The Novel

Rutherfurd, Edward

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
From the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling epic portrait of Paris that leaps through centuries as it weaves the tales of families whose fates are forever entwined with the City of Lights. The breathtaking multigenerational saga takes listeners on a journey through thousands of years of glorious Parisian history, through intimate and vivid tales of characters both fictional and true, and with the sights, scents, and tastes of Paris come to sumptuous life.

Published: New York : Doubleday, c2013.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385535304
Branch Call Number: F RUT
Characteristics: x, 809 pages :,ill., maps ;,25 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 15, 2015

Very disappointed with this book. Obviously all characters were created and intertwined to fit the "Paris" story. I cannot decide if the author wants this to be a novel with historical facts, or a history lesson with some human stories in it to keep me interested. Didn't work for me at all.

Dec 22, 2014
  • GLNovak rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I always enjoy a good multifamily multigenerational saga full of history, and so I knew I would enjoy this one. Paris has a reputation around the world for being an exciting city where great things happen, and I think the great things were all here, portrayed as the various characters experienced them. The Eiffel tower is one of the main characters and its construction brought many of the families together. I did get a little confused going back and forth in time periods, and some of the names were muddling for me. All in all, though, the sweep of the story of the city and its rise to international greatness, its romantic and bloody times, its allure for tourists kept me going through all 1000+ pages.

Aug 04, 2014
  • mountainmadness rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I thoroughly enjoyed Rutherfurd's sweeping multi-generational saga of Paris. He skillfully ties most of the story lines together near the end and we are left longing for more. I did not enjoy his skipping pointlessly through history which caused, for me, a loss of continuity in which character development suffers. In our fast paced reading world I think he should stick to chronological storytelling as in past books. When a historical writer propels you to research more of the depicted history I think he has done his job well. I found myself ordering material on the Belle Epoque, The Terror and the The French Resistance. I look forward to Rutherfurd's next tale and I hope it is not predictable.

Jun 11, 2014
  • talktimereader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Unfortunately not one of Edward Rutherfurd's best. Lacked the action, detail, history and creatively of past novels like two of my favourites Sarum and London.

Strangely left me with the same awed yet unfulfilled and empty feeling I experience each time I visit Paris....

Feb 25, 2014
  • zipread rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Paris --- by Edward Rutherford. Rutherford has crafted a number of block-buster novels, all of them focused on world cities and some of the families who live in the. He explores their lives: their loves and their tragedies. Like “London” the scope of his work is ambitious: from the thirteenth century to post-war France. From Louis XIV to the Terror of the French Revolution to the French resistance of the war. There are nobles and commoners, madams and guillotined. The novel catches your breath. It runs away with you. How will this end? What will become of her? The questions lead you on. This book is not to be taken lightly. It tallies in at over 800 pages. Not the kind of thing you’ll knock off quick on the subway to work.But do not be daunted: you will be rewarded. Rutherford needs a big book to tell his big story. A story well worth pursuing.

Jan 07, 2014

Book was too heavy to hold

Nov 07, 2013
  • qubrown rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This book required a lot of focus. Two weeks to read 800 pages, settings that shifted back and forth in time, involving multiple families! No sooner had I got familiar with a character then it was time to move forward a number of years. Or back!
Nevertheless, a good read about the historical development of Paris and the people involved.

Oct 27, 2013

Boring story line, way too much detail that seemed to have no point and not very interesting generally. I liked the historical information but the characters were not particularly memorable or likeable. I did not finish it....

Oct 21, 2013
  • shadyladynz rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

As much as I enjoy reading Edward Ruthfurd's books, I could just not get "into" this one. I tried, but I found the story quite boring actually. Was quite disappointed as I had been eagerly awaiting this book.

Sep 26, 2013
  • BlueHippo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a HUGE Rutherfud fan! I love sagas like he writes (also alike Ken Follett). Anyway, this book is really wonderful! Characters come alive, historical tidbits are fascinating, and the story moves back and forth in time effortlessly. Besides the historical accuracy, I love how Rutherfud shows how the average person of the times played an important role in the great events we remember today. Yes, we know the kings, the generals, the statesmen, the scientists, authors, artists, builders, and inventors whose words and deeds have changed history. But these are the stories of the common person behind these names we remember. It is a testament to the memory of their contributions that makes these books great.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at DBRL


Explore Further

Browse the Shelf
Find Series Titles and Other Books Like This With NoveList

Subject Headings