From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Rutherfurd (London, 1997, and New York, 2009) serves up yet another meaty historical saga centering on a major international city. Since the city in question this time is Paris, the repast is sumptuous indeed. As usual, he sweeps the reader along through the centuries, recounting all the most significant transformative events as the City of Light evolves from its humble origins as a Roman trading post to the cultural epicenter of Western civilization. Utilizing his trademark combination of real-life and fictional characters, he stitches their individual stories and experiences together in order to humanize and personalize the emergence of a mighty metropolis over a period of 2,000 years. As with all great cities, both Paris and its citizens endured their share of setbacks, humiliations, and tragedies, but these necessary growing pains often resulted in substantial rewards. Anyone who has ever visited Paris or desires to do so will definitely want to dig into this movable feast. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Both Paris, the venerable City of Light, and Rutherfurd, the undisputed master of the multigenerational historical saga, shine in this sumptuous urban epic that is sure to be another best-seller for the prolific author.--Flanagan, Margaret Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Paris, anyone? Yes, several centuries of the City of Light here, for readers who love their sagas long and drenched in history. Rutherfurd (New York) presents a panoramic view of the city on the Seine through several intertwining stories that span the period from the 13th century to 1968. Tales of counts and commoners alike appear in these pages. Thomas Gaston, an enterprising young man from the then distant suburb of Montmartre, lands a job with sculptor Frederic-August Bartholdi on the Statue of Liberty, then later with engineer Gustav Eiffel on the building of the landmark Eiffel Tower. One of the most appealing features of this carefully researched work are the interesting tidbits and factoids scattered throughout; for example, the Eiffel Tower was erected from prefabricated parts. With a cast of fictional characters rubbing shoulders with the great and famous in cameo appearances, readers have a front-row seat to observe Parisian life over the ages. A drawback: the voices sometimes sound too contemporary or modern for the era in question. Verdict This is not novelistic history in depth; rather, it is like a New York show-gorgeous sets, great acting, and lights, camera, action!-Edward Cone, New York (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.