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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  22,285 ratings  ·  2,554 reviews
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 no ...more
Paperback, 809 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Ballantine Books (first published April 23rd 2013)
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Rhonda Gilmour Wow! Every event I remember learning in French history is portrayed in this book. Rutherford ties all these important moments in French history togeth…moreWow! Every event I remember learning in French history is portrayed in this book. Rutherford ties all these important moments in French history together by interweaving 4-5 French families, whose fates are affected by each other's actions and by these historical turning points. He puts a very human face on history - a ripping good story!(less)
Patricia The jumping around in time and across stories is part of this book's charm and Rutherfurd's unique style. In the hard copy there are family trees for …moreThe jumping around in time and across stories is part of this book's charm and Rutherfurd's unique style. In the hard copy there are family trees for the characters, making it easier to follow, Because of its size, this book is best left next to your bed and dipped into every night...without fail!(less)

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 ·  22,285 ratings  ·  2,554 reviews

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Jackie Ullerich
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Angela M
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cgca-2013-14
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
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, audible, hf, 2015-read

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
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
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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, ...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
May 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
4.5 stars....a wonderful languorous journey through Parisian history told from the perspective of four multigenerational families.....simple and elegant writing made this a joy to read.
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
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
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
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: france
I always know that a book has touched me when I continually think back on the characters. This is a story of a few families in Paris through centuries of time. It was more than 800 pages, but I didn’t get bored at all. Also, I normally get overwhelmed with too many names, but that wasn’t a problem here. The only thing that I didn’t care too much for was all the jumping around through time. I would have preferred it had the book been written in more of a chronological order. I especially loved th ...more
Scott Rhee
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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 the n
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
A great read if you are curious about the history of Paris. Rutherfurd, as usual, narrates through the generations of only a few families (often interrelated). The scope of the work (the history of the city from its beginning as a little roman settlement until WWII liberation) is vast and an ambitious task for the author who, to keep the book in one volume, necessarily has limited the story to well-known events and few characters.

Although I wasn’t too happy with the author’s history lesson tone
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edward Rutherfurd has created a good story based around central Paris, it's people and it's culture. Because I have just been to Paris a couple of months ago and can relate to some of the areas and buildings and general descriptions of life in Paris, I am giving this 3 stars. Personally it was a bit long for my ability to concentrate and stay interested in all of the characters. ...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
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
Like with New York, the author did something a bit different here. The family trees are back, but the chronology is not linear as it has been in his other books. The bulk of the tale happens between the 1870's and 1940's (this part of the story is in chronological order in itself) and then we break away from this main story to go back further, as far back as the 13th century. This other thread is also told chronologically, so we progress through both storylines.

At first I was confused, wondering
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Revolutionaries from the slums, aristos, bourgeois merchants, builders, Maquis
I really like Edward Rutherfurd's big bloated historical epics. He has a formula: take a city with a long history, introduce a few families, and follow their triumphs and tragedies across the centuries, while letting the same themes echo over and over again. At the end, we can be satisfied with how the 20th century descendants of the characters we met back in the Middle Ages have fared.

Paris does not go back as far as Sarum, which started literally in the Paleolithic. I did expect Rutherfurd to
Davida Chazan
If you’re looking for a historical fiction novel set in Paris, Edward Rutherfurd’s novel is exactly that. Plus, you’ll learn about this amazing city through the stories of six families and over seven centuries. My newest #bookreview of this sweeping novel is on my blog now! ...more
TBV (on hiatus)
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

For the past few days I have been glued to this 811-page novel. Edward Rutherfurd (Francis Edward Wintle) has again written a novel about several multigenerational families, which takes place over a long period of time. In this book he seems to have perfected his technique. The novel reads like a series of short stories, but they are all interrelated and span several centuries. Into these stories the author then effortlessly weaves history, art and culture, thereby turning the novel int
Benjamin Thomas
Paris, of course, is one of the premier cities of the world, unique in its history, its style, and its international flavor. To capture its essence in the form of a novel requires the skills of an extraordinary writer and happily, Edward Rutherfurd (pseudonym of Francis Edward Wintle) is just the author to do it. Although English himself, Rutherfurd has numerous relatives of French origin and has spent a lot of time there as well. After reading this novel, I feel like he has just enough experien ...more
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my first Edward Rutherfurd book and I liked it allot. From the research and scope point of view, this reminded me of James Michener books. However Edward Rutherfurd does not spread his story over thousands of years and therefore can dig deeper into characters, plots and information.

The star of the book, of course, is the great lady, The City of Light, Paris. Whatever the theme or the time period, whether it is the uprising of this special commune, the French Revolution, the Golden Age o
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: x-favourites
Edward Rutherfurd is one of my favorite authors and Paris is one of the best places to showcase his talents as a researcher and writer. I love how the book time travels and links the stories of the characters together - even when they don't realize themselves how connected they are. The changes within the families are juxtaposed to the changes within the city itself over hundreds of years and it is mesmerizing. Mr. Rutherfurd is a master weaver and Paris one of his finest tapestries. ...more
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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

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