• by Edward Rutherfurd
  • Narrated by Jean Gilpin
  • 38 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling, epic portrait of the City of Light.
Internationally best-selling author Edward Rutherfurd has enchanted millions of readers with his sweeping, multigenerational dramas that illuminate the great achievements and travails throughout history. In this breathtaking saga of love, war, art, and intrigue, Rutherfurd has set his sights on the most magnificent city in the world: Paris.
Moving back and forth in time across centuries, the story unfolds through intimate and vivid tales of self-discovery, divided loyalties, passion, and long-kept secrets of characters both fictional and real, all set against the backdrop of the glorious city - from the building of Notre Dame to the dangerous machinations of Cardinal Richlieu; from the glittering court of Versailles to the violence of the French Revolution and the Paris Commune; from the hedonism of the Belle Époque, the heyday of the impressionists, to the tragedy of the First World War; from the 1920s when the writers of the Lost Generation could be found drinking at Les Deux Magots to the Nazi occupation, the heroic efforts of the French Resistance, and the 1968 student revolt.
With his unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve, Rutherfurd weaves an extraordinary narrative tapestry that captures all the glory of Paris. More richly detailed, more thrilling, and more romantic then anything Rutherfurd has written before, Paris: The Novel wonderfully illuminates hundreds of years in the City of Light and Love and brings the sights, scents, and tastes of Paris to sumptuous life.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Paris is always a good idea

When I bought Paris, I was skeptical - How do you fit millennia of history about one of the greatest cities in the world into forty hours? But with Rutherfurd’s other titles so beloved, I thought I’d give it an hour or two. Those two hours turned me into a believer.

Edward Rutherfurd illuminates pieces of Paris throughout her graceful aging – Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the student uprisings, even the Crusades – and builds a complete camera obscura through the lives of several protagonists: protagonists that I came to care more about in five pages than most authors can convince me to do in entire books.

It turns out what makes the history of a city so interesting is not the changing of the city itself, but the people who carve themselves into it, whether that be tradesmen building the Statue of Liberty or young men of noble lineage who do not deserve the great names bestowed upon them. Jean Gilpin is a smart narrator who never seems to talk down to you, despite any difficulty of the text, and I thoroughly enjoyed her brightening of the picture Rutherfurd has made for us. When you’re looking for something lush and enveloping to lose yourself in, Paris is always a good idea.
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- Erin - Audible

And I thought I knew Paris, a fascinating read!

I was actually dreading listening to this, imagining a long, drawn-out historical novel, crammed with mind-numbing facts. I used to spend several months a year in my favorite city in the world, and thought I had gotten to know it quite well--much better than the typical tourist fare. I had lived there as a Parisian. But, was I in for a surprise!

I wish there was a way to give this more than 5 stars--it deserves it! It is the most absorbing way to learn how Paris became the Paris of today, and what makes up the blood, sentiments, politics and fierce libertarians Parisians are today. This is an incredible story, spanning centuries, and allowing you to live, feel and love the way Parisians did at any given point in its incredible history. Their resilience and pride rarely faltered, and were well-won. Peeling off the layers upon layers of rich tradition and strife allows you and unparalleled insight into the Parisian spirit. Their liberties were always challenged, and winning them was hard fought. Their rule was an experimentation of most types of government, from monarchy to conquerers to religious atrocities to communism. The people always triumphed, and their deeply rooted sense of fairness in all matters shines through.

Their perspectives on honor, love, romance, work ethic and loyalty are epic, and somehow created the country that gave us our symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty. It is beyond fascinating to discover the intricacies of how the huge structure was built to endure. The same is true of perhaps the most famous structure in the world, the Eiffel Tower. The engineering was incredible, as was the courage of the workers who, eventually, on their own, stopped the Nazis from ever ascending to its top.

I was devastated when the book finally ended; the many parts sped by, and my education about the development of Paris through the ages grew painlessly, and quite enjoyably. It is a delight to hear; and, whether a Francophile or anyone who just wants a great story, this is something you will not want to pass up. It is an awesome and thoroughly enjoyable listen.
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- Janels

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-23-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio