Friday, April 26, 2013

Paris: The Novel

by Edward Rutherford, Doubleday, April 2013

...for the diehard historical fiction fans

Hold onto your hats, we have an 800 page(get it on your favorite ereader)  fictional look at Paris that starts in 1260 with the building of Notre Dame Cathedral and finishes in 1968 with the student revolts.  The story follows several families through the years - the LeSourds who are revolutionarys, the Blanchards middle class merchants, the Gascons skilled labourers and the deCynges who are aristocrats.  In what I guess is typical for European society, they never change class - aristocrats from the 13th century are still aristocrats in WWII, etc.   

There is so much ground to cover that the author sacrifices character development for historical detail.  No major milestone in Parisian history is unrecorded in this story.  The wars with England, the expulsion of Jews, the Revolution, the Paris Commune, building the Eiffel Tower, the Franco-Prussian War, WWI and II are all part of it. I would have preferred a little less history and a little more depth of character but not to be.   The bulk of the tale is set between 1860 and 1945 but in a decision that I found hard to follow the author jumps back and forth in time in telling the tale.  The author is very descriptive about Paris neighborhoods; I do not have a familiarity with the geography of the city but if you do I bet you will like this aspect of the story.  Even though I read and mostly enjoyed this tomb I’d be hard pressed to recommend it to any but die hard historical fiction fans.

I read a copy of this novel provided by the publisher


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Unknown said...

A novel get reader for its interesting story.

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rain bow said...

This article is mind satisfactory. I read very carefully.

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