chapters to reorient myself to which century I was currently reading. I was grateful for the map of old Paris on the inside cover because I returned to it often to track where the story was at that moment (good thing I wasn't reading this on my Kindle!!) Thus 4 stars rather than 5.
I do recommend this to fans of both Histo
Elizabeth Theiss
Rutherford's historical novel tells the story of Paris over seven centuries through the lives of several families. Each family represents a different class or estate and the stories intertwine at various points with intermarriages, failed romances and trade relationships. The thoughtful author included family trees on a timeline, to which I found myself referring often.

One of the endearing qualities of the book is that its scenes take place in many places familiar to anyone who has spent time in
Just finished. Loved this book. lovely historical overview. Good character and plot development. An intereting perspective on so many decades of history. Rutherfurd's treatment of art and artists really made this special for me.
Dick Reynolds
This historical novel chronicles the histories and interactions of six French families over 700 years. In chapter two we’re introduced to the Gaston brothers, Thomas and Luc. Thomas works in a large metal shop and they are constructing the Statue of Liberty in sections so it can be transported to New York and assembled there. While he’s in the shop, Monsieur Gustave Eiffel comes by and takes note of Thomas. Later in the book, Thomas goes to work for Eiffel who is starting to build the famous to ...more
This sweeping historical novel did for Paris what Rutherfurd previously did for London and New York. As I read, I was quite absorbed in the intertwined stories over multiple generations of several Parisian (and the countryside) families. Ironic twist that this morning I was considering whether the book would come up to modern day France and thinking I knew there'd been unrest but I was unclear about it just as today's news of a terrorist attack on a satiric newspaper killed 12 in Paris broke. Ve ...more
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Non Chronological Order 13 115 Jan 16, 2015 07:50AM  
You're in the wrong place for this book! 2 73 Jul 02, 2014 06:30PM  
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Francis Edward Wintle, best known under his pen name Edward Rutherfurd, was born in the cathedral city of Salisbury. Educated locally, and at the universities of Cambridge, and Stanford, California, he worked in political research, bookselling and publishing. After numerous attempts to write books and plays, he finally abandoned his career in the book trade in 1983, and returned to his childhood h ...more
More about Edward Rutherfurd...
Sarum: The Novel of England London New York Russka: The Novel of Russia The Princes of Ireland (The Dublin Saga, #1)

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