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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  27,250 ratings  ·  1,639 reviews
Po Paryżu i Nowym Jorku, Edward Rutherfurd przedstawia nam fascynujące losy Londynu.
Z rozmachem opisuje ponad dwa tysiące lat historii tego miasta. Dzięki barwnym bohaterom, których pasjonujące losy misternie splatają się z historią miasta, ukazana zostaje cała bogata przeszłość Londynu. W miarę rozwoju metropolii jesteśmy świadkami powstawania amfiteatru w Londynie, budyn
Hardcover, 983 pages
Published November 23rd 2016 by Czarna Owca (first published January 1st 1997)
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Pam Thompson don't read London. I am trying to get into it and am failing. It's choppy with each story not connected to the next, no continuity at all. Now if you …moredon't read London. I am trying to get into it and am failing. It's choppy with each story not connected to the next, no continuity at all. Now if you want to learn about the History of London, I can highly recommend a book called 'City' by Philip boast, which charts the history of London from the crucifixion, up to modern times. And I think that's why 'London' is so difficult for me. I have read Philip Boast's book first (Simply because I bought house from him many decades ago and wanted to see if his writing was any better than his taste in wallpaper) and from almost the first paragraph, I was hooked and unable to put it down.
Seriously, Philip Boast's city will teach you more than either of the books you mentioned.(less)
Greg Jane, I agree with you, this is a FABULOUS novel. I think, for many readerss, the issues Rutherford addresses are too uncomfortably real and close and…moreJane, I agree with you, this is a FABULOUS novel. I think, for many readerss, the issues Rutherford addresses are too uncomfortably real and close and relevant today. This book is WHY we read.(less)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  27,250 ratings  ·  1,639 reviews

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Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This epic work really does bring history alive in your as Rutherford moves from chapter to chapter effortlessly tracing the history of the remarkable city London and 5 remarkable families .There is not a dull moment and this should really awaken any interest you may have in history
Incredible men and unforgettable ,often extremely sensual, women enliven the pages of this work as you gain more knowledge about England and in the last chapter the message of the book is described succinctly .The rich
Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sprawling historical novel as big as London itself - it was required reading before I went to study abroad and I've read it twice since. Rutherford did an incredible amount of research and it all comes together beautifully. The characters' family trees carry through the entire history of Britain - pre-Roman through WWII. This book is so dear to my heart! ...more
Apr 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The third book of Rutherford's that I've read of this type. Have previously read Sarum and Russka and this book pretty much followed those; nothing really surprising or extraordinary about this book.

I suggest reading this book for more of the historical facts than any sort of story-telling. As a history of London (and England) it's nice in that it's not too dry and involves a little bit of fictional aspects. However, the fact that the characters change every couple of chapters (as the narrative
Chariti King Canny
I did not like this book, and probably won't finish it though I'm 3/4 of the way through. The author goes from life to life through the history of London, and because it's such massive history, is unable to give details about the characters and environments that I usually adore. Because of this lack of detail I feel disconnected from the characters and the story. I chose to read it after going to London and wishing I could learn more about the historical day to day. I think reading seperate book ...more
UPDATE: An author certainly can't cover every historical event concerning London in a single volume, or perhaps even in a series of volumes. However, to me. Rutherford completely skips over a vital part of London's history, a cultural one that had a worldwide impact perhaps as much of an impact as other issues. Before laughing out loud, here me out: the world is still reeling from the impact of London's "Swinging 60's": things such as fashion, the sexual revolution, music, films, class, etc. Whe ...more
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england, london
London stretches all the way from Roman times to the present. The author tells stories at the most dramatic moments of that city's history, leaping from Caesar's invasion to the Norman Conquest to the Great Fire to the Blitz, with many stops in between. London is ambitious, and students of English history will eat it up.
I really enjoyed this one.
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you happen to like hauling around 1000+ page books with you for weeks, you'll love this one! Although not in the same league as Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End", this is a nice book for Follett fans who are suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms after finishing those two great novels.

I probably could have done without the first 200 pages, I really didn't need to know how the White Cliffs of Dover were formed to lead into the rest of the book, but once I got pas
This was like a cross between a history textbook and One Hundred Years of Solitude. It's the history of London since before the Roman invasion till modern times told through life stories of generations upon generations of a few of the same families. So, 2000 Years of Solitude in London, if you will.

