Paris by Edward Rutherfurd

I won a copy of ‘Paris’ by Edward Rutherfurd through Waterstones who offer free copies of recently published books to cardholders through a prize draw in return for an honest review.  I’m not sure if I’m allowed to copy my official review in full on my blog so you can read it here instead (not sure why my name hasn’t appeared next to it yet but it’s the 3 star review by the anonymous 23-year-old under the customer reviews tab).

In brief, ‘Paris’ is an epic historical saga which follows four families of different social classes over several centuries in the French capital.  Having lived in Paris for a year as an undergraduate, I know the city and its history pretty well and the detail in the story is certainly impressive and ambitious.  However, sometimes I felt that the historical details in ‘Paris’ could have been woven into the story a bit more subtly into the story especially after having recently read ‘The Crimson Petal and the White‘ and also ‘Bring Up the Bodies‘ which were both far more successful in that respect.  Overall, the book was less literary than I would have liked but if you are interested in the history of Paris and enjoyed Rutherfurd’s other work, then you will probably like this one too.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Paris by Edward Rutherfurd

  1. Books, Tea & Me

    I picked up his book New York last month at a book fair and haven’t read it yet. Have you? Was it better than Paris?

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  2. I haven’t read this one but I’d definitely recommend Sarum, which covers the history of the area around stonehenge over thousands and thousands of years. As is probably inevitable in a book of that sheer scope, some bits are better than others, but it’s worth some of the laboured scenes for the brilliant bits and for the overall epic feel. With Sarum, I thought that the earlier parts (ie. pre-1400) were best as he was able to use more artistic license, so I’m not sure I’d be a big fan of a book of his in the same sort of style that was all set in the relatively recent past.

    I tried to read another of his books set in Russia (can’t remember its name) and wasn’t as enthralled – I sort of got the impression that unless he happens to write one about your favourite area, if you’ve read one of his books you’ve read them all.

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  3. I’ve had New York in my TBR stack for months. The story appeals but at 800+ pages I’m just wondering when I’ll tackle it…

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  4. I got half way through ‘London’ and then ran out of stamina. You have to be very much engaged with Rutherford to fight your way through to the end of such tomes. I suspect I would lose interest even more quickly with a book about a city I don’t know well, so perhaps ‘Paris’ is not for me.

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