Spain Remembers

Spain Remembers

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blockbuster Summer Reading

Paris, by Edward Rutherfurd is a door stopper book, dealing with the history of Paris told in a series of fictional stories.  I loved it.

I once attended a workshop by thriller novelist Steve Berry.  He laid down several rules for writing a novel but stated most strongly that a writer should never resort to back story.  I had to smile, wondering to myself what Alice Munro, a woman who plays with time as if it were putty, would make of this rule.

I am sure Edward Rutherfurd, the king of back story would have fallen over laughing if he had been in the audience. Rutherfurd never misses a chance to give you the history of the street, the building, the famous character or the controversy in long asides that never leave you in limbo but smoothly lead you back to the main story.

Rutherfurd is a superb teller of tales who creates dozens of interesting characters who, in some way, are connected to the great events that shaped the city of Paris. In many ways Rutherfurd follows James Michener who used the same structure to give the history of a place: Poland, Hawaii, etc. But in my opinion, Rutherfurd is a more compelling story-teller.

This is a great book to take to the camp or beach.  I took this book to camp in my truck, listening to the CD's (Random House Audio Bood)  as I travelled. The reading by Jean Gilpin was first rate.

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