I vaguely expected the book to rapidly gloss over the olden times and spend 80% of time on the Victorian era - but it didn't. Actually, Rutherfurd paid a lot of detailed attention to the Middle Ages
Jan 08, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Every physical description of a female character began and ended with her breasts. Wooden prose, stilted dialogue -- actually, the only thing I enjoyed about this book were the descriptions of London as it grew and changed. If Rutherfurd had written a story about the city itself, rather than bringing characters into it, I might have enjoyed it more. Maybe a better writer will attempt that book.
Mar 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's odd to read a 1,124 page novel and feel that it's too short. This is not a "haute" literature novel, but rather a sprawling ramble through the history of London - the terrain and its people - made accessible through a series of chronological tales told through the ages. As with "Sarum," Mr. Rutherfurd follows different families over the centuries, with their stories intertwining due to coincidence, marriage, and friendship. This book genre is terrific for learning little known facts, such a ...more
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit it--I didn't finish it. It's a good idea, and a good introduction to London's history, but I really got a little tired of the story (over and over and over) of the Brave, Heroic, Intelligent Man who manages to seduce, conquer, and commit adultery with the Silly, Stupid, Manipulative Woman, who is brainless, yes, but prettier than all the other silly, stupid, and manipulative women in that particular chapter. In fact, I have a hard time remembering a chapter in which this does not happ ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
So... this book.

I read Edward Rutherfurd's novel "Paris" at the beginning of this year and flew through the 800-something pages because I just couldn't put it down. Yes, part of it is my bias because I love that city, but the book was such a great work of historical fiction in itself. It has a place on my favorites list and I recommend it to all.

With that, I bought "London", assuming I'd love it just as much. I'm totally into England and English history, especially Tudor history, so I was really
Mary JL
Dec 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any fan of historical fiction or hisotry
Recommended to Mary JL by: Discovered it myself
Shelves: fiction-classics
This is a long book--I will be a few days on this one. Looks good so

Tuesday 1/6/09. Now on page 365 of London. Still good. Will review when finished.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Finally finished London (we have been a bit busier at work).

The historical details of this book are excellent. I know a bit out history and there were no obvious errors or jarring anachronisms.
May 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dead-tree
It started out fine, but about 3/4ths of the way through, the repetition (particularly every era having a character with an odd streak of white hair) got to be annoying, and in a 1100+ page book, it ended up seeming interminable.

Rutherfurd's got a schtick of writing massive doorstoppers following one family over the course of millennia. There's intimate domestic dramas and high points in history all mixed together. A fine formula, but once is enough. I tried reading his Russka: The Novel of Russ
Lady Mayfair
When speaking of long tomes-historical fiction Edward Rutherfurd is King. He has his own recipe, no different than Ken Follet, Philippa Gregory or Hilary Martel, but he is in a league of his own, an unsurpassed master storyteller, unpretentious and erudite.

A set of short stories, set in chronological order, beginning with a River Thames and ending with 1997 London, there is much complaint over a lack of character development, but there is no need for more of it here as this is not historical fi
BAM Endlessly Booked
Jan 08, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A Book for All Seasons: published during a milestone year (1997)
Kelsey McKim
I read this as a crash course in London history before studying abroad in the old English city. While I do feel much more familiar with the city's (and England's) basic history, the book didn't have as much merit as literature. There are a few things I want to specifically address:

-Character development is lacking, which makes sense because the book takes place over thousands of years. As others have said, the main character is London itself, but the individuals in the book were often flat and/o
Daniel Villines
With over eleven hundred pages, I was anticipating London to be both entertaining and educational. I was hoping for that magical merging of history and fiction, which gives life to history and historical significance to life. Rutherfurd's book, however, misses this anticipation by a wide margin.

London covers almost two thousand years of history and focuses on a few familial hereditary lines throughout that span of time. Each period of history that is selected by Rutherfurd is complemented by sto
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
About halfway through Chapter 18 (~page 1030) on the Cutty Sark I recognized that I had read that story before. Then I realized I had read the whole book before - that is how unmemorable the stories and characters are.
Anna Elliott
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know that some people are deterred from reading 'big' books. It doesn't bother me. I see a thick tome as something of a challenge.

For my full review please visit my blog at: https://leftontheshelfbookblog.blogsp...
MG Mason
Edward Rutherford writes mammoth books where the central character is a place and the people in them are incidental and used to drive the plot across a given time period (usually several thousand years). It is a formula that has worked well and gained critical and popular acclaim. ‘London’ is the third such novel of his I have read; the other two are ‘Sarum’ and ‘The Forest’.

‘London’ contains all of the best and worst elements of those two books. In ‘Sarum’ the characters and their situations ar
2.5 stars.

So in 2018 I have decided that I will be doing my own version of a Tome Topple challenge, where every month I will aim to read a book that's ~600 page plus in length.

To kick things off, I've decided to pick up Rutherfurd's 'London', after having enjoyed two of his previous works. Unfortunately, not so much here.

Look, I love the way that Rutherford makes everything interconnected within families, and it's fascinating to watch the city change and develop. However, I didn't really connec
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hot summer days between the move and the arrival of household goods - no better time to start a long epic by Rutherfurd. I discovered this book was loaned to me about ten years ago by someone who doesn't want it back. I love these Michener-like authors who start with the creation of the earth and bring it through the centuries to modern day time, especially when, like Rutherfurd, they have families who intertwine through the epochs and are followed from earliest times to the present.

I also love
K.M. Weiland
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book because I loved the idea of a grand overview of history. I knew I'd find it educational. But I admit I was pretty doubtful about how entertaining it would be. I fully expected great research and flat writing. I couldn't have been more delightfully surprised. Rutherford has not only offered amazing and fascinating research, he's also proven he's a marvelous storyteller.

I was never bored for a minute while reading his short stories, chronicling the lives of several London fam
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Why did I wait so long to read this one? It's been on my shelves for years - maybe because it's over 1,000 pages. If you want a great summer read, I highly recommend this epic, 2,000 year saga of London. Historical fiction at its best! Now that I have finished, I will just add one more thing - I did find the last 100 pages or so, which covered Victorian London to the present, to be less compelling than the rest of the book. I don't know if it was because I was anxious to be finished at that ...more
My husband and I travelled to Finland for a week. I promised not to bring 'too many books' so I showed him that I only brought the one... with 1297 pages it was just thick enough to last me a week ;-) ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction
Enjoyed this thoroughly though I concede it is popular rather than literary fiction. I haven't read other Rutherford books but I understand the concept is similar -- follow a few families, with distinguishing physical and personality traits, down through the ages from nigh pre-historic all the way through to contemporary world (the 1990's in this case), weaving history in with (fictional) biography. There is a quite an array of characters, and although some of them are stock or have elements of ...more
Tony Taylor
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edward Rutherfurd belongs to the James Michener school: he writes big, sprawling history-by- the-pound. His novel, London, stretches two millennia all the way from Roman times to the present. The author places his vignettes at the most dramatic moments of that city's history, leaping from Caesar's invasion to the Norman Conquest to the Great Fire to (of course) the Blitz, with many stops in between. London is ambitious, and students of English history will eat it up. The author doesn't skimp on ...more
London: The Novel is an entertaining, albeit long, read. It takes some time to get into the book; you have to make your way past some dry geographic passages and slow character development. Each chapter is its own short story which could probably stand on its own. Since the author couldn’t use the same character through two millennia, he has simplified the character development by using several families and their descendents. Different genetic traits and/or attitudes reoccur through the ages—giv ...more
Jun 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: London Fanatics
Well, for an 1100 page-plus book, I would've liked it to be more interesting. There were a lot of large sections that were bogged down by politics & religion (and at one regrettable point, banking); while I know these issues obviously affect people's lives, I don't need to read about every single complexity therein.

There were some great historical tidbits I'd never heard before and I went Googling several times to look at photos & drawings of places gone by (several still remaining). The early t
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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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“When a voyager begins a journey, he prepares his ship, decides upon his course and sets sail. What else can he do? But he cannot know the outcome – what storms may arise, what new lands he may find, or whether or not he will return. That is destiny, and you must accept it. Never think you can escape destiny.” 6 likes
“So how would you define a Londoner, then?” Lady Penny asked curiously. “Someone who lives here. It’s like the old definition of a cockney: someone who’s born within hearing distance of Bow bells. And a foreigner,” he added with a grin, “is anyone, Anglo-Saxon or not, who lives outside.” 4 likes
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